Friday, December 18, 2009

a road map & a full tank of gas

Having overslept from staying up too late; And having taken a couple minutes to sit and read; And having thrown down some coffee and read Williams and Hass; I pick up Brenda Hillman's "Cascadia" and read a few poems and come to "Glacial Erratics," which ends:

The word being
A box with four of its corners hidden;

Everything else is round.

And that is beautiful and mystical and challenging and mind- and aesthetic-expanding (especially when taken with the full poem in context).

Last week I came across Marvin Bell's "Thirty-Two Statements About Writing Poetry," and so I could remember a few, scratched these in a notebook:

14. Every free verse writer must re-invent free verse.

15. Prose is prose because of what it includes; Poetry is poetry because of what it leaves out.

26. A finished poem is also a draft of a later poem.

31. This Depression era jingle could be about writing poetry: "Use it up / Wear it out / Make it do / Or do without."

And sometimes when I read and sit with some of this stuff it feels like I am being given a road map and a full tank of gas and being told to "DRIVE!"

Even still, I might opt to hop on a longboard and skate the road at night with a headlamp because, well, the map still works and everyone drives, so the view and experience is different on longboard and that different perspective and voice is something I am after.

And then I think, hey man, it's just a metaphor. Get on with it!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

i really like this post and patricularly the poem excerpt which took my breath a little. and also about the poem being about what is left out. which is funny bc my prose is always go go go sooo much words!! that of course it's the oppositte--the minimal--that appeals to my poetic sensibility...