30/30: Day Nine

Today's poem comes from a prompt from Kundiman's Fireside: A Poetry Blog, written by dear friend and damn fine poet, Jane Wong:

 ...write a poem that includes the following, in order: 

  • A snail under a leaf
  • An overturned cabinet
  • Rush hour
  • Forgiveness is not an option
  • Wrecking ball
  • Cooling down


As you might notice from my response to this prompt, I'm a big fan of catalog; it's sort of a crutch. One of the aims of the 30/30 project is to try new things, to stretch, to let the crutches fall; however, I'm finding the daily grind to be new and stretching enough at the moment.

But, back to catalog, and more specifically, objects. Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of listening to Major Jackson talk about metaphor at Seattle's Hugo House. He had us do an exercise, creating a personal symbology of sorts: 


If you were to catalog the concrete landscape that comprises you; if someone were to paint a portrait of you--what would they include in the picture? Write down objects, images, concrete things.  Then, go back and write down the emotion or attachment you would assign to each thing. 


It was interesting to hear people's objects and associations (of course, the only I can remember now is "a sand pail = alienation" because that is such a different association than the one I have with a "sand pail," which is "joy" or "innocence").  Some of associations from that day:


koi pond = loss / love

a dancefloor flooded with discoball petals = exhilaration / sex

a cul de sac of equidistant houses = safety / frustration

I find exercises like this and prompts like Jane's generative and illustrative: the play, the interest happens within the spaces between our associative leaps from object to concept to object.   

30/30: Day Seven

Waaaaah, today is the first day I've sent a poem so late! Don't know that it's posted yet...but look for Day 7 coming at you! 

For today: I blame the sun. The sun distracted me and lead me to the park and held me captive in its glorious light and there, I wrote lines and lines, and read and slept, but have only now made it back to my computer to send a poem and to write this here little post. 

The prompts for today's poem are several:

  • instructional French postcards
  • On Denny, here in Seattle, there's an open construction site and big signs that say: THIS IS NOT A GENTLE POEM.
  • the blazon
  • the stories I keep hearing from women who've experienced emotional/physical/psychological abuse

I'd say this poem has potential...this brings up another challenge of the 30/30 project: I NEED MORE TIME! I would've loved to have more time to spend with this poem (and I will, later) before sending it out into the world. But. Such is this project. 

Speaking of the project--thanks so much for donating, folks! Your support in this endeavor means so much. 

And, if you're (still) enjoying my adventures in daily poem-ing, please consider becoming a friend of Tupelo Press: you can donate in my name and sponsor me in this poetry marathon in a couple of different ways:

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And, give them your address anyway because for every person who donates in my name, I'll mail you a landscape / heartbreak postcard with my sincerest thanks! 


30/30: Day Five

Man, it is HARD to write on the weekend when you've been writing all week! 

I think I am more of a fan of today's poem than I've been of my past couple. My ma's suggestions were really generative, though, I'm gonna be honest, don't know that she'll actually like this poem. Haha, I'm sure she'll let me know either way. I'll let you know. 

Have had a lovely day so far, full of Long Walk lady friend dates: climbing and yoga with Joanna Lepore, of Tenacious Instinct; coffee and walk, with friend and Short Run organizer, Eroyn (landscape / heartbreak will be a part of Short Run 2014! More details, soon!) and later today, poet-date with Jennifer Towner--maybe I'll post some of our collaborations later today!

A main challenge for this month, as today seems to be proving, is how to create space for myself to reflect and compose as I continue to say yes to social and creative projects and get-togethers. Actually, this is one of my biggest challenges in general; I am often overly busy. There's always a reading or lecture or karaoke night or conversation or opening I want to be a part of. There's always a lovely friend I want to have brunch/lunch/dinner/coffee/drinks with.

I used to conceive of busy-ness as an indicator of significance or success in being a part of several communities ...but really, it's just reflective of my (over?)excitement for so many people. Also: my inability to say no. 

All good problems to have, but, busy social schedule + writing a poem everyday = challenges. Especially on the weekends.