Tag Archives: overcoming writer’s block

#296: The 11th Poem of April

feat-master-11

was difficult to write.
I didn’t like today’s suggestion.
I thought about witch hunts,
fist fights between teenagers,
and spring time rain.
I thought about my dogs
and how angry I was at
the one for waking me up
at 2 in the morning and at
the other because she took
a dump on my meditation
cushion. Not to mention the
vomit. It was a sock, I think,
wholly formed, covered in
dog stomach bile, I found
on the stairway landing.
I thought about drummers
and drumlines, drumsets
and rock and roll records.
None of it, on this 11th day
of April, floated my boat.
I introduced Romanticism
to 15 year olds today.
That was something.
I played them some Wagner
and some Beethoven and
some Led Zeppelin for good
measure and I think they
understood. But, you know,
during the discussion of the
opening letters by Robert
Walton to his sister, it was
clear that only a handful
of kids knew what the hell
we were talking about.
That could make a poem,
I suppose, a rant about how
young people don’t read.
In numerology, 11 is the
most intuitive of all numbers.
It is instinctual, charismatic,
dynamic and capable when its
sights are set on a concrete goal.
11 is the number associated
with faith and psychics, all of
which I stole verbatim from
numerology.com, which is an
actual thing, a thing for which
I am immensely grateful, because
it helped me to finish this poem.

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It’s April: National Poetry Writing Month!

one of William Blake's illustrations of Hell

one of William Blake’s illustrations of Hell

Wasn’t it T.S. Eliot who wrote that April is the cruelest month?  Of course it was;  it’s the first line, and perhaps the most famous line* from The Wasteland.  What’s so cruel about April, T.S. Eliot? He must have known something about National Poetry Writing Month. But there is something considerably less cruel in my estimation (I hope my poet friends are not offended) about NaPoWriMo than there is about the seemingly herculean task of National Novel Writing Month.  Again, poets, forgive me, but a poem a day for 30 days seems so much less cruel, so much more compassionate than the requirement for a novel–60,000 words in a single month, which is kind of, if you work a day job that is not writing novels, like Hell.  So I’m on.  I’m taking the plunge and/or the pledge.  I failed miserably at writing a novel in November, and failed again at revising the novel I didn’t write in January, so I’m going to write a poem a day for the next 30 days of April, and I’m going to post all of them right here.

I’m a fiction writer, primarily, and kind of a closet poet.  I’m not in the closet through any kind of shame about writing poetry, but only because I feel less “educated” about the formal and critical aspects of writing it.  I know a good poem when I see it or hear it because I think I know what good writing looks like and sounds like–but when I look at my own poetry, I have less confidence in determining whether what I have done is a good poem than I do about looking at a piece of my prose and determining its value or worth.  I’m not going to freak myself out.  I’m just going to do the best I can do in the moment and try to do one every day.  Today is April 1.  I’ll post a poem by midnight or my name isn’t Michael Jarmer–and that ain’t no April Fool’s gag.

Notes:

*(because it’s the only one anybody ever reads)**

Notes to the notes:

**I don’t mean that.

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Filed under Introductory, Poetry