The experiment ended, and it continues. I creep along.
In November, I wrote prose poems on 25 out of the 30 days. These are drafts, and, among them, maybe 5 are ones to work on. Whether you count 25 experiments or 5 potential poems, those are significantly more than I would have written without the special event.
My favorite writing days were when I had no more than an image to go on. Something caught my eye, I wrote it down with no anticipation of a poem I would generate, and I followed one sentence with the next. For example, one day online I saw the tagline for a crochet book: “figure-flattering crochet fashions.” It was absurd, and it stayed with me. Later that night I followed the line and wrote a character-driven prose poem.
Crocheted Sweater Vest
She dressed in figure-flattering crochet fashions of her own making. The looped stitches
were turned into squares, and squares into clothing. She imagined her vests and hats as
having an intrinsic duality: curves and edges. She was mocked at the office. Other women,
lavish in their mimicry of concern, critiqued the craftiness of crochet. It’s just not sexy.
When had sweaters become erotic objects? To Phoebe, named after the bird by her mother who had died young, a sweater was akin to grass growing on a hill or a beard
on a chin. A light coating, spongy, something that could be trampled on or gripped. It did
not ask to be taken off. But Phoebe left her sweater — rose wool, with some acrylic —
on her swivel chair overnight. She had dared herself. In the morning, it was there, the
victim of no mischief. So she balled it into the metal file drawer, locked it, and left.
Toward the end of the month, I realized that, although I preferred ending a poem on an image or action, a poem might need to go further into a question or idea. Therefore, some of the later ones (not published here) did that. I now wonder how the poem above could get beyond sweaters and self insulation. How would I change it? What line or two would I add at the end?
I liked the daily pause and productivity so much that I will keep going but change the rules. In December, I will continue to write daily, but with no required form. The topic will be this: ANGER. I will take a crack at it — in prose, poetry, or reflection — every day.
Image credit: Tortuga con jersey de ganchillo (2010), by Alícia Roselló Gené on Flickr via a Creative Commons license.