Moon Poems

This whole making the moon explode thing is getting to me. Okay, I know it’s not the whole moon, just a tiny portion on the dark side by the craters. And I know it’s not supposed to affect us, our fields or tides or anything, in any way. It’s just to see if there’s water. Still, somehow it’s bugging me.

So what did I do but write two poems about the moon.

Sort of the opposite advice from what Paul Chowder (the poet protag from The Anthologist) told his workshop students at a conference, which was that he gets the initial impulse to write by thinking about the best thing that happened to him that day. I do that sometimes, but today it was all earth motherly concern about my moon that started the words flowing.

And I think I should have this book of poems up and ready to look at by the new moon in a few weeks.

not so fast

Don’t think I’ll have the poetry chapbook done by the 10th even though I wanted to have it ready as an anniversary present for AWD  readers. I will get it out eventually, and it will be free, but I really want to make it good.

Typed up and revised lots of the poems yesterday (about 20 of the 30 I’m considering) and am happy with the result but I’d love my poet friend Iris to look at them and give me feedback. I’m invited to her lavendar farm next Sunday for a writing retreat so that’s perfect.

Also I just ordered Mary Oliver’s book on how she goes about writing poetry. She drafts her poems 40 or 50 times each! Every single word is so important. Mostly what I did yesterday was cut out lines and words. I used to be a flabbier poet.

Wish it was as easy to lose weight as it is to cut words.

I do want to honor my 7th year of blogging with a creative piece, so am determined to post the short story started this summer “Layla’s Other Life” which is about three words away from finished.

The reason I delayed with LoL is because I’d set up an alternate world. I mean, it’s Earth, but not as we know it. It’s a future world, not that distant, but so different than the one we live in. I kept thinking “maybe I should explore this world in a book.”

I don’t really feel inspired to do that now, but I can still do it in the future. After all, the world of Gypsy and Traveling Girl started out as a novella in Octoberland that I originally posted here.

steroids & kubla khan

Finally looked this morning through my old poems.Not the really old ones, from my teens and 20s. Those were published long ago in two chapbooks as part of an arts collaboration I did with a friend.

We got a grant for printing, were assigned a downtown Rochester storefront window for our installation based on a poem of mine the first year, hers the second. We even gave poetry readings on opening night. Other artists (but no other poets) also had windows, so the whole downtown was a festival of art and poetry. I totally forgot we did that.

What I read through this morning were my mid-life poems; I’ve added five new ones in the past week or so. Now I’ll type them up and make an e-book link in time for AWD anniversary next week! This ambition is surely the result of the steroids my dr. gave me yesterday for a persistent (and really ugly) rash. But hey, Coleridge wrote Kubla Khan on opium.

waiting

They said 12-16 weeks for word on my rom-com submission. Guess they meant it. Meanwhile, I have a ton of work to do to get my classes rolling. And am hoping that the poetry doesn’t dry up on me. Three poems in six days…

One Way to Write a Poem

Wrote a poem I actually like this morning. Here’s all I had to do. First, I travelled a few hundred miles to another country with two close friends. We have known each other twenty years. Among other things, we watched brilliant actors perform the Chekhov play Three Sisters. Three friends, three sisters. There’s something about the number three that poetry likes. While away, I read Mary Oliver‘s Evidence. Her cadence inspires me, Chekhov and his actors and my friends inspire me, but I still didn’t have a poem.  Then, on the return, we told stories of times we had suffered and healed, like the sisters in Chekhov’s play. “This is the story I will never write,” I told my friends. And then I came back to my own blessed bed, slept well, woke to this cool August morning. As I sipped my tea, a poem rose like steam. It was the story that only yesterday I thought I’d never write.