We write to share that part of us that might not otherwise be shared. The page is like a Fibber Magee and Molly closet where we store all those leftover parts of ourselves. Open the page and everything comes spilling out: organized, disorganized, jovial, sad, rational or irrational. Everything gets crammed into the page. We may not be lionized for it. Our words may be stolen and presented as someone else’s, but the important thing is to write them. Words are like a pressure valve, freeing pent-up emotions. They furnish a release that is somehow part of the solution to the problems they describe.
gave me permission instructed me gave me his blessing said it might be a good idea … to inform you about the project I’m working on. He added this photo of me in Ethiopia in 1973. The book I’m writing is about this period during which the Ethiopian Marxist revolution was brewing. My friend Leslie offered to come over for a three day intensive where we would both work only on our books. It worked so well that we’re doing it again for four days, starting tomorrow. Here are a few shots of last week’s session. I’ll see you on Monday! (Click on first photo to enlarge all and read captions.)
Isidro and I met at Viva Mexico to discuss illustrations for our next book. He now has three of my children’s books stacked up to illustrate. This one is entitled “I Really Want A Puppy.” It’s quite a job as he needs to come up with at least 7 different puppy characters as well as a family of six: two children, Mom, Pop and grandparents as well as friends. (Click on the first photo to enlarge photos and see captions.)
Yesterday I talked about writing the Tin Man poem in my hot tub. Today I showed Forgottenman my originals, scrawled in the drink. He urges that I should show y’all and although at first it seemed pretentious, it occurred to me that I loved looking at original drafts, with corrections, back when we all wrote by hand. So, I’m showing them to you, water drips and all. It actually shows my process pretty well. Line-by-line, making lists of rhyming words, choosing one and working toward it in the next line. Crossing out, moving lines. If you enjoy this, why not show me yours? You can see the finished poem HERE.
The prompt word today is rhyme.
There is a reason and a rhyme
to the word they chose this time.
For though I am not in my prime
and don’t play tennis, do not climb
or stoop too low to conquer grime,
In any terrain, any clime,
my mind spins like a twirling dime.
If over-rhyming were a crime,
I’d probably be doing time.
(If you are a glutton for punishment, yes, you can click on these to enlarge them.)
New words fly at me in a swarm.
They do not mean to do me harm,
but still I feel beaten and battered.
They might feel they haven’t mattered
if I do not use them all,
and yet I feel the beach’s call.
The dog is clamoring to be fed
while I am writing this instead.
The guilt of it cuts like a knife.
I’ve got to go and have a life!
I save the words already used,
and lest the others feel abused,
I leave them on the page as well
to tell the stories they might tell
If I had the time to use them.
I hope you’ll take time to peruse them:
fife strife excel tell bell yell cell
The prompt today was swarm.
(photopainting by jdb)
When she enters, I’m in her thrall,
and I have no control at all.
Sometimes she carries a riding crop
and drives me on so I can’t stop.
She rides in smoothly from my dreams
inspiring reams and reams and reams
that must be written when I wake.
I’m driven onward for her sake.
If my muse should feel abused,
believe me, she is not amused.
She mounts my back and spurs me on
until all her words are gone––
released upon the teeming pages
while she rides off to join the sages
sitting there upon the shelf,
and I am left with just myself.
About “photopainting”: the photo above was created using only iPhoto tools from this original taken at my favorite crazy story (Galeria El Triunfo) in Guadalajara yesterday :
Today’s prompt was Muse.
Carefree in My Labors
I’m not so good at carefree, don’t know how to be gay.
When others loll out on the grass, I’m always cutting hay.
While other people spend the day on some fun and dumb thing,
something whispers in my ear I should be doing something!
When the alarm bell signals, my day’s labors start:
feeding dogs, then writing, sorting, filing, making art.
Even when at leisure, my mind is always working.
If I’m not doing something, I feel that I am shirking.
It’s one thing when you’re with someone and sharing repartee,
or watching interactions you encounter day-by-day.
It’s another to rethink all that has been done or said––
to mix them with the other things you have in your head.
If I put them all together, they make a lovely story––
sometimes love and romance and sometimes sad and gory.
And that is what I think about even in my bed.
I guess my retirement will be when I am dead.
Words are as versatile as bricks. Whether they build a sidewalk or a wall is up to the one who uses them.