Friday, January 13, 2012

Draft Process: That Which Blooms Beyond Where it is Planted

26º ~ hazy, whitish overcast sky, a very weak sun after a bright shot of it to start the morning, central Arkansas is bundled up against the cold, all hats and gloves that last for years from such infrequent use, a male cardinal just lit on the tree, his black mask stark against red feathers

She has done it again, friends and fans of the Kangaroo.  The sickly speaker spoke up this morning to the point that I had to interrupt my normal routine and grab my pen and journal.  I confess that I began thinking of drafting a poem within a few minutes of waking, needing to remind myself that this was the time I had carved out of the week to put my butt in the chair.  (It's also worth noting that I was in a foul mood for much of the day yesterday and it slowly dawned on me as to why: after several weeks of being on my own time and being able to put my BIC each day, I am now on school time and I didn't balance myself well enough Monday - Thursday.  A lesson I often need to repeat in order to remember.)

In any case, what bubbled to the surface this morning was a continuation of recent drafts, the speaker's state of mind and body post-transfusion.  I continue to ponder the questions listed in the last few process notes, and here is what she had to say as I was trying to put on my socks (for heaven's sake, it's cold, how rude a time to interrupt!).

This new blood has taken root,
my donor replete and replicate.
I felt it first as a flutter in the womb

The poem goes on, in seven tercets, to explore the way this surge of health has the speaker sinking back into her body, from which she has become a bit dissociative.  The whitecoats have a huge role in the poem and are kind of creepy, which I like.  The poem also deals with the speaker feeling as if she is a host to a parasite in her acceptance of this donor blood.

As I read the draft again, one interesting parallel is that if the poem is read on its own, outside the sequence, it could easily be read as an unwanted pregnancy or at least a speaker who isn't happy about what a pregnancy will do to her body or maybe a speaker who has had trouble becoming pregnant and has had to rely on doctors and such.  Still, I know in my heart that the speaker MUST feel those donor cells in her womb.  I want there to be this notion of a new life because a transfusion (or transplant for that matter) does mean the body being regenerated by another body, a marking of something new.

As for a title, I still had Quan Barry's books on the desk from yesterday's post and picked up Asylum after my own struggle for a title went nowhere.  Flipping through, I found this line from part IX. NAPALM of "child of the enemy," "Like all effective incendiaries / I won't only bloom where I'm planted."  (So, yeah, I bow down to Barry's prowess!)  That idea of blooming went right along with my first line and the idea of those donor cells replicating, so I tweaked it to: That Which Blooms Beyond Where it is Planted.

Here is a picture of a pot of hyacinths that a friend surprised me with on my birthday.  I am transfixed by how the weight of the bloom bends the stalks.  They definitely seem intent on blooming somewhere other than where they were planted!

**I do know that a blood transfusion only supplies a healthy dose of cells and that they don't replicate (that would be a bone marrow transplant), but I'm working with how the speaker's mind is thinking of things.  Perhaps this is fodder for further exploration.  Yes, I'm now thinking that she definitely needs to have had a marrow transplant and I need to learn more about that.


Kathleen said...

I'm loving your red cardinal and your blend of medical info and speaker "unreliability" about that. Also, today's verification word is "sings," which seems remarkably lucky!

StephanieV said...

Reading about this sickly speaker series is fascinating.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Kathleen, yay for singing! and for lucky on the 13th.

Stephanie, thanks! I only hope the poems live up to the fascination. :)

Molly said...

I'm fine with a bit of magical realism. The replication doesn't have to be literal does it? I love the lines you quote from your draft.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks for the input and support, Molly.