Thursday, June 22, 2017

stages (a study)

I have two poems in process right now.  They were seeded in two different forms.  One was on
20 July 2017 and is handwritten in my wide-ruled Composition Book; the second is in Notes on my iphone, auto-dated July 18, 2017,  to which I attached pictures that may never make it here.  The journey is almost too far, even though it's wireless.  The distance is time.

I am going to transcribe each of these "seed writings" onto the blog, and, of course, revise as I go.  It can't be helped.  I am curious to discover how two juxtaposed starting positions might create a different experience for me as a writer as I struggle toward publishing.  How did I get from there to here?  Did handwriting or texting have better outcomes?

Neither the texted Note nor the handwritten Composition will be better or worse than the other when typed up here on my blog. I have no way to prove this hypothesis. Maybe the proof will be, "What do my friends think?"

A first draft (Stage 1) ever only really exists as its seed. You don't get to read those. Nobody does.
This, right here, is Stage 2.
Also, lately, my blog posts have been Stage 3 poems.  They have been labored over and crafted.  I'm very proud of them.  But they lack something.  Voice, maybe?  Context?  I don't know.  Like I haven't wanted to just write for the sake of writing anymore...  There's always too much thinking now.

I like thinking about poems as having Stages, though.  Like cancer.

Please remember that what you are about to read are Stage 2 poems, maybe 2B. They still have lots of growing up to do.  Any kindnesses or critiques you might like to bestow on them will be welcomed!
Also remember that you do not know which is which.  I think they call this a "blind" study, but I honestly really don't know.  Feel free to make guesses.

Procedure, con't


Write each of your poems
as if it were your last—
As if all tattoos were temporary,
which they are, of course,
if you really think about it.
Send each of your words
to the darkest cave chamber, whose
walls have never known sunlight.
Make sure your poems have
napped in hammocks and
slept on Greyhound busses.
Let your phrases pierce our defenses
like terrorists, and be the Ones Who
Know. Read every poem three times—
you can't get it all on the first go.
Don't even try.
Write each of your poems
as if someone will read it
three times.


We remember backwards best
I walked where once we kissed
My body remembers it as resurrection
My imperfect memory sees pathos

Here's the hole into which we almost fell
The lessons are all common sense
And we thought the trees and their shadows
could hide us from the moon.

How foolish, how almost tragic.