Revision & Poetry

Revision & Poetry

Well, this is embarrassing. I haven’t been updating like I should. I have let things get in the way of writing for me again. That changes today. For those who know me, I’m somewhat a perfectionist when it comes to sharing my writing. I need to work on being more candid on my blog, because that’s what it’s for, right? So, here we go again. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. :)

I am in a poetry course this semester, studying under the Indiana Poet Laureate. Thus far, this class has helped me change the way I view writing poetry. I’m becoming unafraid to share my works-in-progress, and learning to better embrace critical feedback. Last night, we were discussing readings about revision. A few things grabbed my attention, but especially the notion that we have to stop being nice and sweet throughout our poems. This is me, completely. My poems are generally whimsical and fluffy and nice, leaving me with either a longing or a warm, fuzzy feeling. But sometimes we need that harsh reality to shine through. That darkness is everywhere in our lives, and we shouldn’t sugarcoat it when we share our experiences with others by way of writing. We have to stop letting our good manners get in the way of being raw and rude. Our poems can mean so much more if they have that bite or sting. That means it’s real. If it provokes emotion, then we’re on our way to a good poem.

Revising is something I’ve talked a lot about on here in the past.
TL;DR:
I revise as I go and that’s kinda bad for my writing.

I need to learn “first vision, then revision” (wise words by Lynn Emanuel in her piece “In Praise of Malice: Thoughts on Revision”). The idea of getting it out on the page without trying to revise immediately is key. I’m beginning to learn that I need to put a piece of writing away for some time before revising it, because the person I was when I wrote that poem is not who I am now, in this moment… or even five minutes from now. Something new will come along, either through education or experience, and I can apply that to an editing/revising session down the road. In fact, I pulled out a poem I wrote 12-13 years ago for our “X-Treme Revision” process in my class. I read through it and like the thought of it… but my age shows in my writing. I look forward to sharing it later after I complete this process with my class.

There is another poem I am working on for our packet project – this basically is an assignment that will track our revision process. As a class, we all took an oath to revise this one piece of work over the course of a week for a minimum of one hour each day. I will be tracking my progress and will probably scan my revisions so I have them saved electronically – I will be glad to share with you. I always enjoy seeing how others revise or get from one point to the next with their writing, so I hope you will find something useful out of my experience. Also… I urge you to give me feedback – I want to know what you think of my work. Tell if if it sucks, tell me what I need to work on, tell me what you’d change if you were the author… I don’t like hearing “this is great, don’t change a thing!” (See my earlier post on peer response sessions.) Side/end note: one thing I struggle with when it comes to poetry is knowing when it is done. When do you stop revising a poem? When do you call it done? I don’t have an answer for this yet, but I hope to get closer as my poetry improves.

Revision & Poetry

Writer Wednesday

For Writer Wednesday, I wanted to share a poem I wrote a while back with you. As always, feedback is encouraged!

Make Yourself

Make yourself – no one else can. Run away
if you must, with intentions to move
forward, never looking back. Let your dreams
be snatched away. Kiss love goodbye
by not abandoning future endeavors down a
heart-bursting path. Compose your life
in a single line, only to live by those words.
Know it is okay to disappear.

Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday

Thunderstorms have always helped get my creative juices flowing. Lucky for me, a nice storm came passing through this evening. I was inspired by this and Writer Wednesday to pen some poetry. Enjoy. :)

Thunder roars above,
lightning streaks across the night sky,
Rain begins to fall.

Listening to rain
slowly hitting the pavement
relaxes my mind.

The sky opens up
for a midsummer cool down,
providing comfort.

The rain drops heavy
while the wind picks up a notch,
Clearing out our troubles.

Thunder and lightning,
dark clouds hover above us.
Rain drenches the earth.

This is for my dMb family.

This is for my dMb family.

Dearest dMb family,

I wrote this prosy poem last semester, and wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy, and I can’t wait to see some of you on the next tour.

Peace, Love, and dMb forever!

Seek Up An Emotion

The melody floats above the crowd, creating an audible sculpture that drenches the earth with love. The bass keeps us pulsating, and the strings slide with such grace. While the snare echoes in the fog, the Taylor drips with deep emotion. A mellow note from the saxophone softens the mood. Coming together, they fill the souls of “five billion proud.” Letting the music flow through our veins, the dancing silhouettes become one shadow. At this moment, our lives are suddenly swept away.

vexatious adoration

vexatious adoration

a perfect stencil
drawn by hand
scrawled onto the
blank canvas of my back
the hum of the gun
needle drenched in
a deep sky blue
anxiety flows
until it touches
my skin

a cat scratch
a bad scrape
the pain is nothing
and everything
solidifying the
connection
between me
and my conviction

Originally published in the Fall 2009 issue of genesis – The Art and Literary Magazine of IUPUI