Tuesday, April 06, 2010

NaPoWriMo #6 - Still Frame

Does the intensity of NaPoWriMo have you talking to yourself yet? Almost? Perfect! Rhiannon’s prompt gives you something else on which to focus these conversations: pictures.

Many people collect favourite images, whether as memories or posters, sketches or computer files. Pick one such collection of yours – a stamp collection, a postcard book, a file of photos – and rifle through it until something catches your eye. (If you don’t have such a collection, try putting a word – any word – into Google image search or flick through the website of an art gallery.)

Once you have an image, begin to interrogate it for poems. Ask: Who or what in this picture could speak? What would they say? Why is this image meaningful to me? When I look at it, what am I remembering? How does this image make me feel? Which of my moods is easiest to find in it? Where would I want to display picture? Who do I want to see it?

Collect the answers to your questions as a hoard of words or phrases. Scatter them across a blank sheet of paper, then check for patterns. What rhymes? Where is there alliteration? Is any rhythm apparent? Patterns might suggest a form for the poem.

If there aren’t enough patterns, you have two choices: either write your poem as free verse or go back to the images and generate more words. Have fun!
I don't know why I always end up trying to write in the form of a villanelle every time I attempt a family poem. I know it has something to do with the personal. It's very personal. And form and structure propel me forward. Helps me get unstuck in the muck of material. This is the second time I've attempted this, both are a #fail. But I will post it anyway because time is ticking and there is too much pressure to edit. The important thing I must do is go back and we re-write this.

I have been wanting to write a mother poem. I have also been wanting to write about this class picture I found of my mother when she was 12. There is so much there, but it is one of the most difficult poems I can tackle right now. It feels like I have multiple entry points, but each one is a dead end. Or at least feels like one.

So this "villanelle" does not flow as it should. It's disjointed, a mass of lines forced to conform and play nice with each other when really it needs more time in the pot. But no more excuses. I will post it and let it fester for the rest of April.
Still Frame

There is nothing more to say to you
If I could go back in time to warn you about my coming, but
What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

Wrinkled paper. You score a path through her womb
The feeling of bones, a coup
There is nothing more to say to you

But you sit unexplored, awkward and subdue
a half-smile, ignorant to my knock, knock, knock
What ceremony of words can patch havoc?

They have all left, no one to answer the door. Taboo
has betrayed you once again. All its freedoms merely a sour dock.
There is nothing more to say to you.

“X” marks the spot, among a slew
of students, shut and still, a sedimentary rock.
What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

No amount of regret will undue the stew
Someday you’ll think this a stumbling block
There is nothing more to say to you.
What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

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