Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NaPoWriMo, Day 6: Heady Optimism

Six days, six poems. So far, more or less so good. I haven’t spent too long staring at the blank page, and I haven’t flat-out forgotten to write a poem yet (though the month is still young). And I haven’t had to rouse myself out of bed at 11:45 p.m. to dash one off and post it. I did have to break out the emergency haiku kit two nights ago, when nothing longer wanted to take root. When backed into a corner, I always say, write a few haikus. They’re short, they’re harder than they look, and they still count as poems.

Yesterday, in the interests of expediency, I even wrote a poem on the computer. I never, ever do that—the process of writing on a keyboard is too fast for my poet brain to work with. I need the slow pace of pen on paper—the extra milliseconds before the thought makes it out the end of the pen give the internal editor time to rewrite the line about to form. Consequently, the poem yesterday on the computer was sort of stream-of-consciousness. It was different. I liked it.

As often happens when I’m writing a lot, I’ve started writing a cycle—this time, it’s poems based on fiddle tunes. I wrote two before I realized it could be a cycle, and then I thought, “Hey, I’ll do that.” It seems like fertile ground, these songs steeped in history and hard times. Cycles are often a good way for me to get out of a writing funk, but it’s hard to find themes. But then, when I’m in mid-cycle, I can think of all kinds of other cycles I’d like to write, such as types of fences, parts of ant anatomy, or names of Caribbean islands.

Meanwhile, my cat Deja is dozing contentedly in his little blue cat tent, which I bought at Ikea about four years ago. He used to venture into it once in a while, but he would never stay. The other day, I finally figured out the key—I put a folded towel in there. I swear, if you put a towel on anything, Deja thinks it’s the best thing ever. So now he’s curled up in there, having claimed the Ikea tent for Dejadom. It’s a small kingdom, but he rules it with the power of snore.

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