As I’ve said before, I enjoy structure in my pleasure writing – haikus, sonnets, whatever – I find them more fun for the challenge of the structure that is necessary.
I also create poems out of spam, lovingly called my Spam Haikus, which is pretty self-explanatory. Here is something a little different – this one started as a haiku, but there were so many cool words that I wanted to incorporate that I had to make it longer, so it’s more like my other versions of spam haikus.
I do this because I enjoy it, and it gives me a little mental exercise that is lacking in my day-to-day work life. It’s nice to get out and stretch every now and again, isn’t it?
It is difficult –
Your desires are vivid,
Little and ambitious.
Your usual delight
is juicy and simple –
Happy to use
a mass of fact for relaxation.
Better off saying “no”,
Sparing time and dreams
that can require
urgent and difficult
Have you ever had one of those moments in books where you get the overwhelming DESIRE to do something described in what you’re reading? I’m not talking about some food that sounds good (although that totally happens – the Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Sounds delicious in the book! In real life, it’s basically just nasty covered in powdered sugar, and I am not the only one who feels this way.)
I’m talking about an itching need to do something you read about – something you would never do in real life, but you can imagine yourself doing it in a past life, and crave the feeling again.
Recently I was reading Dorothy Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina, where she describes a whole family of people who drink and chew tobacco and do all sorts of things that you would expect a family of hillbillies to do, and I got the urge to do something that I have never in my life wanted to do: smoke a cigarette.
The way she describes it, it just sounded so comforting and normal, like it was something you would naturally do (which is true for a lot of people, I guess). I was shocked at my urge to smoke a cigarette, because I come from not only a family of non-smokers, but a family that is heavy into the medical field (I have a lot of nurses in my family). I know that if I ever started smoking, I would get bombarded with factoids, pictures and other paraphernalia that is used to scare smokers into quitting. It’s never really been an option to me, and even at my most rebellious (which, lets face it, was nowhere near rebellious), I would never have even considered starting to smoke.
To me, it is a sign of an excellent writer that they can spark such natural desire in a reader to do something so uncharacteristic.
At the beginning of April, I happened upon this post from 20 Lines A Day, where people were encouraged not to write a new poem every day for the entirety of April, as many people do to celebrate National Poetry Month, but to write one poem throughout the month, constantly editing and revising it each day.
Here is the resulting poem, begun after a trip with my man-friend to Niagara Falls.
We laughed through our noses
at the aye’s and long O’s
of the smiling natives
that watched us as we walked.
Connected by the hand
of road and park and sidewalk.
Wrapped up in you
and a sweatshirt
I let the sunshine
and the mist of the falls
cover my face and I smiled.
I smiled at you.
Not up, but out,
the way the moon smiles
when the sunlight reaches her.
The mist kissed my face
as I kissed yours,
letting the words of other countries
wash over us.
Then we leaned over the rail
And watched water
fall to the fog below.
Disclaimer: I tried revising every day, but got thoroughly distracted with life and things (as I am wont to do). I did, however, do much more revising and editing of this poem than I normally do, and that, in my mind, makes it an accomplished challenge.
I read in a book once about a couple that would write each other “spam haikus,” wherein one of them would send the other a string of nonsensical words (much like the paragraph fillers for web pages in the process of being created), and the other would then create a haiku from them. It struck me as very intelligent and sweet that they did this as a way to stay connected, and that little act has stayed with me through the years. Not having a partner who is inclined towards romanticized literary challenges, I decided to make my spam poetry real.
I began reading through my spam emails, looking for ones with enough words that I could make a fun (if slightly nonsensical) haiku from them. Here is the start of what I hope will be a string of successful haikus scattered throughout this blog.
You loved the stressful
Site of quality options
That thousands searched for.
The other day, Neil Gaiman tweeted about an act of “unimaginable whimsy” that he will perform if a charity receives enough donations. The phrase stuck with me so much, I decided to hang it in my office. Or rather, on a half wall in my cubicle.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, but there are times when you need a contradiction like “unimaginable whimsy” to remind you that a job is a job, and the other things you do in life are what make you who you are.
Also, Neil Gaiman is awesome, and deserves a spot in everyone’s office.
I’ve been itching to start a blog for a while. Part of it is the urge to write, and write more often. Part of it is a need to craft something more creative than Facebook posts and descriptions of shelves. Part of it is anger at all of the bad writing I see on the internet, because if that typo-ridden homophobe with nothing new or interesting to say has a blog, then what in doggy hell is stopping me? (Don’t worry, that description is more of a summarized ball of wax of the blogs I have come across than one individual person.)
So here I am.
Hopefully this will not be a girly diary filled with PMS and anger at nothing (I have my private journal for that). Hopefully this will be an upbeat place to craft and share my writing. Hopefully you will enjoy it. If not, feel free to leave; I’m not twisting any wrists to make someone stay who doesn’t enjoy me or my style.