Saturday, April 24, 2010

Poetry and Octopus

Morning in a suburb outside of Detroit.

I am not someone who writes poems, but I want to be someone who writes poems. In my head, they are beautiful. Maybe even edgy (o how my heart flutters to think I might someday be edgy!). I have staccato thoughts, truncated phrases, all artfully dropping like tree sap -- until I put pen to paper, type, or write on the eraseable board.

This morning's thoughts were all about the mathematics of relationships, an evolution of numbers that means my heart has grown, but on the board is currently a black scribble:
"I think it's time I said
hello again"
and then more scribbling and it seems I have spelled balloons ballonss.

Poetry, started this morning, shall be done all day. But then the question is: if I work all day on a poem, is that a good use of the day? If someone asked me what I did today and I said, "Oh, I washed the bed sheets and took the dogs for a walk and wrote a poem," would they give more value to my clean sheets and exercised dogs than the poem? Does it depend on the quality of the poem? What if it's a tatty poem, no good at all? Who says it's tatty?

It's possible I'm just putting words on the board for the smell of marker.


I might also be putting words on the board to avoid editing the chapters of the story of doom. It's a massive project, and the amount of words cut is staggering. Those words must be replaced, somehow, and by words of equal value. Maybe not number, but quality, value. It's difficult work. I don't mind editing, and I think everything could use more editing, including the book I'm currently reading. But this is just... a lot. I may also be in a position of "can't see the forest for the trees."



Tentacles, eight, beak,
one. Mottled flesh, suction cups,
underwater Freud.

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