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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 19 of Poem a Day in May

At this point I've lost all perspective on whether anything I've written this month is any good, and I reckon that's probably where I should be. When one is focused on creating new work day after day, one cannot also be worrying about whether the work is "good"; the whole point is to focus on getting words onto the page, right?

I have done things I've never tried before, mainly because I have to come up with tricks to get a poem onto the page. One spontaneous idea this week was to end every line with a word that has an "er" sound. It helped me fill up a page and a half with couplets, though the poem needs a lot of work to make it into something worth sharing with an audience, even a small one such as the one called Readers of Blue Positive, unless that audience recognizes that I am not sharing this poem because it is finished, or "good," or "worthy of publication," but only in the spirit of this thing called creating a life where it is possible to turn one's attention to one's art most days of the year.

For me, writing a poem a day means I am working on poems most of the time, because when I am walking or preparing dinner or folding laundry I am thinking about what I wrote that day, asking myself What if I added more Confucius into that poem? or What does it mean to make art for the sole purpose of watching it disintegrate from exposure to the elements? Or making notes to myself to re-read the part in Madness, Rack, and Honey where she (Mary Ruefle) talks about the moon. Or thinking: hey, maybe I could moosh together the poem with the cicadas and the one about the artist who creates disintegrating sculptures? In other words, writing daily turns a life into a creative life.

May 14, 2013


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