I don’t think I’ll write poems anymore. Making poems used to be easy as breathing and just as involuntary, but for the past few years it doesn’t seem to be so urgent. In fact, after spending almost a whole life making poems, deciding to stop doesn’t make me sad at all.
It’s a little like looking at your own baby pictures. Who’s that child? I remember her and I remember being her, but it’s easy to shut the family album and go on about my business. Same thing with the poems.
Maybe I’m just too tired to feel so lovely and terrible and gut-wrenched. Maybe some menopausal mechanism has clicked over to make me scribble stories with voices rather than take word snapshots. Maybe I burst a poetic blood vessel writing 50,000 words in a month and my circulatory system has rerouted around the wound.
It’s possible all that metaphor wafting in the world doesn’t have to be announced by me. I’m fine with that.
I don’t hate poetry. In fact, I’m one of its biggest fans. And those young ones who still understand poetry as the subversive underground and foreground to their life landscapes? I love them even more. Shout the f-bomb into the crowd, I say, raise your articulated fists into the air! The emperor isn’t wearing any clothes! Love hurts!
Nothing wrong with being a spectator. Everyone needs an audience. It’s even better when the audience isn’t (even in secret) competing with the poet on some level. Ask any writing major or MFA candidate, they’ll know exactly what I mean. Teaching public school again has reminded me just how valuable an open audience can be.
While cheerleading those poems, I think I might finally fall in love with The Sentence. If I’m still enough, I can feel Story tattooing itself on my DNA. Double helix typewriter ribbons of text.
I’m not really sure what to call this flavor of typecasting + poem + whatever. It’s addicting – here are more. Any ideas?
This is an example of kinetic art. I found this about an hour ago and have watched it no fewer than nine times. It’s wonderful to have video, but this art piece begs for a live audience. I’m struck by the machinery and the magic of levitation and the wordlessness. It’s technology as patient god.
I believe this is the best wordless poem I’ve ever experienced. Watch it. Tell me what you think.
Here’s the problem. I’m writing diligently on Chesaleen and getting into the wicked flow of the moment, angels dancing on heads of pins and the typewriter muse singing to me in Olivetti and such, and I suddenly realize there’s no story. None. The whole thing is going nowhere and seems to be mysteriously levitating, waiting for something to actually happen.
It’s possible to write seven pages of a story and find out it isn’t a story at all. It’s a prose poem or an articulated photograph or something. People talk and there’s insight and self-delusion enough to go around, but the action of getting from Point A to Point B just never materializes.
It’s entirely possible I’m writing outside my genre – not that I chose one in the first place. It chose me when I was a little girl. It’s frustrating to be labeled and even more so when it’s self-labeling, but it appears that at least for tonight, I’m a poet. Or a memoirist. Or a blogger. Dammit. Tonight I wanted to be a novelist.
So I have seven pages of Chesaleen sitting in the dark and listening to trains. I could cheat and call it backstory, but that’s just semantics. I’m going to put these pages away for National Rewrite Month and maybe they’ll look different then, but I doubt it. I like it too much to wad it up, although if I had a fire going I might consider throwing all seven pages into the flames, just for effect.
Maybe I’ll just have Chesaleen set something on fire.