Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sent off six poems to an editor friend. One I wrote down last night, a short anecdote I've been telling for so long that it's edited itself. Another very short poem I wrote in the 1980s but could have written last night, & revised last year. Sent an account of a strange dream from the point-of-view of a character in the dream talking to me. That's the one I think he'll like least, but you never know. Last month, another editor surprised by taking two poems that were out of usual styles.

A poem I hesitated sending was originally written in the early 90s, misplaced several times, so I would wonder where it was, & then it would show up again. It's sort of a love poem, with some wonderful lines - I don't say that much about my own poems, but it held together awkwardly, which means I was fighting it, trying to make it say one thing while the poem itself wanted to say something else, usually less complex, because I don't make complicated poems. The closer a poem is to what it intends for itself, the less one needs to tinker with it. I had two versions going under two titles. It never seemed like an old poem. Finally, I acknowledged the most serious problem was that it had one too many women, & she was the one in the first two stanzas as a backstory, quickly pushed offstage. There's a third mentioned toward the end who distracts me to my regret as part of the tale, & had some swell poems written about her at the time. The woman who is really the subject & star has been trying to tell me all along, "Get that first cold-hearted bitch out of my fucking poem, dickhead." Which is how she used to talk when she was really annoyed. She's not annoyed in this poem; she's beautiful & center stage in a parking lot behind a bar in Woodbridge NJ at 2 am & we're both pretty sloshed & she's singing. I edited out the first woman's stanzas, added punctuation (often a major decision) & judged the poem not quite finished but at last in a form worthy of print. That's a lot of writing about a 35 line poem I'm not even posting here for now.

If anyone from my past thinks I ought to have written a poem for or about them, it's very possible that I have & it'll pop up some time.


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