Sunday, August 21, 2005

The dog-day cicadas are at it again

Late-summer afternoons and evenings are so noisy here in Indiana -- the green of the trees is almost audible and then there are the dog-day cicadas and the crickets, singing their hearts out for someone to love. Or at least for someone to mate with. Do insects love? Unlike humans they are unashamed of their desire -- the sky and trees are filled with it.

Today 48-year-old Martina Navratilova, along with Anna-Lena Groenefeld, won the doubles championship at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Not only did they win, but in the last three rounds of the tournament they had to defeat the #1, #3, and #4 seeded teams. Pretty damned impressive. I love that Martina still plays at her age, still loves the game, still wins. She is sort of like the Stanley Kunitz of tennis. *grin*

I have been writing what might be a long poem, or maybe not so long once I chop out all the crap. My writing process feels different these days, looser. Every few days I sit down with the notebook and write another page or two of poemy stuff, and although it's been a couple of weeks since I started, I haven't typed any of it up yet. I have in mind a larger structure than I've worked with before -- I think, actually, that I'm envisioning a book manuscript, or a section thereof, even while I'm first-drafting stuff. That's new and different. Manuscripts I've done before (chapbooks or longer) have been more a matter of "go through all the poems and pull stuff out and figure out how to put it together" which makes me think of the artist carving an elephant from stone, taking the stone and chipping away everything that doesn't look like elephant. Except not really. Anyway, I'm envisioning a long-ass poem, fragmented, the fragments and sections interspersed throughout the whole of something longer. It's a little weird to imagine the skeleton of the larger effort before having written the meat and fin and feather of it, but I think it is a useful direction at least for now.

Feeling a bit lonely this weekend but it is a useful loneliness, a productive thing -- something to push against and feel it pushing back. A fruitful resistance.

Michael Cunningham, on Charlie Rose the other night, talking about how everyone's life has stories in it -- I often wonder what mine might be. I try to have faith that they are there & that if I keep chipping away at it everything that isn't elephant will fall away and leave my story standing there, unashamed and evident.

11 comments:

Radish King said...

I hope you consider long-ass poem as a title.

Robin said...

I think I share your sense of person story, the where-is-it sense of things!

Diane K. Martin said...

Yeah, I think that all our lives are stories, but in any case, I think your first paragraph is a poem--or practically. If you don't use that green of the trees is practically audible, don't be surprised if I steal it.

Lyle Daggett said...

Okay, "the green of the trees is almost audible..." Yeah, I like it too. Though if I were were writing a poem, if it were my poem, not sure if I'd use the line as is.

Instead of "almost audible," I might use a verb or a verbal phrase instead, something more directly touching the senses. "The green of the trees hisses around my face." Something like that.

"Hisses" is maybe way wrong (maybe "scrapes" instead), and I don't mean to presume to write someone else's poem for them. The line just took me places and I wandered with it for a minute.

Or something more subtle, "The green of the trees scrapes at the air..."

Diane K. Martin said...

Don't know. To me, "audible" has a nice dark green leafy sound.

Pamela said...

"Almost audible" has such a resonance. I wouldn't change it at all--voting with Diane, and tempted to steal it if she doesn't!

Anne said...

Okay, I think *all* y'all should write poems with audible trees in them. Preferably long-ass poems. Go!

Pamela said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pamela said...

Done in 5 minutes--coffeecup length of time--fun to do. Not sure it's a poem (and positive it's not longass), but at least this had me writing at an early hour. Thanks.

Trista said...

I'm back. Thanks for the notice on your blog, Anne, mighty kind of ya.

When I started thinking about my manuscript I thought at first that it would be a pulling together of all my stuff and weeding through it. But then a structure came to me a very fragmented and interspersed kind of thing as well (coincidence? like they say, great minds think alike) and I realized that the stuff I had been writing most recently - as in the couple of weeks prior - had been working toward this model -- the poetry had led the way as in seeing a rock that already looks a bit like an elephant and adding it to a couple of other rocks that look a bit like other animals and calling it all a circus and then going out actively looking for whatever other rocks want to join.

You wouldn't think it, but I actually found that my writing sped up and morphed in unforseen and splendid ways when I had an idea of the entire structure of the manuscript.

Sounds exciting!

ruth-e said...

go martina!!!