Dawn to dusk, it was a mix—encouraging, discouraging, the gamut. At certain times today, I questioned my learning abilities, my abilities in general, and even my self-worth.
Poems get lost. Over the years, many of mine have disappeared due to computer crashes, lost flash drives, and other kinds of accident or neglect. I steward them better now, such as by posting them online.
Rarely, a poem finds its way back to me from the void, such as when found on a scrap of paper tucked in a notebook. I’ll share one of those poems in a minute (below).
Tools and Fools
“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.”
~ Richard Bach
Poets should avoid rhyming dictionaries like a pestilence*, I used to think. These “aids” too easily form a crutch, distract, or lead astray. Instead, poets should develop access to their abundant internal writing resources.
A music video converted me from this foolishness. It featured lyrics by Leonard Cohen and showed that one of this renowned poet-musician’s favored tools was a rhyming dictionary. Immediately after discovering this, I abandoned my self-imposed rule of avoidance.
The switch initiated some learning: Continue reading
Pop That Hood … Again!
This is another way poems come…
At a business meeting this week, a friend unwitting said something stunning and I made sure to remember her two key words. Later that day, I retrieved the memory, chose a rhyming word, and—in less than a minute—had this poem:
Love, Writing and Love of Writing
Some poems come instantly.
Others come as a spark that has to be instantly kindled. Still others are like sand-castles-in-the-making on a shore; the vision must be held and refined intensely all the while the tide recedes.
Artists (and others) who love their work understand the meditative suspension of time and distraction that occurs in “the zone.” Whole days can be absorbed in that state. Of the two poems that follow, the first came quickly (though not instantly) and the second took a good bit of post-construction. Continue reading
Pens, Pencils, Computers
When the U.S. first planned to send its astronauts up into realms of zero-gravity (I’ve heard), they spent mounds of money designing special pens that would operate there. The Russians, sensibly, sent their cosmonauts up with pencils.
Pencils are my favorite writing tools, especially when I write in bed at night with legs drawn up and tablet propped against them. Ballpoint ink doesn’t flow at the near-horizontal angle this arrangement requires. Years ago, I kept a journal in a hand-made book that was made of a luscious high-grade soft archival paper. I used a porous fiber tipped LePen, which I considered equally luscious. That writing experience was sensually and emotionally satisfying, in part because I recorded so many dreams (literal) and aspirations.
If you’ve ever begun to pay close attention to your dreams, you know that you soon have enormous quantities of material. One memorable night’s dream transported me to an art gallery on a foreign planet. Items on display there were wildly unusual, exquisitely beautiful, and ingeniously made.
Computers are good tools … when you have them. Ethan’s notebook was in the shop last week; mine is there now. This is being written at a computer station in a local wellness center. I figure if I don’t find ways to keep involved with this blog, it will lapse. (My poems have, on occasion.)
Regretfully, Ethan’s notebook doesn’t accommodate my camera’s flash drive, so if I add photos to this post they will come from another source. In that case, I may just pick ones that are eye-catching rather than topical; I think everyone knows what a pencil looks like.
Penciling You In
Basically, I’m just touching base with friends of this blog. I think I have one reader so far … an immensely valued one. Wait—make that two, plus Kate who’s made the only non-spam comment so far. Bless you all, and future readers as well. ~ ♥Jo
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