b. asks [in response to The Blue Bed]:
how do you keep this up? do you wear poet's glasses all the time, or simply put them on like mr peabody from bullwinkle when you want to do this thing you do?
Ah, yes -- those poet's glasses. So attractive.
Good question, though. What is this thing I do? I don't just sit down and write a poem; it requires an ongoing practice of attention; a willingness to be boring, to be trivial, to be mundane.
It's like prayer, or my understanding of prayer -- not a solicitation, but an acknowledgement of how it is: this hurts, this is beautiful, I am afraid.
For years I did it by writing every day -- not poems, but immediacy. I record my dreams, describe the room, think: There's something I want to tell you -- and go from there.
Who are you? Sometimes I know; sometimes I don't; but usually I do have a particular audience/ reader in mind -- even a fictional one.
In these times of creative nonfiction and fictionalized memoirs, I think of the poem itself as true fiction: it is most likely not factual, but it must be true. It is likely to be -- it is best if it is -- a truth I did not know before I wrote, and may not understand even then. A poem is my way of discovering (dis-covering) what I feel; sometimes, what I think.
I like words, the shape and feel of them in my mouth. exquisite crunchy sigh
As illness has made my world -- and my walks -- more circumscribed, I look harder at small things, at details.
I have lots around me to look at -- to listen to, taste, touch, smell.
I think that, for poetry, discovering oneself is as important as learning the craft (which is essential.) It's as you discover yourself that your own voice emerges within the shape of the poem.
This is how it works for me.
All this requires a lot of solitude, a kind of internal spaciousness. When energy is sparse, I spend it inside. Not indoors, but inside. This makes me an erratic friend, and a poor correspondent.
When there is energy to spare, you find me in your comments.