Saturday, December 18, 2010

Murray Christmas

I am involved in a writing project that has lasted about two months now and may go on for several more. The pieces are prose poems in box form, which read literally and/or figuratively. The pleasure is for readers who like to feel themselves slipping from the literal to the figurative and back again. The slipping in these poems can be surprising, or humorous - not disconcerting, so much. I hope they are informative, on some level, though I couldn't say why.

This post though is a real time attempt to describe or isolate a particular phenomenon in writing which I have experienced several times. Perhaps you have too. I will be more or less sailing along in my work, reading and rereading it as I continue writing new poems, editing as I go - la di da - when for one reason or another I become conscious of wanting to write some particular kind of poem, often as a way of "broadening" or "testing the limits" of the project I am working on. I become wrapped up in this poem (in this last incident I was mentally AWOL for about 2 weeks). Once I finish it, I continue on, only the subsequent poems are off-kilter, boring, wrong. Of course, I go looking about my life, consciously and unconsciously, like a blind lunatic seeking why I feel so off. After a time I come back and see that I went off track with that one "testing" poem. I kick that and other since-written poems off the stack, start in again, and am back on track.

As I said, this sort of thing has happened to me several times. Getting back on track is a thing of beauty and relief of course, and perhaps the entire scenario is exactly the "testing" I and the project were bound to incur.

And, having said that, I believe it. No writer's complaints from me today.

Murray Christmas, as my son says to his friend, Murray.

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