I like that Carrie Etter--who invited me to participate in the writing of a poem a day as part of this month's April Poetry Month project--on occasion sends out little emails saying "Hey, want to check in and leave a comment on my blog about how this is going for you?" (click HERE--CARRIE ETTER for her blog) It is not that I feel that excited by what I have to say, but that when I head over to her blog to leave my 2 cents in her comments space I find I enjoy reading about everyone else's successes or failures--that like me a few people have had to double up one day because another was missed, etc.
But I keep thinking about the nature of writing poems and blogging them or about them.The nature of private and shared space.
I have always felt that the rewords blog I co-founded and love posting on is this kind of a blog-space where the PLAY of poetry is at work, where play is prioritized, where Picasso's adage “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” is honored and the child is out in the blogosphere messing with language, unconcerned with issues of judgement--Rewords is a space where if what I have put down is completely stupid, flat, lame, in process, drafty, like a room with holes in it, that is ok. Like my poem of the day today, "Eurydice's Vision" which I posted on rewords despite my misgivings about it.
But when I think of putting poems out on blogs elsewhere, even here on my perso blog, I feel like I should manage something better--and then the genuine act of making gets caught up with what feels like to me an ingenuine act of performance. I personally do not want to dance for the crowd. Instead, in the writing, I feel like I want to peel open--myself, my ears, my vision, my body, my soul--if such a thing does exist.
There are different spaces of making for me, of creating--I believe in being a child and thus getting my hands dirty and tossing stuff round the room and collaging and enjoying the feeling of things emerging, converging. And yet I want also to touch something that is "[...] not a paraphrase or a metaphor for reality but a reality itself." For, in addition to that thought, as I am at the moment in the process also of re-reading Joseph Brodsky's essays on poetry, he reminds me that "The Poem has the quality of an uneasy dream, in which you gain something extremely valuable, only to lose it the very next moment." (On Grief & Reason, essays, Joseph Brodsky, FSG, NY, 1995, p386)
What is interesting is that in this essay, Brodsky argues that that getting at "a reality itself" comes from a poem "being a conscious act". There, at that point, is where our paths diverge.
For there is something of the conscious, of the lucid dream in really great moments of writing, in moments when you feel the language and you have merged and that what is emerging from you is genuine on every level--formal, narrative, expressive, etc. But it is a lucid dream which at the same time is perhaps changing course because a second driver steps in, takes over, surprises you, leaps out of the closet or rounds the corner--the line swerves, the old-fashioned meters and rhymes of many of the great lyric poets would diverge from their regularity at some crucial moment and that would make ALL of the difference.
For me, then, the conscious, that lucidity is lost magnificently buried in the subconscious. The dream-state takes over from the lucid me at moments, and the writing self lets it.
In a space of blogs, the internet, of sending the written writing straight out onto the pavement to get run down or perhaps lauded somehow hollows out that process. I guess what I am saying is that the poem remains for me a private act. The best poems take time--though the draft may be able to flop down onto the page one day, the tinkering that accompanies that first gesture often takes the poem to its reality. The child and the adult, the unconscious and the conscious, the lucid and the uneasy-out-of-control dream are both necessary for the poem to be.
I guess what I am saying is that though I love knowing we are many of us tossing words onto pages this month, giving parts of every day writing poems, that there will of course be a great difference between these drafts or notes for poems and final "Poems" with a capital P, if such things do exist.