Wednesday, August 11, 2004


oh so very stuck i am... i was going to wait to post this, work on it, extend it, give some space since my last poem. but i really wanted to work on it tonight and when i tried nothing came! so i'm stuck. i don't know where this is going. i don't even know that any of you will have an answer for me, but maybe just putting it out there will help. i read the u2 album title "all that you can't leave behind" today, and i feel like maybe that's part of where this is going. i don't know, i'm stuck. that's what i get for trying to write poetry in my head while driving i guess, the train of thought derails before the whole poem gets through the station.

at 10pm i'm still in canada

i should be converting
kilometers to miles, but
the trucks keep riding too close
behind me, flashing their brights,
and all i can think of
is you, yesterday, converting
the physics of lightning into
poetry over long islands,
billy collins, citronella.


Blogger Matt said...

Let me throw this at you...
This poem feels like a mood poem, one of those moments in life that is experienced briefly and felt for a lifetime and really can't be put to words. I might have it wrong, but that is what I feel when I read it.

Two things strick me most to establish the foundation for the mood, and they are in the title. "10pm" and "Canada".

The only idea I want to suggest is to hand pick images, even if they don't seem to fit together logically, but rather, try and fit them for the mood.

Maybe for each image make a stanza, 2 lines or three lines, whatever feels fitting for the mood. Then dedicate each stanza to creating one piece of the larger experience you want us to feel.

Another possibility is to try using aliteration or consonance or if you feel up to the challenge using internal rhymes in the middles of lines rather than the ends to create core experience of mood, not just in the images, but then the mood is carried hidden within the language of the poem, waiting to be unearthed by being read aloud.

Some ideas, not sure if they help. I have been mulling on this poem of yours for a few days, it has a great start, but you are taking on a tough poetic task! Love it gal!

9:01 PM | Permalink  
Blogger Matt said...

Oh, KTB, and i completely forget the "still" in the title. "10pm", "still" and "canada" are key and are a strong foundation for the poem, expecially in the title.

"still" seems to suggest you belong somewhere else in that moment. Are you stuck on the bridge over? Car break down? Plans changed on you? What are the circumstances that keep you in canada?

Also, that suggests a possible element of frustration. Is there a frustration? Are you stuck in that car with someone else (someone you might be in disagreement with or wish was not with you in the car)? Or are you away from that person when you want to be close. Who is that person. THey seem possibly there but distant? Or distant and still close to heart.

My ramblings equal:
1. explore why you are still in canada.
2. tell us more about this person who scientifically weaves the elements into poetry.
3. What is the conflict in the mood of this situation?

Sorry, I hope this is not too much. I love the poem, I would be really exited to read an expanded draft.

9:10 PM | Permalink  

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