Thursday, May 25, 2006

Poetry Thursday

This is coming up kind of late so it's not related to the Poetry Thursday prompt this week. Still, it's an opportunity for you to feel better about yourselves as poets. Enjoy.

The bear

Last night, I dreamt a bear
was trying to eat its way
through the house crashing
from room to room staggering
like a punch-drunk prizefighter
It was a grizzly, like the one that
killed those people in Alaska,
and later all they found were pieces
We didn't think to ask where
it came from We simply
huddled in the bedroom,
me pressed against the door
trying to hold it off you with
hands on hips strangely calm
In the dream, you wanted to
reason with it (As if such a
thing were possible You were
always trusting like that)
Find out what it wants
you said but I’m telling you,
there's no reasoning with
a bear And so, I did the
only thing I could: I turned
to you and whispered,


Blogger Writing Blind said...

Wow, this poem must really suck if no one's commented. Hmmm...back to the drawing board I guess.

5/27/2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Stop that.
Saying your poems suck, I mean.
Don't do it. You need to fall in love with them.

Don't make me turn this internet around.

5/28/2006 12:01 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I still consider myself an amateur, or as J Malcolm puts it, a "non-entity" poet. The truth is I actually do love them. It's just finding someone to agree with you that's the hard part.

5/28/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

We're all amateurs here. And we all do it in the forest, with one of those itty bitty flashlights to light our way. It's never going to get easier, I promise you this.

We do it because we're in love with it, not to make someone else love what we do. Keep going forward. Fuck your audience. Keep going forward.

p.s. Lots of important people (people important to me) think my poetry is crap. So what? If I worried about what they thought, I'd start dumbing down my poems and putting fluffy clouds and heron and salmon in the. (I live in the northwest.)

5/28/2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I agree with what you said, except for the part about people thinking your poetry is crap. I don't see how any intelligent person could think that.

It's not so much that I worry about what other people think. My main goal, besides self-expression, is just to get better at it. My concern is, how do you know when you've done that?

5/28/2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

That there is the difficulty with poetry. You can't really know if you're getting better at it. Anyone can get published, even have a book published these days. It doesn't mean they're good poets writing good poems.

All you can do is follow the rules (these are my rules that I made up, in case anyone is getting upset about there being poetry RULES).

My rules are:

1. Practice. Write every day, every single day. Don't skip a day. Reading is the same as writing.

2. Deep play. Don't take yourself too seriously as an ARTISTE. This will guarantee self-important, pedantic poems. Be joyous inside your process.

3. Fall in love. (We discussed this.)

If you keep writing you'll get better. If you keep reading, you'll get better. Find a teacher. Practice. Don't forget to play.

5/28/2006 1:06 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

p.s. I received a review of my book that called all my women characters wimps and referred to the book as invigorating as a nosebleed.

5/28/2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

If you're going to have rules, then those are good ones to have.

It just all seems so subjective, as far as what's considered "good" and what isn't, especially when it comes to some of the lit journals these days. I consider good poetry to be anything that keeps me reading past the first few lines.

As for critics or reviewers, I always imagine them as failed writers who enjoy taking it out on everyone else.

I guess it's a mark of my inexperience that I worry about these things. I should be focused on the work itself, the process, rather than the response it's going to get. I'm just so sick of hearing people say that poetry is a dying art. It doesn't give much hope to those of us out here toiling in obscurity.

5/28/2006 1:50 PM  

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