Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Drafting Days: Finding the Groove

76º ~ the air thickened with humidity, a quarter inch of rain yesterday, more on the horizon for today, the six-week-old sod rejoices, we humans struggle for breath

Dear Reader, I have done it. I have written 11 lines that I do not hate.

Blessed be the work of Lucie Brock-Broido who rarely fails me. Instead of listening to the no-voices today...well, after listening to them for two hours...I heaved myself up and said, "screw it...I'm going to write an 'Am' poem even though I know I've done one before ('June' from Blood Almanac), and even though I know I'm imitating the form found in Lucie Brock-Broido's 'Am Moor.'"

Here's the thing. The first time I read "Am Moor" in Davis McCombs' form & theory class at the University of Arkansas, the poem sang to me in that weird, connective voice. I bonded with it more than with any other poem in The Master Letters. Yes, it seems ego-centric to focus on the phrase "I am," but by excising the "I," the poem explodes into the mysterious mix of persona and poet.

So today, I started with all the things that I'm afraid of right this minute. No, I started out thinking I was writing about things that have me stressed today, having suffered a bout of "wild mind" at 2 a.m. and getting little sleep after that. Quickly, I realized that beneath those little stresses was a whole lot of fear. Once I cracked that door open, the poem unfolded.

This draft is teeny, tiny at only 11 lines, but the drafting of those lines felt like singing...stuttering while singing, but singing nonetheless. And if it takes writing several more "Am" poems in this fractured lyric form for me to discover whatever's coming next, then so be it. I'm tired of trying to think of something new.

PS: B-I-C works!

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