Friday, December 24, 2010

The Editing Project: Imagist Poems

Did you know I used to write poetry? A lot of it? I once fancied "professional poet" as a potential career for myself. In fact, a creative writing teacher once told me that I was one of the best poets she'd ever taught, but I should "give up" on prose. Of course I didn't follow that last piece of advice.

I do not know when or why I stopped having time to write poetry. I don't feel that I really lost the inspiration, just that I stopped making time for it. I will always be creating something, and for the past four or five years, it's just been things other than poetry.

I found myself digging through my LiveJournal archives, and no, you can't have the link, trying to find some of the "imagist" poems I wrote for an advanced workshop in college with a professor who was somewhat famous.

As an aside, the icon of my LiveJournal is a picture of me taken at a toga party when I was 20. I was also three dress sizes smaller than I am now. In that photo, I am cute. But you know what? When I was 20, I was dumb, or at least my writing indicates as much. 20 sucked. Looking that cute but being that dumb is a state I'd never want to revisit. I hope I don't look back in six years and say the same thing about myself now.

Anyway. The second post in this blog described my first planned writing exercise, which I apparently did, but never posted.

Also this comp is weird and sometimes it stops displaying what I'm typing. So I jsut keep typing until I see the whole thing appear on teh screen, this is why i have so many typos and I'm sorry I am not going to go back and fix them all. Yo u know what it is supoposed to say. Look there it goes again. I can't see what I'm typing right now. [That explains the lack of editing!]

...

Since I left my Wild Mind book in New Brunswick and I am in [my hometown] now, I am making up an assignment. I want my prose to be funny, yes,but also poetic. My poetry when I actually write it, has always been complimented for its imagery and I think people when they read my pathetic prose like that it has pretty flowery detailed imagery. So, to work on this and to get back into hte habit of writing poems, I am going to use an assignment I had to do for my advanced workshop last semester--the professor had us write a series of short imagist poems, three to five lines, and I was actually really freaking good at it. I am going to, tomorrow, write a poem for every room or otherwise worthwhile location I am in. Even if it's something dumb, like the bathroom. Off the top of my head, I can write one for :
1) MY house in [my hometown] (will probably skip this bnecause I'll be toos tressed for final exam tomororw morning at 9 AM)
2) My car
3) Route 287 and other roads on wany to exam.
4) The Greenhouse where I am taking my exam
5) Every room in my apartment
6) Ooh! the nice walk from the greenhoues to the apartment (except I am driving since I'm getting some plants)
7) Route 1
8) Thai restuarant Angela and I are checking out tomorrow
[I remember this day! The Thai restaurant was CLOSED! As in, forever closed! It was Jasmine Thai on...?Church Street? or Paterson Street, for those of you who are interested.]9) Physics lecture hall for Physics exam review?
Maybe this isn't such a good idea. But you know what, you have to write crap in order to write good stuff.

When I read this, I thought, "That's right! I was really freaking good at those imagist poems. Where are they?"

They aren't on this computer. They're on my external hard drive IN PORTLAND. And you know how it is, when you have insomnia and are on the Internet. There's this immediacy to everything; you must have that piece of text RIGHTNOW. So I went back, back in time...to LiveJournal. I found a few!

November Poems

Sunday Morning

The forest is only one color:
that specific gray-brown.
The bark reflects the light,
the sun beats into the forest
uninhibited, unobstructed.
The dense heads of leaves now disintegrated,
floor of dry, fallen leaves looks
like copper, reflecting sunlight.

Only the walls of rock remain unchanged:
  still blanketed in thin green moss
illuminated now.

The forest invites me into its
enfoldings
but I must turn away.

It looks at me again, inviting;
I sadly decline.

Monday Afternoon

Alligator Mountain
looks like an old dog
—matted golden-red hair
patches missing.

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