This is the Weather Channel video that led to today’s poem:
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. (more…)
This was a hard one, and I’m still not sure how it turned out. As I write these process posts, I’m going to take steps to ensure that I don’t give out all the prompts for The Daily Poet. I think people should but it instead. After all, it’s not the prompts that are the point with these posts, but detailing the process. That said, I can say it was a prompt that involved a word list and coming up with a list that fit the parameters gave me fits. I did it though, and let clusters of the words associate to make unexpected combinations, ones that led to a narrative with a fairly strong image at the core.
It’s not very flattering, but for me the most important part of the process is seat time. I have to actually sit down and write whether I think I can or not, and come back to write more when I think I have no hope of coming up with any more. I find that the hopeless draft I leave on screen earlier in the day turns the corner when I add more later. That is the main thing–add, snip, add more, shift breaks, repeat.
This was a good prompt yet a difficult one.The things we hold close, the things we protect are also the silent things, the things unwritten. My task was to write about something I would never write about while not exploiting it. This may not be one of the easy drafts. I may go back to it in a month or so. For today, I pushed as far as I could, then stopped. One of the last things I did was to break it into long couplets in order to set up regular two-beat gaps, kind of like a heartbeat at rest.
On January 1, 2016, I begin a new project, one similar to the Project 365 photo project I did in 2014. This time I am using a prompts book to generate a poem a day for a year. I am using The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano, and to make things just a bit more interesting, will be sharing the challenge with Karen Craigo, poet par excellence and friend since our MFA and Mid- American Review days at Bowling Green State University. I won’t be sharing the drafts online, but if you are interested in progress, I will be blogging about the project here. (more…)
When I was waking up today, I dreamed that there was only five years left until the end of the world. In my dream, I had a copy of an agenda of events handed to me in a meeting and I wasn’t that upset either. I remember looking at it and thinking, “Well, in that case I need to write more poems and eat more bacon.” I think the bacon was a life-aspiration that the dream self instinctively just knows. Writing more poems is always a good idea, but after the writing is done, I must also send them out and let others read them in journals and books. (more…)