Saturday, October 1, 2011

Draft Process: Small Forgotten Fevers

61º ~ bright autumnal sun shining on the slant, small breezes move the smaller branches

Dear Reader, today, I did not feel much poetry, but the old B-I-C (butt-in-chair) rule did not fail me.  I am uncertain of this draft, but I am happy to have written some few lines in the midst of stress and chaos. 

Sticking with my tried and true method of drafting since early August, I picked up the nearest text and began.  Today's draft is brought to you by work from the recent issue of Copper Nickel, one of my top 5 favorite lit mags in the whole wide world.

I word-gathered from work by Laura Eve Engel & Adam Peterson, Elizabeth Cheever, Zachary Sifuentes, Ann Fisher-Wirth, and A.E. Watkins.  At first, I thought I'd found a title/jumping off place when I matched two words in my journal: rivalry & miracles.  So I started trying to draft "A Rivalry of Miracles" and my sickly speaker remains, never fear.  However, after eight lines, I needed to use the phrase 'a rivalry of miracles' in the draft and I no longer felt like it served as well as a title, so I moved it.  Then, mid-draft, I was sort of stuck, so I went back to the poems and scanned for possible titles or guidance.  In A.E. Watkins' "from Allerton in Winter" section IV, I found "some forgotten fury."  I love the alliteration there, and as my sickly speaker always has a fever, I changed 'fury' to 'fever,' and thus today's draft:  "Some Forgotten Fever."  It begins:

Here the bed is made of iron,
flat & straight.  My cursive spine

breaks the line.  To sleep, I turn

Like the other poems in this series I've ended up writing, this draft is in couplets; however, there is much more enjambment going on here and the lines are shorter than before.  Perhaps my own sense of urgency is filtering through. 

In the meantime, I am wary of sticking with this process so long.  What say you: should I abandon the process of word gathering and stand on my own as it were?  Should I move on from this sickly speaker?  Or should I let it all ride and see where it takes me?


Kristin said...

I say, if it's working, keep going! Why disrupt a good process?

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Kristin!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've got a book building. I don't hear of many poetry books having the same narrator throughout. I bet you could pull it off!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Tara!

Molly said...

I'm with Kristin & company: if it works, ride the wave and see where it takes you.

Love the title!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Molly!