I am currently behind four poems on this whole 30 poems in 30 days thing. I’m trying not to be hard on myself and just celebrate the fact that I’ve never done anything like this ever ever ever! and now I’ve done 23 poems in 27 days! whatevs it’s not 27 in 27!
I’m also still trudging through the rejections (thank you for all of your well-wishes! I love knowing that I’m not alone and that we all can help each other through times like these!). After I wrote a poem on Friday, I just knew that I would come home to a rejection in my mailbox, and, lo and behold, there it was. 22 rejections since January 3rd. Yeesh.
I did receive news of an acceptance for a short creative nonfiction essay of mine which will appear sometime soon up at Punchnel’s. This knocks out one of my goals (“Get one of my creative nonfiction essays accepted for publication”) for 2013. Woohoo! Speaking of that, I’ve also knocked out the “Do something special just for my writing” goal by doing this whole 30-in-30 poem thing AND The Artist’s Way. I’m also 23 poems into a 50 poem goal. Wow. It’s not even February yet! Go me!
Let’s get to the draft processes (taken from my journal, the computer, as well as a writing app on my phone):
Draft Seventeen (“Your Throat a Bare Wing”): For this poem, I took two words from Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s poem “Rome” and a couple from a reading I did on the nature of memoir. I used “mimicry,” “starling,” “memory,” and “throat.” This poem, like many of the other ones is about a relationship. Some lines: “the owl we caught and cooked its feet…the tendril of my hair striking your cheek.”
Draft Eighteen (“The Nature of Knowing”): This one was also inspired by the line, “possessed…of a great stillness” in “Rome.” I applied it to a man watching a woman and thinking that of her, though those words never appear in my poem. “…the places of soft tissue and of bone, the intricate interiors of her that he knows he will never know.”
Draft Nineteen (“Longing”): A woman longs to have a child. “…with an emptiness inside her/she can’t name.” This is my first non-prose poem in a while.
Draft Twenty (“Blindness”): For this poem, I took a bunch of starter words (“saint,” “blind,” “silence,” “flowering,” and “blood”) and just went with it. It ended up being a poem about a woman saint going blind and someone else plotting her death for some…reason that maybe I’ll think of later?
Draft Twenty-One (“Night”): This one is a mess of sentences that make very little sense together, but I like the last line (“I watch my face as it moves from desperation to silence.”) and I might scavenge it to put in another poem.
Draft Twenty-Two (“Weave Kindling in My Hair”): People build boats, put their complaints in them that fill the space like liquid in a container, and then set them on fire. They “…watch the smoke rise like prayers.” This probably means something symbolically, but…I don’t what that would be. That’s just what came out. Isn’t writing weird sometimes?
Draft Twenty-Three (“Love Makes Her Fingers”): Now these are getting more and more surreal. This one has a man and woman trading parts of each other’s bodies for items (like her molars for a stronger door lock) and also being pretty violent in their possession of these items. This violence later becomes not just about taking, but about “giving” and ends with “…how much sweeter his lips taste bruised.”
Speaking of drafting, I’m doing a week of “reading deprivation,” so I’m sincerely limiting how much I read this week. More often than not, I get inspired to write a poem by reading the work of someone else first, and this week I’m going to have to change that habit.