Monday, April 8, 2013

Draft Process: An Alternate End to the Story

65º ~ hello spring

Just a quick note to say that even though I tried to draft over the weekend, nothing came of it except a bunch of terrible lines more prose than poetry.  And then, this morning, I was reading my blog feed and stumbled on Verbatim's post of "Four Trees Quartet."  Verbatim is a site for found poems, in this case, a set of poems built from lines in a field guide to trees.  Of course, this was right up my alley.  As I read, I kept coming back to the last line of "Eastern Hemlock," "as fuel, the wood throws sparks."  Eventually, I had to copy that line into my journal, and then more lines followed of my own.

This weekend, I kept trying to draft about the fact that there is a girl missing here in Arkansas.  Her stepfather was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound but so far, she has not been found.  At the beginning, the searches met daily; now it is on the weekends and holidays.  Let me say this: I do not want to write about this girl, this tragedy, but she keeps turning up.  I've seen too many of these stories unfold to hold out much hope for a happy ending, so I kept wanting to write her an alternate ending, an ending of power.

That's what happened this morning.

Still, I do not know if this poem will go beyond this draft.  I do not know if this is my story to tell.  I do not know if this is exploiting the girl in question.  I only know the draft had to be written.


Tara Mae Mulroy said...

How sad to read this. It's so strange when these external make such waves in our writing...I'd be interested to read what you come up with!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Tara Mae.

John Vanderslice said...

Go for it, Sandy. If you feel so moved, maybe it is your story to write.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, John.