September 13th, 2004

bear by san

I am not a poet.

I gave up poetry because I am not good at it, and I refuse to do anything important to me unless there's a chance I can be good at it.

I am, however, addicted to sonnets. And I've been itching lately to write poetry again, after six years clean and sober. I actually wrote a haiku the other day...

Perhaps it's time to remind myself why I'm not a poet, again.

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Dammit. I still have the urge to write poetry.

Touchstone: When a man’s verses cannot be understood, nor a man’s good wit seconded with the forward child Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

Audrey: I do not know what ‘poetical’ is. Is it honest in deed and word? Is it a true thing?

Touchstone: No, truly, for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.

-William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act III, scene iii

ETA: Whups. I'm not looking for condolences, encouragement, or assurances that if I just keep writing poetry, my poetry will improve. Seriously. Nor am I insinuating that anybody else should give up on their own aspirations as a poet. I was attempting to be amusing, and have an excuse to mention some sonnets I love, and to remind myself that really, while I'm a damned fine prose writer, I'm also an enormously bad poet, and I should bear that in mind. Really. No subtext. Honest. I swear.

On the other hand, if anybody wants to kick up a favourite sonnet or three.... wheedle
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bear by san

Advanced Writer Brain Atrophy

So here I sit, researching NYC in 1962 and wondering if I can somehow shoehorn a warrior goldfish into a story about the Beats making the Lower East Side safe for communism. Warning: do not mix Chester Anderson, trips to the koi pond at Balboa Park, Ed Sanders, and the Man From UNCLE. Contents under pressure may explode.

So, there are things About this writing gig that are hard to understand until one experiences them. And which I do sincerely wish had been mentioned in the information packet.

I'm actually experiencing one of those now: the soldierly annoyance of hurry up and wait.

This is going to sound a lot like bitching, I fear--and on one level it is, although I'm certainly not looking for sympathy, nor do I really think I deserve sympathy. I am very fortunate to be where I am right now with regard to my writing and publication, and I know it, and I'm excited and I treasure being here.

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There. Consider that a public service announcement for everybody reading this who will someday sell a novel. Now another writer has warned you about the waiting-in-the-trenches-for-the-shelling-to-start part of the process.
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    Clash - Brand New Cadillac