Poem in Process – Comments Encouraged

Altered Art Using Excerpts





“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”

  Kingsley Amis

     This quote was on The Writer’s Almanac recently, and it pealed a certain truth.  I won’t disclose who would be annoyed by this post, but I will state that we all know it’s probably a “he.”  But then again… well, no matter.  Since I have many upcoming art shows, I’ve been working on some altered-art poem pieces.  This photo features a journal excerpt — I have journaled for many years and use many quotable snippets or poems in my altered art.  If you want to see some samples of my art visit me at my Etsy Store.  I am hoping you will help “workshop” this poem. 

     I’m practicing with a new computer program which allows me to write on things.  I’m left-handed and learned to use a mouse right-handed.  As a result, my mouse handwriting is awful, worse even than my real handwriting which took years to become as awful as it is.  I never realized I would have needed to know mouse handwriting and am so distressed that Palmer went out of business. 

     I’ll be posting some poem-in-process drafts from time to time.  If you can offer any ideas on how to make them better, it would be appreciated.   This first one is temporarily titled “Committment.”  I’ve waffled between that as a title and “Sunk,”  and the second line was originally “sinking boat,” but that sounded too much like predetermined destiny or something so I changed it to” drifting.”

     This poem reads best out loud rather than reading silently.  I’m still at the word stage –haven’t explored the form yet.  Minimal punctuation.  It seems to want to rhyme.  All poetry should be read aloud, well not Marianne Moore so much and forget ee cummings and sometimes Eliot.  OK.  Maybe not all poetry should be read aloud. 

     But check out what Robert Pinsky has to say about spoken words, listen to Robert Pinsky read and the enunciation and emphasis he places on each hand-picked word that the poet chose.  After that, you will want to only write poetry that can be read aloud.   Or at least you will be aware of the impact that the sounds of words have to the total experience of poetry.

     If you’d like to help workshop this piece, just indicate the line numbers or any suggestions you have.  I know it’s not the same as if we were in a workshop together, but any critique you can offer would be appreciated.  I would be glad to offer comments on any works you have.  I also like to read and will review books this summer.  

              Commitment  (draft 4)

  1. We straddle the same seat
  2. in this drifting boat
  3. Can’t explain how this befell us
  4. How this came to be,
  5. You and me
  6. Not sure why we waft
  7. So far from shore
  8. Stranded out here
  9. Stripped of oar,
  10. no sail, no rudder
  11. No shove towards shore
  12. As we undertake
  13. A rush to home
  14. If home is where we hold to be.
  15. Don’t know why this happened
  16. Straddled on this same seat
  17. In this unsteady boat
  18. Out on a churning
  19. Un-steadier sea
  20. Face to face
  21. Just you and me.
  22. How this happened we
  23. Are granted not one clue.
  24. Face to face.
  25. Engulfed.
  26. Me and you. 

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