Thursday, November 15, 2007

wishing for words

How do you use words for something you love so passionately--something so big, something where words are the most important? I don't know how to explain the feeling I have when I am driving home after my Thursday Intermedia workshops.

Full, this is true. I am still writing in my head. I realized how I would put together that Autobiographical Sketch for UC-Irvine (curses, they want a personal statement and an autobiography?) (Of course, others want me to write a piece on how I will contribute to diversity on the campus. And other topics.)

Full, I think of lines of poems. I dream up how I might jigsaw words into little poems, snippets I sketch out in my notebook as I drive. I should pull over, I know. And Husband, long ago, bought me a tape recorder for just such instances. What I really need is a laptop--a way to quietly spool out the thoughts in my head onto the page. Composing poems in my head. They drift out so quickly, like cotton candy fluff, drift away, forgotten.

This is some kind of cruelty though.

If asked, "Why poetry?" I would fumble the question. I would say something about loving the compact form, the precision and choice of words, the reflection on humanity, the capturing of a small moment. All these messy words to describe something so perfect, so small.

I might mention how I love small things: little knick knacks you can put into the palm of your hand, works of art; I always pick the splinters of chips or slivers of cake, a collection of food already divided; I love those small, tender moments, the glance, the quiet reflection of the world around us, the way his hand fits into mine.

But I don't really know how to explain why poetry makes my body sing, makes me feel more alive than any other, pleases me as we dissect language and discuss the importance of one word, one arrangement, one line break. I just know, I just feel.

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