October Poetry-a-Thon On the March!

Yes, this is exactly what it's like

Yes, this is exactly what it's like

Five poems in five days, so far so good, my mind only slightly feels like warmed-over Velveeta.

Frankly, I don’t know how the others are doing it. Frankly, I’m not sure how I’m doing it.

Frankly, that last sentence was probably a lie.

I write on college-ruled paper in a three-ring binder. As I write poems, I keep the most recent moved up to the front so that if I want I can look back through my most immediate poetic progression. I often get ideas for poems from quotes or anecdotes and sometimes also get inspired by a title. The back section of the binder is a collection of all these spurs, many of which have been there for years (the poem I wrote a few days ago — “All My Friends are There” — was inspired from a fragment overheard in 2003).

Which is to say that I have a backlog, and National Write-a-Poem-a-Day Month (also called Poctober) is a way for me to forcibly cleanse my mind of those ideas, that otherwise might stay there, stagnating, taking up room, eating my food, all without ever giving anything back.

What I’ve been surprised by most so far is that the poems have taken life after I’ve started them (knock on plasma), no matter how ill at ease I felt when setting down the first line (or continuing one that was already there). Most likely, a lot of the poems resulting from this month will overlap in terms of images and interests, themes and memes; but, on the other page, what I find happening already is a drive to move beyond what I’ve been doing, which is easier to do since the previous work is right there, before me.

Not far beyond, but toeing over the line, definitely. And the water’s cold.

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