As next week and the new semester get closer, I am increasingly aware of how important it is to set up a poetry-writing habit. Of course I already write poems, but a daily poetry draft is another thing. Yesterday’s draft squeaked through at 10:30 PM or so. Between that and the band rehearsal earlier, I couldn’t sleep until late. I need to start each day reading the prompt so that it simmers or dies. That’s what has worked for me in month-long poetry challenges and I think it will work here too. I didn’t do that yesterday, and my mind wasn’t ready for it and simply added the prompt to a to-do list instead of setting an subconscious thread that remained working through the day. That unconscious, unvoiced prewriting is an irreplaceable part of my writing process.
The poem happened anyway, probably because I drafted in one of my two “magic times,” between 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM and between 10:30 PM and 2:30 AM. When I was working on my MFA thesis, I used both times day after day, which was awful for my sleep patterns but great otherwise. I still revert to that now when a project is large and compels me, only I make sure to grab a nap. So, the poem happens. I got the title first and the prompt involved a persona, so the title gave that and the place and time. The rest happened, but it was not easy because I found I did not like the person who was speaking. That is my weakness, I guess. I will return to it after I think it through and will add to it.