How I Write

I've long said that I'm a binge writer--that I store up materials over a long period of time, digest them, and then spit 'em all out in a quick and furious burst.

I'm beginning to rethink that. Only one of the poems I've written in the past 6 days was from stored materials. The other poems just happened. I'd write a line or think of some scenario and suddenly "poof" out of curiosity I've pursued a poem to its end.

Yes--curiosity. I am at once surprised by lines that I'm writing and I'm curious about where they'll eventually take me.

I still write in poetic sequences--I'll pursue a trope, an idea, an image, a story, and I'll write several poems from that. I'm making a conscious effort this time to break up each day so that I'm alternating between lyrics and narratives.

So I'm feeling somewhat schizophrenic about the poems I'm writing--like I can't bite down to any one artistic series. But I'm also aware of the fact that it's allowing me to continue writing without fatigue. Again, a thing I've found when I've been writing poetic sequences at previous junctures: I'd get supremely bored of the sequence I was inhabiting.

One thing I know, however, is that I'm still a planner. I want my exercises to fit a scheme and I'm quite deliberate about the trajectories these August poems travel. I'm sure you've all noticed a pattern (if you're out there). In my mind, I think I'm working on two manuscripts, one that's very involved with the self and one that's political, darker, and from a distant POV. I can't see the lyrics I'm writing dwelling with the lyric-narratives of, say the Nocturne poems. (Oh god . . . I wrote a sequence of Aubades and now a sequence of Nocturnes? Kill me).

I realize I'm rambling but ain't that what blogs are for?

Oliver de la Paz