Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day Four: Draft-a-day

75 deg ~ summer rains on and off all day, breezy, grayish day

Well, what happened to Day Three, you ask, Dear Readers.  Day Three was a bit of a wash.  I woke early enough but I never wakened fully all day.  There was coffee.  There was sugar.  Neither could conquer my drowsiness.  I felt drugged all day, despite having been off the painkillers and sleeping pills for a full week.  I did put in the time at the desk, although my back was not in a happy mood (it's hard to adjust to the fact that I'll have some bad days here and there while I'm rebuilding the strength in my back...I used to take for granted sitting in front of the computer for long hours). 

I had one of those writing days I'd predicted.  I read some first and then struggled to draft a few lines here and there...lines I thought wholly unconnected at the time.  This photo is of Lou-Lou agreeing with me that we should just go back to bed, which we did at 10:00 a.m.  (Believe me, I know I am blessed with this summer schedule.  I do not take it for granted, but I also know I earned it and I do not apologize for it).

Day Four arrived in total opposition to Day Three.  I slept well and I slept long.  I woke up with clear eyes, a clear mind, and great energy.  I brewed my coffee and skipped the sugar, and although I burned my tongue, I knew it would be a good day.  I opened my journal to the lines from yesterday, and like a puzzle, the pieces snapped into place.  The cover of the catalogue of the Bruce Metcalf show was sitting beside my arm.  The cover image is a detail of the work shown here:  "Deliverance from a Gilded Cage." (Photo from this article at the Traditional Fine Arts Organization's website.)  The poem took shape in response to this piece, but not necessarily as an ekphrastic poem.  Aside from there being a gilded cage (I know, I know, risky, right?) in the first line, there is little else taken directly from the visual of the piece.  It is more a response to the mood/ emotion/ feeling/ whatchamacallit of the art.  Is there a word for that type of poetry? 

In any case, I ended up with a poem titled "This is Not my Body, This Body That Refuses."  (Are you detecting a theme, Dear Reader?)  I had originally scribbled those phrases as two lines for a poem.  This morning, I saw them instantly as the title that went with some other lines I'd eked out yesterday.  I had about 1/4 of the poem from yesterday's misery.  Today, I added and elaborated.  I ended up with another couplet poem, but of shorter lines.  However, I also have a new form going on (new for me).  Half of the couplets are from a first-person speaker.  These are left-aligned.  After each "I" couplet, there is a response from a chorus type of speaker, sometimes responding to the speaker, sometimes telling the audience something the speaker might not want revealed.  This response is also a couplet and indented one tab.  I kind of like it, but the whole thing seems much more fragile than the poems I wrote on days One and Two.

So there you have it, I'm 3 of 4 so far, with 10 days to go.  Thanks for accompanying me on the trip, Dear (sensitive) Reader.


Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

What an interesting sounding form!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Kristin, thanks! I only hope I still like it in a few weeks when it comes time to revise.

Anne Greenwood said...

The title of that poem has inspired me so much Sandy. I am going to set up a bed-studio to watercolor and draw. I can always get new sheets, and take breaks. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Oh Anne. Feel better soon!