Monday, June 6, 2011

Draft Process: Haibun #3

80ยบ ~ heat wave continues, may get a 'break' on Wed/Thurs, when the highs will only be in the low 90's, long-live the South, it may stifle, but at least it doesn't freeze

I'm happy to be back in drafting stage, here at the desk of Earnestine, my kangaroo guide.  I've toyed with declaring a poem-a-day goal for a set number of days, but I'm just not feeling it.  I think I'm doing well as I am, so we'll see how it goes.

For today's session, I did practice my mental gymnastics of telling myself "I'm going to write a poem tomorrow morning" all through the evening yesterday and then "I'm going to write a poem this morning" as I went through my morning routine.  Believe me, I am happy to be writing and drafting, and I do feel like I have things to say, so this is not an attempt to force the issue.  Rather, I find that it helps me focus and turn off the monkey mind that tends to plague me.  I also keep a notepad handy so when a monkey-mind thought pops in, say something I need to pick up at the store, I can jot down the reminder and put it aside.  Hey, it works for me.

So, I came to the desk this morning and cleared it of everything except my journal and my folder of poems in progress.  I minimized all screens on the computer and set the iTunes for classical music only.  The stage was set. 

Given my review of Mary Biddinger's chapbook of Monica poems yesterday, I've been thinking more and more of making a chapbook of my cautionary/fairy/haunting tales.  Yesterday, I'd counted up the pages I have and I'm pretty close to being there, but two of the poems feel a bit weak.  I thought I'd return to that form this morning, although my girl persona hasn't really been singing to me much lately.  I flipped back in my journal to the jotted lists of Midwest icons that resulted from Kristin's comment back in March.  The first word I saw was "windmill," and this line materialized:

No Don Quixote windmills these...

I jotted down three lines from that and then got stuck, so I went back to my list of words and found Rath Meat Packing (a plant in my hometown that went out of business during the farm bust of the 1980's, but that was a fixture of my childhood).  So, I started a tale about a girl whose father worked second shift at Rath's.  It lasted for four and a half lines and went nowhere. 

Mental gears grinding, frustration level rising.

I opened my folder of in-progress poems to see if that would spark anything.  I got sidetracked with a few minor revisions, which turned out to be exactly what I needed.  Just playing around with lines that already existed was like adding oil to those stuck gears.  I took a glance at, but didn't read, the two haibuns that I'd drafted most recently, and then things just clicked into place and I knew I had to write another "Cornfield, USA" haibun.  I went back to my windmill image and off I went.  I'm not sure how sturdy these haibun are, given that the form is new to me.  Time will tell.

For someone who used to swear she never wrote poems in a series, ahem, I seem to be doing just that now.  Who would'a thunk it?

Finally, as I prepared to draft this post, I knew I wanted an image of a modern windmill, but I'd forgotten to take one on my last trip up home.  Many thanks to Michelle, of reunion fame, for telling me about creativecommons.org, a site that offers images and text for use because the owners of the material have said it is okay.  I had to settle for an image from China, but these are the type of windmills the poem is about, so there you go. 

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Yay! Glad you were able to find something usable at Creative Commons. And if you hadn't told me that was China, I would have thought those windmills were in Iowa. :)

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Michelle! Full disclosure and all that. :)