Friday, November 20, 2015

How I Thought/Think About Poems I Write (Connection)

A long time ago, I was trying to write a poem that was solid, all of a piece, weighty as a stone that I could drop into the vast water of a reader's attention. There would be that satisfying plop noise and then the rings travelling out all the way to the invisible beyond.

Then my desire for narrative crept in. How do I make the poem longer? How do I put the story together, where does it end? And now the rock isn't the poem, and the poem is not a container. The poem is an action bouncing off the surface of the water again and again. Or it's the points of the star that show how to draw a constellation like a crazy skeleton with faulty cartilage allowing some flex and bend.

So many of the ways I thought about poetry I have broken down. I have put aside line break rationales in order to embrace the pudding of white space holding things up, together or apart, on the page. Maybe hearing different rhythms  hurried this along? Maybe a growing love for piece-i-ness? Maybe the fatalistic nature of growing older recognizes a truth about connection: putting two things together is what makes them jump.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Multiple Meaning

Because I am temporarily between parking lots/structures, I have to remind myself to go feed the meter at work. I have a hot pink post it on the upper right hand corner frame of my computer. The first time I read it inadvertently, I did not think parking. I thought of the system of stressed and unstressed syllables that lurks in the back of most poets' heads. That thing implanted by the poems of the past, the memorizations of the past, the dramatic schoolroom declamations of the past. The lilt I recognized and recreated without fully understanding.

I have written in meter, but not frequently after the first 10 years of school. Sluffing off meter was part of the great unloosening I felt as a teen and young adult--all the things that were gotten ride of: white gloves, hats, garters, bathing caps, pantyhose, sexual abstention, the kind of politeness that erases self. When I am seen and heard, it is in ghost meter if anything at all, the iambic pentameter-y ice cube tray of our normal locutions: section, cube/section, cube/ section, cube . . .

Right now, the sun coming through the window at my back is highlighting that post it note and nothing else. Meter! An exhortation! Rather than apply it to my work, marshalling my language in recognized ways, I will merely continue to accrue quarters.

I am afraid to say anything about the parking meter being on my mind because of my vehicle!