Friday, April 16, 2010

Wistful Wisteria (Drafting Post-AWP)

67 deg ~ clear skies and great sun, but still shadows here due to all the neighborhood trees in full leaf

Drafting Friday report:  Woo Hoo, Dear Reader, I managed to draft a poem today amid all of the chaos of post-AWP grading and end-of-the-semester fever.  My desk is a mess of papers, books, and AWP ephemera, but I pushed and piled it to the side.  I had a clean space, good light, good coffee, Yo-Yo Ma, and room to breathe.  All necessary for my process.

I started the day by reading Joseph P. Wood's wonderful poem "Urgency."  This poem appears as a Boundless Book from Cannibal Books, a small press run by fellow Arkansas pals Matt and Katy Henriksen.  Matt and Katy are a fierce poetry duo and create beautiful books.  Be sure to click on the link to Wood's poem to see what a boundless book is.  Awesome production.  "Urgency" is a long poem of amazing phrases stitched together with repeated elements.  The whole thing feels like it should be read in one breath or out of breath.  All during AWP I'd been thinking about how all of my lyrics are short and compact and how I want to write a long poem.  Wood reminded me of that, and as some phrases of my own began to appear, I just tried to let go and not control anything, just let the words accrue on the page.  They did, but alas, Dear Reader, so far, they have not coalesced into anything formative.

After playing around with lines for a bit, I switched to my "In Progress" folder and went back to five lines I'd drafted back in March during one of my non-productive weeks.  It turned out that those lines sparked a whole new direction for me today.  The draft is titled "Bloodlines" and my favorite section right now is:  "Wild and singing the dangerous syntax / of bee-stung tongues, we hunt / the wisteria vine that climbs the dead / branches of a withering tree."  I'm sure to hate these lines tomorrow, so I wanted to praise them today.  I'm including this photo of my friend Anne's wisteria b/c she was on top of things and I was not.  I failed to take pics of our wisteria in its glory.  Now it is sending pale purple petals down to scatter our back lawn.  Beautiful decay.

On a Blogger note, I'm using some beta version of the composing posts function, and for some reason, I can no longer use my shortcut keys to produce the degree sign I need for my opening temperature record.  I tried copying and pasting from Word and that threw the whole thing off.  Does anyone know what's up with this?


Anonymous said...

Praise away!: I too am digging these lines, esp. "dangerous syntax / of bee-stung tongues"--nice!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, M!