Poetry-ness

So, I never remember that April is National Poetry Month. I used to write much more than I do now. I like to think that I’ve carried a poetic voice into my prose and dramatic writing, though.I’m glad it is, because while at Barnes & Noble the other day, there was a poetry display table which included a book of essays on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays from 2005. Score for me and my final paper for Jake’s class. I’ll definitely be able to use it!

Some writers do a sort of NaNoWriMo in April by writing a poem a day for the month. That’s a cool idea, and maybe something to think about for next year. For this year, I thought about posting a high school poem a day or something, but I really need to save them for my high school poetry solo show. It’s a project that’s been on the back burner for about 10 years or so. Seriously. It’ll stay on one of the burners until it’s done. I do have a title:

Big Black Room

Dig the font? It’s “Batik Regular”. It’s rather inspiring, I think.

The pre-show mix CD will be all or mostly Cure. Big surprise, right? The biggest challenge of the piece will be deciding the balance between fiction and non-fiction. How much do I embrace the narrators of the poems, especially the more character oriented ones? Am I 15, 16, 17? Am I 33, 34, 35 (or however old I am when I finish the damn thing?) Is it even cool for a 35-year-old to dramatically share teen angst suicide poems? How much “real” stuff do I reflect with each poem? What’s the, like, story of it all?

I know the opening poem. It’ll be one of my faves, “Shut Up!” which I wrote one morning while half paying attention in Spanish 2 class (sorry, Ray!) Ray’s was my teacher, by the way, for those of you who aren’t Ray. Anyway. I was tired and everyone was annoying me. The words, I realize, are slightly more-than-inspired by The Cure’s “Babble,” a B-side to “Fascination Street.” It was also published. But as I eventually learned, not really. I entered it into a World of Poetry Foundation “contest” and was awarded an Honorable Mention. I think that’s what it was called. I couldn’t find it with a quick search. Anway, all “winners” were invited to include it in their anthology, which we had to pay for. I eventually realized that I was sucked into the world of vanity presses. I still have my book. It’s HUGE. Seriously. Crazily heavy thing that I can’t seem to get rid of. That book is my albatross. Heh.

I look forward to sitting down and really figuring out all the projects I can work on. This show will continue to stay with me. And I’ll tell you all about it right here. But please, do other things with your life while waiting for it. I wouldn’t want to deprive you of fulfillment.

While I’m here, I thought I’d mention that I heard Ron Padgett on A Prairie Home Companion this morning. He read from his latest poetry book, How to be Perfect. I may have to pick it up. That can be my way of supporting poetry for April. Yay.

It’s a beautiful day in the SB. Vienna Teng plays, and I’m feeling the call of my front porch. Be well.

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