Monday, July 23, 2012

Waiting for the Mail

I just read a review of the new book On Poetry by Glyn Maxwell. I must have it. Here is the review.

The part of the review that sold me was: "What Maxwell calls poetry, good or bad, is different from song precisely because it carries its own music within it. Where song lyrics are written to function within a musical frame, poetry is framed by silence; it's always working against the void. 'Poets work with two materials, one's black, one's white,' Maxwell writes. 'You want to hear the whiteness eating? Write out the lyrics of a song you love … If you strip the music off it, it dies in the whiteness, can't breathe there.'"

I like this thinking about the white space as an active agent, the dangerous void with big teeth eating stuff up, the thing we balance against/above like a gymnast.

FYI: Do you know about the Poetry Daily Newsletter roundup? It's a great collection of articles/reviews from around the web that are of interest to poets.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Now We're Cooking with Gas!

My title was really only supposed to refer to how hot it is and how creativity can sometimes be sapped in the struggle to endure. But as soon as I typed it in the title box  it made me think of Sylvia Plath! (I don't think I need to explain why.) And somehow summer is mixing up with madness--the sound of her bees in the background growing louder and louder (as someone I know just complained about the cicadas).(Piping hot referring to just this kind of sizzle in the pan.) (Hot potato!--Where there's smoke!)

Maybe I should throw in "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" here which is not very useful re: summer since we're all trying to get into something  else--the shade, the AC, the swimming pool. Change of venue.

But with writing, we're trying to get into the zone which involves heat, combustion, the elements flying together to conflagrate. It's all about the interior. Come lightning, come thunder, come dizzying tyrannical rain of words. How to get into the landscape of the extreme and stay there for a while.

I think it's time for me to begin again, to get out the old notebook and jot down the dream from yesterday with its wonderful weird images (hedge clippers--really) and the notes from last week about mini-moons and see what I'm trying to tell myself. Time for commitment. Time to require. Time to revive great expectations of the self.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

(Inevitable?) Delay

Even though I have more free time in the summer and generally more energy and longer days and more serene swims and inspiring breezes as I weed or trim and the patterns to be observed of sun and shade and more attention to the contrasts of the wonderful blue of the sky and the clouds, I still have trouble writing as much as I want.

1. I always start out by counting all the weeks--a bountiful number
2. and thinking about the "housecleaning" of writing to be done (sending out, sending out, sending out
3. [and finding/deciding what places to send to]). 
4. I always long for an extended idea--a series or sequence to work on--which I think I have this summer.
5. I make an enormous list of any possible idea of merit.
6. And then something gets in the way.

This summer I screwed up my knee for a few weeks (much better now) and I'm also feeling the heat and there's the herculean task of cleaning for house guests and in half of the back of my head some thinking about what I'll be doing in the fall. I also have to deduct out any planned vacation time. So I'm down to six weeks in July and August (after July 16th).

But yesterday I started to stick some bits and pieces together that might be a new poem (involving "cupcake") and I just now thought (as I disassembled part of the vacuum cleaner) that maybe I could try a NAPOWRIWE--a week where each day I write a new poem. I like it!