As promised, we're going to be taking a randomly written poem and "workshopping" it so I could illustrate my process.
Here it is, fresh from the journal (actually in this case it was from a steno pad I had)
From 8/12 to 8/19 it remained as is. Now, I take the next step and type it up and come back next week to see how I can change it when I next revisit. Also, I'm aware my handwriting is atrocious :D
Transcribed from my lovely notes:
Everyone is turning left on Woodland Park
to address concerns
or to think, Thursday yields
left to dreams: today marks the sixth day of the summer
Sarah said the air was suffocating
and I turned left, to listen with my good ear
she said the clouds sink into your lungs
to drown, to suffocate as people
turn left on Woodland Park
avoid summer death, yellow lights
to where we turned left last time
do you remember?
Minor points to make: So, I'm a sucker for plain language in my poetry. Mark Strand is one of my biggest poetry idols. THAT BEING SAID, there's nothing particularly clever or cunning or whathaveyou in this poem. It's a snapshot. In this particular case, it was a Thursday night, and I was craving some b-dubs. There's one near where I'm at, and right before I get there, I see a bunch of cars lined up to turn left on a street called Woodland Park. I found the sight curious because there's nothing down Woodland Park beyond several apartment complexes and it felt a bit strange. Was there a party at one of the complexes? Did a whole bunch of people in those leave their work at the same exact time? Why?
So I wrote.
I know people will find the analogy gross but what writers don't tell you is that sometimes, writing feels like poop. And not in the sense of "wow, that's a shitty paragraph" but as in literal poop. You have to take a poop but there's no restroom around. And you feel figuratively/literally constipated at having this idea inside your head that you can't unleash.
But then you find the bathroom and sweet jesus it's amazing.
I have the writing poops. I haven't found a bathroom.
Home office construction/decoration is going slowly but surely. Setting up the desk this weekend and figuring out which books I'm going to have in the bookcase. I'm leaning on just having my writing/reference books but who knows.