Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

time and distance

words

courtesy Google

I’m working (hard) on a chapbook manuscript. Which is to say, I’m going over work I did — some of it a while ago — line by line, word by word, space by line break by punctuation mark.

I hate it.

But it’s become the metaphor of my week: revision. Or, if you prefer, re-framing. Because that’s what writing allows us to do: reframe our stories.  Revise and thus reframe our lives. Even fiction is, always, at least a foggy window into the writer.

Advertisement

revision

courtesy Google

My publisher said I need to work on ‘sequencing.’ For those of you who don’t do poetry, that’s which poem follows which, and the underlying ‘why.’ I’m pretty good at that for others, not so much myself. Kind of the way we can always give advice to someone else, but often would no more do that ourselves than … well, you know.

Advertisement

It’s taken time for me to disengage from each poem enough to query it. Time, in this case, = distance. At least a bit of objectivity. The newer pieces still seem better than the older ones, because what you’ve recently written is like that. The same way the actions of my recent past are far more difficult to evaluate clearly: I have neither time passed nor distance.

book pile

courtesy Google

Advertisement

But as I try to figure out why I wrote each poem — which helps me figure out the whole ‘sequencing’ thing — I’m learning how to look more closely at even the trivia of my everyday life. I’m better able see the whole picture: not just the overflowing box of books in the living room, but why it’s been so important, lately, to clear out junk (even beloved junk, like poetry books from my dissertation, and old fiction). Why it only really feels like spring when we put the table umbrella up over the deck table. Why I don’t work harder on ‘real’ exercise… :)

All of this is by way of saying that once you start revising/ asking ‘why’…? Well, you’re doomed. Your life begins to unfurl like a skein of impossibly tangled but beautiful ribbon. And when you start following it, it leads everywhere. It may just take a little time to get your bearings.

Previous Posts

reward, benefits, and roses
This is what I'm focusing on right now. NOT my aching back (from weeding all yesterday morning.) NOT the front beds, still to be done. NOT the sad meeting ...

posted 4:34:22pm May. 05, 2015 | read full post »

talking, listening, and pretending to engage
Yesterday I spent far more time than I'm comfortable confessing on the FB wall of a colleague (& friend). It was a discussion (as many are these days) ...

posted 5:05:32pm May. 04, 2015 | read full post »

planting my own Farmer's Market
Like I do most Saturdays, I spent the early morning hours yesterday at the Farmer's Market. The gay profusion in my driver's seat is two bouquets (one ...

posted 12:26:51pm May. 03, 2015 | read full post »

bees, and the persistence of hope
The bee house is up! As a beekeep wannabe from waaaay back (decades -- really), I can't begin to say how happy I am. My beloved bought me a native bee ...

posted 6:19:43pm Apr. 30, 2015 | read full post »

passion vs anger, and poetry to bank the wrong fires
While I'm passionate about many things (politics, tea, food, books, poetry...), I usually only get really angry about a few things. The main one is mean ...

posted 9:18:10pm Apr. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.