Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Little White Shadow ...

So I cut yet another 5 poems from Manuscript 2. That's the not-so-good news. The great news (exciting for me at this stage of the Manuscript) is that the reason this had to happen again is because it has really taken on a life, a personality, a persona, a heart and emotion. In this realization I now know it is close to completion.

The persona of Anhedonia has infiltrated the life of my book in ways I never thought would happen. When I first came across this word, I was drawn to the sound of it ... and then I enjoyed the metaphorical fodder I found in its meaning. But now Anhedonia has become the little creature delivering the poems, giving them texture, meaning, life, and heart. I picture her as the wax mannequin entitled, Yearning by Detroit artist, Barbara Abel. She deserves great attention so please Google her. I have contacted Barbara, telling her excitedly about my admiration of her artwork and plan on sending her my Press Kit when it is finally completed. I am hoping for some sort of collaboration if this entices her: anything from her doing some artwork to accompany my poems, to taking photos of myself for publishing purposes, or a collaborative art show / reading thing. Nothing has been discussed on the collaboration yet, but it would be great to work with such a fascinating artist ... and so close to my current home ...

Oh yes, Anhedonia. I think I had mentioned erasures before. Poet Mary Ruefle's Little White Shadow is an example of one. A great, fantastic one. Well, my little white shadow, my erasures, may be the very thing coming to my Manuscript's rescue. This morning I was reading through my erasures and though they are taken from medical texts, they have a pronounced personality ... my erasures even possess this persona of Anhedonia. And I was reading my high school poetry today ... wow. It is horrible and horribly obvious I was obsessed with Henry James and Spencer's The Faerie Queen when I was writing them! Not that it is good writing ... it's not. Gave me a good laugh, though. I mention James and Spencer because that is a definite symptom I notice in young poets ... writing what they know. If you're reading Shakespeare as a young poet, your voice (that you haven't found yet) will have a degree of that language and tone. Not as good by a very very long shot, but that archaic tone. Same with young poets reading Ginsberg ... lots of swearing in those.

But I digress, again. These old and horrible poems have a couple of great lines and images I now feel I can slice right out of that old poem and make new ... poetry surgery ... a transplant of sorts. We'll see. But going back to old writing (no matter how old and the older the better because you no longer have any emotion for it and no matter how bad) is very good for a writer of any genre. Do this, trust me. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Still reading Pessoa, but in small morsels ... large bites make my sadness magnify and my mind obsessively roam.

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