My hands lift, juggle, balance, hold —
what I’m here for,
what you expect.
that I won’t drop
The “dumb and divine stumbling” continues.¹ Things I am thinking:
- Part of me wants to just throw these poems up here and forego the disclaimers, but I can’t seem to do it. Talking about my process seems to be part of parcel of learning this form, of learning this new way to string my words together. Talking about the difficulty I’m having actually seems to help me see new ways to approach the form.
- I am always and always saying that I’m not a poet. And I mean it when I say that, but I’m getting tired of hearing it. Okay, so I’m not a poet, but I’m clearly invested in writing poetry, so I need to forget about labels and just do the work.
- My mom scolded me over the weekend for talking disparagingly about my poetry. She reminded me that I used to write poems all the time. “Bad poems,” I said. “Or good greeting card poems.” And that’s a really obnoxious thing to say. Don’t I look for “good greeting card poems” all the time when I’m … yes, of course … shopping for greeting cards? I read for the things that move or amuse me, clearly finding some more powerful and effective than others, clearly assigning such judgmental labels as “good” to some and not others. Why is it so easy to dismiss that writing because it’s used commercially? And my claim is probably not true, in any case. I can’t imagine any company — no matter how edgy or dysfunctional — that would have taken even one of my morose and melancholy high school poems and printed them on fancy card stock with a fancy price tag!
- I need to remember that there are people who will only see this one post, who won’t look back to find out that this is a Zeno poem, to find out that I’m trying to write a Zeno all April long, who won’t know what the rules of the form are … so I need to remember to include that info every day without annoying myself or the people who read here more regularly.²
- I fell asleep before hitting “publish” on this post. So I am agonizing over whether it’s dishonest to back-date it to the day I actuallywrote it (which is now yesterday already) or just put it up now and not be so ridiculous. As you can see, I continue to be ridiculous.
¹ This is lifted and twisted from “The Seed at Zero,” a favorite Dylan Thomas poem.
² A Zeno has 10 lines. Syllables = 8/4/2/1/4/2/1/4/2/1. Rhyme scheme = a/b/c/d/e/f/d/g/h/d.