End of the Marathon

Once again I finish up August with a slough of new poem drafts. I always like to give a post-writing report, and I do think after writing with my nose so close to the desk for so long, it's good to step back and see what I've learned.


1. First of all, I've learned a lot about my "Dear Empire" series. I added to the number of prose poems for this poetic landscape and I'm stepping away from its landscape knowing that I need to bring back some of the characters in the earlier poems for fluidity's sake. I also know that the "Camera" poems are a part of the collection, but I feel strongly that I need a transition between the two prose poem types in order to construct a discernable path.

2. I learned that I can't keep writing "Nocturnes." Tonally, they're demanding, but they're also one-trick-ponies. They'd be logical for tonal variation in a manuscript, but they'd be lousy for a whole manuscript.

3. I learned that I'm starting a new series of poems about cancer which are "fun" to write for lack of a better word.

4. I learned that it only takes me between 30 minutes to an hour to write a poem, but, of course, it'll take me longer to polish that poem. This is useful information for my process--it gives me no excuses. I should be able to at least draft something every day.

Ultimately, did I end August with a manuscript? I don't think so. I think I have definite workable parts for a manuscript, but by no means do I feel I have enough pieces to shape something in September to give to my editors. That's okay. I like the tinkering phase of manuscript construction. It's the problem-solving aspect of creativity that I've always enjoyed.

Thanks for reading!

Oliver de la Paz