Friday, July 15, 2011

sake for me

after downing most of a giant bottle of sake last night, i got through the reading okay. no major breakdowns. a few tears. but friends helped me through. i got some disconcerting news and am trying not to let it sideline me. life happens. every day.

today, i read. but first the three hour workshop where we'll focus on a poem from each of the poets. this can sometimes be brutal. i have been fortunate in that it has not exacted a bloody toll of my confidence. i have been pleasantly surprised that the prof has given me props for my stylistic choices.

why don't you use question marks,
she asked.

i think it is a prose convention. why is the question mark there question mark,
i replied.
whereas in poetry, if i say a question word, what, it is understood that it is a question.

fair enough. you're making rules.
she said.

the bottom line for me now is consistency. i have been told to use more spaces to indicate pauses and breaks and such. i know i need better control over the pacing of my poems and i told them that.

it's very hard,
i said,
to remove all punctuation from poems.

so today, after eight days of workshops and classes, being around writers and crying myself to sleep, i take the podium and show what i've got. of course i'm excited about this. i'm a natural reader. a literary exhibitionist.

i told one woman when we first arrived that i hadn't prepared for my lecture and she, being a public speaking teacher, unbeknownst to me at the time, after my lecture said,
you did prepare.

i told her,
i should have said, i didn't prepare in the manner in which others prepare.

you wounded me,
she said.

i'm sorry.

but we're good now. she's a poet who will likely remain in my life by the sheer forcefulness of her presence. i need bulldoggish people like that who won't scatter at the first sign of my needing space. because i need a lot of space.

i can see that about you,
she said,
that you need to be left alone.

then yesterday, my poetry professor said,
suzanne is being coy. she wants the reader to get it, she hopes the reader will get it but if the reader doesn't get it she won't change a thing. right suzanne?

i laughed,
of course!

i don't know what will come of this. i don't know how it works out. where i will end up. what job is coming to me. but i'm ready to launch out.

and when i saw another poet, ready to quit, two days left in the program, it helped me feel like i am not a lone. not a complete basket case for struggling through this as i have. each residency has been a struggle for me, this one no less. the writing part this time has been joyous.

today we do kissing cobras, a poem of mine that i know could stand some tweaking.

how will it go

i don't know. it's a mystery.

but i trust it will be well. and when i take the podium this afternoon, i know it will be well.

1 comment:

Rakeem said...

Emotional you are , i like it. You have no difficulties of showing them either , i think your emotions is the soul of your poetry.