Monday, March 28, 2011

On the Spot Poetry Marathon

If there are any poets out there who go through an impasse, can't get back in the groove, couldn't find a metaphor if it walked right past you like the girl in the red dress, then I make a recommendation.  A spontaneous poetry challenge.  I was chatting online with my long time writing partner, Brian (I've known him for ten years, we've been having writing meetings of over 5 years) who has moved from South Carolina to Durham, NC. 
He happened to mention he'd written a poem a month or so ago.  Right now he doesn't have time for writing with his heavy course load in college where he's going for a degree in ancient languages.  So I encouraged  him to send it on.  I read it while he waited. Then I reminded a half finished poem I'd written a few months ago.  So I went and dug it out, rewrote it and forwarded it to him along with my comments to him. This started a marathon which is still going on!
Wow.  His first offering was the beginning of an epic poem, The Bastards of Amon.  It was so powerful, so rich in texture and imagery, language and emotion, I was inspired.  By the end of the weekend I completed the first poem and wrote two more. I also started the layout out a poetry chap I've had in mind for over a year. And to top it off,  I started a beeswax collage for the cover of  Lunar Moth Lessons.  I haven't produced a poetry book for two or three years so this is a miracle in itself.
Brian has now written four parts to his poem and I feel as if I'm back in my writing group, where the tangential conversations lead into everything from politics, to philosophy, language and word, duende and awareness, each exchange driving us onward to renewed efforts and different insights charged up by the emotion put forth in the poems.  It is very different from our usual methods where we had at least a week to review and critique each other's work and to produce something new, a poem, a chapter, a story.  I don't know if we ever would have thought of this other than in such a spontaneous matter.
Now I feel like a poet again - it;'s been a long and lonely time as far as that goes.  And it feels very rewarding to be back on track. 

1 comment:

  1. As someone who doesn't consider herself especially spontaneous, I'm still a huge advocate of spontaneity in art. We have to give the muse opportunities to bust out of the old ruts. Nothing like shaking up the normal routine to make that happen!


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