June 13, 2009

Selected Poems

When I decided this yesterday, it seemed like a wonderful idea. What better way to improve my writing than to write? I had written a couple poems last night, when I realized the spaces between the last ones were a month or more. A book of poetry has a hard enough time being published, and it usually consists of more than fifteen or twenty pages. Thinking it would be a good way to discipline myself and get more practice, I resolved to write a poem every day for the next year.

I already feel that this was a foolish decision. It was made in the heat of the moment, and deciding anything while you're in a creative fit is just as bad as doing it while you're roaring drunk or in the middle of sex. There were so many opportunities for a beginning- a strange brown dog bounding up my stairs and getting tangled on everything, the music from a band playing down the street, the noise of the carpenters working endlessly on a nearby house, or even the farmer's market. If I would have felt inspired at all, I could have done something with any of those. But feeling like I had homework due zapped every imaginative word from me. If it's this hard on day one, it is worrisome. I begin to question whether being a writer could be a good choice if I crumble at a one-day, self-made deadline.

Anyway, I wrote the stupid poem. I hate it, just like I knew I would. Maybe, with time, I can muster up better-matched words to go along with my feelings. I'm done with it for today, though, and feel relieved it's over with like a trip to the dentist.

You never really turn off being a writer, unfortunately. An invisible pen sticks as close by your side as your shadow. Everywhere you go, everything you see, and everyone you meet gets scrap booked into your memory to pull from when you need it. Sometimes it's the greatest skill you possess-other times, it's annoying as hell. There's only one thing that dims the switch for me, and that is a good drink. So, I will put on a pink strapless dress, walk down the street to an outdoor concert, and have that drink.

Sometimes writers need vacations from themselves.

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