I haven't been writing much for the past couple-three weeks. Oddly, I feel fairly OK with this. I did draft a sortakinda poem a few days ago, in a voice that's fairly different for me -- I may pull it out later and see if it's worth working on, but I suspect that part of what's happening is that I do want to try working in some new ways/new voices and I can't quite just plunge directly from the familiar patterns into new ones. I have a sneaking suspicion that sometime in the next month -- or for sure, sometime during my D.A. Powell workshop in P-town -- a poem will come out of me that will make me say "what the HELL?" but in a good way. You know, sometimes you can write a poem, and you look at it afterwards and it doesn't seem like a part of you, it seems like a poem someone else would have written -- but you really like it and it occurs to you that because of this poem, there are others you can write now.
So I'm biding my time, blogging here and there (but not a whole lot of that as I feel awfully boring lately), reading poems and fiction (just finished Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues, which is marvelous) and other stuff, using this time to fire off a lot of submissions, trying to maintain the condition of being OK with this not-writing-at-the-moment thing. If I don't keep part of my mind connected to poetry, it will be easy to fall into the trap of thinking I have nothing of any importance to say, nothing to write about. But I am reading (poetry and blogs and poetry blogs and other stuff), and I am doing a good job of keeping a bunch of submission packets out at all times; I do not feel like I have stepped away from poetry, as I have at times in the past. I'm still there with it, just keeping silent for a bit. This is different from not having anything to say -- this is knowing I have something to say, but not quite knowing what yet, or in what language or in what form.
Something in there's percolating. Drip drip drip brewing, steam still not quite visible but beginning to rise. I'll try not to be too impatient with it. And before too long, it will be soup. I mean poetry. It's so hard to tell the difference sometimes, isn't it?
(This coming weekend is busy: intensive housecleaning, as I am off to my mom's the following weekend -- Memorial Day weekend -- to celebrate my b-day, and although I'm the least picky housekeeper on the planet, I do need to have the place at least tidy enough for the cat sitter to find the cats. And maybe have a place for her to sit down, too. And only the smaller dust bunnies should be allowed to stay, not the ones that might attack her and chew her to smithereens. So that's two weekends without much writing time. After getting back from Mom's, I suspect I will hit the writing with renewed vigor. ...I hope so, anyway.)