Friday, May 31, 2013

Rewriting against the clock

My second book of poetry (Pocket Park) will be coming out this Fall, but thanks to sequesters and unknowable seethings in the Library of Congress, my library data is held up. This offers the self doubting poet an excuse to revisit the entire book looking for awkward verbs, sad near rhymes, and potentially horrifying verbal gaffes on a par with my recent sartorial mishaps (the navy blue and black sock debacle on Tuesday). And in my deepest soul I wish I had written the deeper, funnier, more astonishing and intelligent book I envisioned at the start. But this is the truth of it, like watercolor, once the paint of a poem dries, it looses some gloss and movement. Unless you're effing brilliant like Plath but god knows I don't want her self-imposed deadline.

I've been reading many poets on revision. Such great advice. Decided to follow all of it. I've got one poem I'm putting through the paces right now. Made it shorter, expanded it, rhyme, no rhyme, amoeba like, tailored to form, mixed it up...and the poem remained of faint interest, no zing. It needs more of me somehow. Great, how do I extract heart, experience, and vision and make it new?

I'm sipping a small glass of sherry...Amontillado...and pondering options. Going to sleep sounds good. Getting out from behind the wall of myself sounds better. Hand me some TNT and courage please. Or maybe I need to stop being so pleasing. You must kill the obvious darlings, the poet as her own editor must be fierce.

Mmmmm, a vintage port would be nice. No poetry readjustment bureau tonight. Tomorrow is Jim's birthday, we plan to go write in a cafe and nibble appetizers. Poem, gird yourself. Deadlines.
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