Tuesday, July 31, 2007

walking the poem

Another day of startling beauty, finding others' talent overwhelming, finding myself keeping time with my pen, filling pages of little notes, writing two poems that might actually transform, grow. I find that poetry, and being witness, being present to poetry is like a balm for me. I do not need the other soothers, the other modifications that regular days might need.

A few things I noted today at random:

- the word "telos" means that which we are headed toward (with a suspended ending)
- keep in mind the different audiences for different modes of poetry and that there are quite a few species of poetry
- (on death) we have trouble with the festival pitching its tents
- the concept of the intermission poem to wend your way from one section to the next
- when you throw all the poems up, what has the most gravity?
- books and names thrown about: Paul Celan, Fanny Howe's Gone, The Motets, Olena Kalytiak Davis' And her Soul Out of Nothing and Shattered Sonnets, Jacques Rouboud's Some Thing Black, Dancing in Odessa

Three lovely things about ordering the manuscript:
- walk the poem--put manuscript on the floor--labyrinth of your poem--pick it up and physicall move it around (Linda Gregg does this)
- Read through manuscript, copy down just first line and last line, see what poem this makes--type them as couplets and see how they sound together and if a couplet sounds strange there, this is a poem to move
- when ordering poems, don't think about what the poem is about but what gestures the poem is making

I wrote two poems while in workshop also, so don't forget the first draftness of them. I will share one today, to close this humble post on day two of workshop with Carolyn Forche:

Like threads being pulled out from
the stamen, veiny flower, we are undoing
the wedding dress. It hung on a hook
in the bedroom closet for twenty years.
It collected dust, tears, pollen.
At night, when we were sleeping, it would
slip off the hanger and wend its way
around the room, in the moonlight.
We are killing the dress, plucking
feathers. I wish it would bleed; I wish
it would cry out as it deflates. I wish
I knew how to keep it from acting
the martyr.

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