Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Between Novels

I'm between novels of any kind -- novels-in-verse/novels out of verse -- so I'm reading a lot of poetry and writing a poem a day. Usually a bad one. I'm like Mary L. in that I give myself assignments when it comes to producing stuff. A poem a day isn't that draconian a task. A good poem? Well, that's a whole other thing. Here's the opening stanza to yesterday's poem:

Death wanders into the Guess! store, leaving his scythe outside
for the homeless man and his dog to guard.

That's pretty promising, but the rest of the poem is awful. I started at eight a.m. or so yesterday, and wrote at the poem off and on until two p.m. when the races came on. I did some errands for my wife (who works like a normal person), talked on the phone, e-mailed my agent. And all the time this poem kept bouncing around in my head. I wrote and threw away six or seven drafts; I felt like a cook who'd made a terrific salad but couldn't get the entree and dessert right.

Oh, well -- better a salad than no dinner at all. It's hot here, anyway. 103 in Pasadena yesterday. Time to put on my hat and take out the garbage.



  1. That is one hell of a beginning, though.

  2. The urge to write a poem a day came from listening to RK and then planning to teach a day long workshop to high school students. The lesson is called "From Prose To Poetry." Write the story, then write the poem.

    Thanks Ron.