30/30: Day Twenty-Three

I AM SO TIRED.

I got up so early yesterday and then didn't go to bed until quite late. So, today's poem was completely written today and rather late in the day after I got home from work. 

Still, I had fun writing it because it was a fun prompt from fellow Kundiman Fellow, W. Todd Kaneko:

Find a video of some kind of verbal presentation—a speech or an interview or professional wrestling promo—whatever. Watch it over and over and over. Rewrite it using images, but without using any of the language of the original.  

Because I am so tired and because I was intrigued by the screenshot/preview of the video posted on the below the prompt, before Todd's poem, I simply watched this over and over and over: 

...and wrote today's poem, "God Bless Luna Vachon," dedicated to Todd for the prompt and the welcome discovery of Ms. Vachon. I actually didn't read his poem until after I had written mine, so it's interesting to see our different responses and approaches to the magic of Luna. 

Todd's book, The Dead Wrestler Elegies, drops Fall 2014. Ya'll should check out his amazingly link-filled answer to Iris Law's question (seriously, I just learned so much about pro wrestling) and his awesome poem (way way way more awesome than my poem) on Ms. Luna Vachon at the Kundiman Fireside Poetry Blog. 

I don't know if the poem will be posted today, since I am sending it so late (especially for EST), so here is a stanza from "God Bless Luna Vachon" to whet your appetite: 

She recalls a painted scene

somewhere between dungeon

and boudoir:

                    gown of skin,

                    gown of sinew.

 

Ok. I've had a long-ass day. Time for True Detective and tea. 

 

30/30: Day Twenty-One and Day Twenty-Two!

Day Twenty-One:

Oh, sh*t, ya'll. I missed a day blogging. 

I did have a poem up for Day Twenty-One, but couldn't manage the time to blog until today. For Day Twenty-One, I was tasked with writing a poem in response to Pablo Neruda. I chose to compose a cento--a poem composed of passages taken from other authors, rearranged in a new form. I don't know if this is "technically" a cento, since it's taken solely from Neruda; however, it was created from several of his poems. 

Ok. Truth time. I'm gonna confess. I phoned Day Twenty-One in a bit. I was away, I was relaxing, I was tired, I...could go on. I lazily read some Neruda online (and I say this, sheepishly--I love Pablo Neruda; one of my first "ah-ha" moments in my relationship with poetry was as a freshman in high school reading this book of translations given to me by a friend on some church trip. I remember feeling like I found an old and new friend. I underlined and starred so many lines of that book.)  I then copied and pasted diction and syntax and subject that crackled for me from several poems. All collated onto my computer and I then played around with the lines. It felt something like, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure / Poetry-By-Number. Not normally the way I compose, nor a "poem" I'm particularly proud of. Still, something, everyday, as I promised for the month of April. 

Crazy! Only eight days left. I am sad to think of that now, but I have a feeling by the end I will be relieved. This week is a little nuts with work / social engagements. Somehow, eight poems will be written. 


Day Twenty-Two:

Got home late from my flight and slept like the dead at 11 PM...only to wake at 4 this morning. Upon tossing around until 4:45, I decided to just get up and start writing. Poem for Day 22! I've sent it in, but not sure when it will be posted. I titled it, "Usually Beauty Fails," the name taken from a show I saw with my friends Tessa, Eric, and Emily Jo at On The Boards here in Seattle, back in January. Tessa and Eric have been writing reviews/responses for the OTB blog on each of the shows this season. They always come up with interesting modes and means of response; such as this; it's smart and thoughtful and funny. You should read the whole thing. Also, at the end, you can follow a link to a video of my reading, in "bad poet voice," the one-liners from that evening of processing the show. 

In the wee, still-dark hours of this morning, I was looking at the beginning of my latest notebook and found my own response to the Usually Beauty Fails. So, I played around with lines and, well, it's not a finished poem, methinks, but there are interesting things happening. I'm going to try to stretch my engagement with the medium of blogging, by using links, images, and GIFs to illustrate the haps in my brain this morning as wrote today's poem. 

In addition to lines from my ekphrastic response to the show and lines of narrative and imagery from some heartbreak walks:

 


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:

  • Subscribe to Tupelo Press! This is kind of an amazing deal: 9 books for $99 and they pay the shipping. You can choose a curated series or create your own personalized list of any 9 Tupelo Press titles. (THIS WOULD BE AN AWESOME GIFT.) Be sure to put my name in the "comments" field if you choose this option. 
  • Complete the Tupelo Press Donation Form. Be sure to put my name in the "honor" field if you choose this option. You can write this off on your taxes!
  • Donate Using Pay Pal, by clicking the orange "Quick Donation via PayPal" button on this page. Be sure to put my name in the "message" field. 

For each option, please be sure to include my name so that I get credit for your sponsorship. If you would like a tax receipt, you should provide your mailing address. 

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

30/30: Day Twenty

If you celebrate, Happy Easter.

Today's poem is a second poem on kinstukuroi; I wrote a first one on Day Fifteen. I find it an art form so rich for metaphor and so provoking for my imagination that I meditated upon it twice.

It's interesting how each day of 30/30 is a marker for my life in the moment, too. That seems obvious, but I didn't think it would be quite such a stark record; it's weird to look back at the last twenty days of poems and track my emotional and mental states that way. 

Can't really believe I only have ten days left! In a way, this makes me sad. I wonder if I can or will carry this daily practice forward. I appreciate so much the way the 30/30 project has forced me to write a new piece everyday. It's affected my movement through the world. I have been different: I'm more observant, on the hunt for material, but I am also more open and reflective. 

Kazim Ali's  Fasting for Ramadan .      

Kazim Ali's Fasting for Ramadan.

 

 

Though I haven't mentioned it in sometime, Kazim Ali's Fasting for Ramadan, has been a great addition to my process. Reading someone else's physical, emotional, mental, creative, and spiritual daily  experience in time with my own--his day 20, my day 20--has been comforting, eye-opening, and generative. Again, fasting for Ramadan is a completely different enterprise than writing a poem a day, but through Ali's writing, I feel like I am on a journey with someone, that his daily reflection on his commitment to his fasting is a window into my daily commitment, different as it may be. Also, I quite enjoy his writing and the movement of his mind. 

Tomorrow, I am to write a poem in response to a Pablo Neruda poem. Stay tuned. 


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:

  • Subscribe to Tupelo Press! This is kind of an amazing deal: 9 books for $99 and they pay the shipping. You can choose a curated series or create your own personalized list of any 9 Tupelo Press titles. (THIS WOULD BE AN AWESOME GIFT.) Be sure to put my name in the "comments" field if you choose this option. 
  • Complete the Tupelo Press Donation Form. Be sure to put my name in the "honor" field if you choose this option. You can write this off on your taxes!
  • Donate Using Pay Pal, by clicking the orange "Quick Donation via PayPal" button on this page. Be sure to put my name in the "message" field. 

For each option, please be sure to include my name so that I get credit for your sponsorship. If you would like a tax receipt, you should provide your mailing address. 

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