Sunday, June 10, 2012

Draft Process: Let Loose in Blue and Green

81º ~ cloud cover and humidity climbing, dew point hitting 70º ~ storms predicted for Monday - Wednesday with highs in the 90s likely ~ this the June I know

Wow. I had not expected to draft today. I overslept.  Yes, overslept.  But, wait, you say.  She's not "working" and is on her self-imposed homestead writing residency; how can she oversleep?  It turns out, despite my lack of daily responsibilities beyond the desk, I do not do well if I sleep past 7:30 or so.  Thus, I have an alarm even when I'm not having to get up and go to campus to teach.  C. finds this ridiculous and very Midwestern to his relaxed Southern ways of sleeping late and staying up even later. 

Groggy even with my coffee, I decided to take the day off from drafting and instead work on reading through the sickly speaker series and making notes on themes or images to bring back as the speaker heals.  I began.  I remembered that I still hadn't address the fact that there must be other patients there. I made a note about the wolves and geese from an early poem and the question of whether she will "escape" or "be released."  Then, whamo!, I got hit upside the head with "the courtyard" and remembered that in my delirium of struggling to the surface this morning I was thinking about a courtyard where the now healing sickly speaker is allowed to walk. 

And without willing it to happen, I started drafting a poem that combines the idea of the other patients and this courtyard. It begins:

Each day that I progress, I make some new
discovery. The fact is there are others here.

Not the most electric of openings compared to some of the others, but after describing the evidence of the other patients, the speaker moves on to describe the courtyard and her prescription of 20 minutes walking there each day. The other patients come back at the end.  This helped me find my way to the closure of the poem.  It's in a dozen couplets, and this time I didn't resist, as I've stayed away from them for the last handful of drafts.

The title was much harder.  I don't have any inspiration books on the desk since I'd cleared it off yesterday in order to set up the computer again, and I was resistant to getting up and pulling one off the shelf. That seemed like a crutch.  I wracked my brain.  I tried out some ill-fitting phrases and deleted them.  Finally, finally, my aching brain came up with "Let Loose in Blue and Green." 

The courtyard is high-walled and allows the speaker a larger square of sky than the window in her room.  Here's an image that comes close.  Imagine a carpet of lush grass at her feet.

from ~ click for link
Oh, I forgot to mention that before I started reading the series from the beginning, I did a count.  For some reason, I'm fixated on balancing the # of poems into two parts: the fever & the healing.  To date, I have 20 poems of fever and 16 poems of healing (with today's draft).  I also have the 4 definition poems I've worked on in the last 10 days.  Wow!

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