Panic and Rediscovery
This sign pretty much sums up how I'm feeling.
I'm at a frightening point in my writing process. For me, there's always a juncture where I start to question everything I'm putting down. I start to ask myself hard questions--is this piece working? What's it servicing? Will a reader "buy in" or is this just a lame poem that should be filed away? Generally, I'm good about tuning out my editor during my writing month. When you produce so much work over a shortened period of time (a month), much of the energy gets devoted towards the creation of poems and not the evaluation of the value of those poems. Now I'm starting to doubt myself and this enormous project . . . it feels enormous at the moment. I can't quite figure out how to stop writing the epistolary pieces, and I'm not sure how to "frame" them up.
So I took a stab at a possible structural poem for the manuscript, but I'm doubting its benefits at the moment. I feel I need an overt speaker . . . someone who directly addresses the reader. Someone who'll be able to move beyond the fabulist world towards the reader's world. Yes, the muse of tragedy is a stretch, but it's an interesting opposition to the chaotic prose poems that I've got right now.
Creating a manuscript is always a moment of rediscovery for me. I find that I can never go back to what worked in prior manuscripts, as far as process goes. I find that I've changed far too significantly to revisit the past tricks that seemed to have worked for me. In previous collections, I was heavily steeped in the reading of poems and poetry. For this project, I've been much more ekphrastic–-I've been looking at postcards and art and responding to the language of image rather than someone else's poetic language. And somehow, as I've looked at this particular set of prose poems, some of my old mannerisms have returned to my writing--I'm revisiting my fragmented syntax with the prose poems and I'm experiencing the same type of lineal/sentence scrutiny that I experienced when I wrote my first collection of prose poems. I'm writing these poems down quickly, but I'm thinking about them much longer than I do with my line-broken verse. Very odd.
On the personal front, we're trying to train our two-year-old to sleep in his own bed. The first night was a massacre. He woke up every hour from 12AM to 6AM. The second night got a little better, and he woke up in the middle of the night twice. The third night (last night) was the best by far. He slept almost all the way through the night.
Tonight's night 4. We'll see how it goes.