The dVerse Poets Pub prompt for Poetics is Blue Tuesday. Sarah challenges us to write Blue poems which gave me an idea for another redraft, “Put a color on it.” This a great way to think about revising to emotion as well. When you’ve identified the mood and emotion you want your poem to convey, ask yourself what color that is and use that color as a filter for redrafting your poem. The Sherwin-Williams paint colors site is a great tool for exploring color families and color names.
Put a color on it
For this poem, I imagined using a blue lens on my camera and using it to tint my poem. I used some of the draft from the thesaurus game below and made it blue.
Seeing in Blue
An atmospheric perception after the rain in the steam of warm rain captures contrary smoky-azurite wings those wings just can’t agree pulsating rhythmic reflections in a poll the rhythm’s inverted beats in a pool’s still, faded-flaxflower waters
Rapture jammed with glacial conceits fancy whims chilling beneath mid-cloudburst like ebbtide in advance it will advance the tide of the swimming, sense of falling falling, falling into this dive maneuvering eviction from a wondrous whirlpool
The outlook grows lake-water crisp Ow! It bites, clarity after a meditative rainstorm’s punctuation all those taps, droppy drips untimately leads to discovering the fountain, finally find, what’s to find transmitting blissful moonmist
I thought of a couple more quick and easy redrafting techniques over the weekend. I am a huge fan of my thesaurus and thought what fun it would be to use my thesaurus to come up with replacements for all of the main nouns and verbs. I’ll call this exercise Thesaurus Game.
Here’s what I came up with using the first stanza of the original short-centered line poem “Indelible Marks” for demonstration:
a perception captures contrary wings flittering in range of a basin’s elbowroom
jammed with glacial conceits mid-provocation like ear-ringing in advance of the swimming, sense of falling, maneuvering eviction from a coil
the outlook grows crisp as if ultimately discovering the fountain transporting pervading corruption saturation
While reading the Back Draft:John Murillo interview, the two versions of “Mercy, Mercy Me” made me think of another, somewhat simple redraft I can do. I can turn it upside down. I think I will add that to my process at the beginning of redrafting.
Turn It Upside-Down
When I took the full, long lines of the current draft and turned them upside down, I didn’t find a lot of inspiration, but when I took the short, centered lines and turned them upside down, I found some interesting lines. That inspired me to completely reverse the words which also revealed some interesting lines.
This comparison block makes me happy! I liked how Back Draft on Guernica was comparing their first draft and final draft poems using JuxtaposeJS, so I created a Juxtapose on the knightlab site, but the HTML wasn’t working with WordPress. I found a work-around which included downloading a plug-in and writing more HTML, and I was planning on trying it for the final poem reveal, but now I don’t have to. Yay for comparison block. Thank you WordPress.
After all my redrafts, I plan to make my final choices and send a draft off for some feedback. I plan to try both Scribophile and Poetry Free for All. Both of these sites expect you to give feedback before you post asking for feedback, so I thought I would get started. The main writing page of Scribophile is mostly novel excerpts and short stories, however, I found active poetry groups, joined, and gave some feedback. I joined Poetry as Craft and Poetry Critique Circle.
I took a look at The Poetry Free-for-all, but I think I’ll see what happens with Scribophile first. I like the inline critique format there.
I started the day by printing all of the drafts so far to get a good look at the choices I’ve made. Through free-writing, mind-mapping, and writing a narrative poem, I was inspired to make some large changes to the first two stanzas.
I played with form. I tried past tense. I played the opposites game to come up with an opposite poem, and I combined the opposite lines with the original. Let’s keep going.
Cut each line in half. Write a new beginning and/or ending for each line.
I’m going to go ahead and use the final poem from my last post that included the opposite lines for this draft. As I read through, separating each line, I decided to put my arsonist line and its opposite back in to play. I broke some of the longer lines into four parts. I’m using lines and ideas from my narrative poem to fill in some of the lines which I think is working well.
A Fruit Fly-Sized Thought Changes Everything
An impression arrests fruit flies mid-flight, specks in eye corners before the cracked pane among the pitiful, stained porcelain in kitchen sinks full of ideas frozen mid-irritation An ignored cry for attention like reddened, sore hands scouring or tinnitis of Meniere’s recognized or diagnosed frees a cougar from a shower of ineptitude leaping from empty thought on fire before dizzying vertigo while in fruitless and futile meditation, I don’t hear the tractor like hearing you clearly, I step from my spiraling a voice of truth whispers from miles away the view becomes clear, his sweat on her behind the bale as if finally finding the source, the teasing hidden cruelty of wafting, permeating decay after the ground falls away and I embrace the free-fall letting my arms, and my dress, fly freely above my head, my pinky-toe the stoicism of a point a heart slammed closed kills confusion, how small my worries, each a fruit fly in the sink A solution, so long obscured by chores and basic needs, unlike instantly losing a copy of each daily exercise toward demise over the vast, yellowed field of placid, dry existence
Contentment empties the song of passion, the hips of sway what good is the stick in rubber cement if it leeches the glue of flavor? time steals the scissors, so sharp and shiny, sheathed in brown leather, treasured and hides them whenever desperately needed for artistry Restlessness fills pockets with bland slime, lacking sparkle or elasticity, only a blob with weight like a stomach full of rocks someone who gifts some screwdrivers of incompetence but constant irritation and itching desire keep me in motion juggling the stomach rocks though insatiable hunger remains creating irregular comfort, making a pet of each stone swallowed though the scratched, tender throat needs be constantly quenched with clarity, I drink the elixir truth brings, purple and sweet as grape Kool-Aid I set the faded flower curtains aflame, a self-fulfilling responsibility the arsonist of bridges, can’t choose to turn around with nothing I’ve left, clean of any sticky coating a fire fighter for chasms needs a very long hose the charred frame remains absent everything you’ve saved fleeing obscures the crackling and the smoke the path ahead holds the divots and clawing roots of many whims what indelible marks will stay on my raw skin? which curses will topple to the tongue? your erasable touches won’t last through the first rain and I’ll take with me this lesson~stand away from an ass
Refreshment wriggles like worms in the garden blindly boring among the moles making mountains under the tent, my temporary shelter of turquoise and lilac, not offering camouflage against the deep forest greens however, its thin nylon walls offer the illusion of solitude Thirst sits in the grass picking dandelions and dreaming so far, I am camping, not homeless having vacated the house without a plan knowing there is no way back, but clutching ideas I left the kitchen sink, the burning curtains, the cracked pane, and him to the fruit flies refusing to leave a wildness, the definition of me, to putridity I let go of the nonsense of conformity to expectation and a singular route with blinders forcing my way choosing instead the claws in the paws of the freshly showered cougar the dark, fresh-earth mole tunnels full of worms and beetles and ants and spiders under my tent filter and aerate the earth like new and curious spaces for contemplation a beam of light breaks through thick fir canopy revealing a clutch of rabbits in the brush destroying any old or bored blanks of not thinking these bunnies crawling, not seeing, as they emerge from an underground nest inspire me to try varying perspectives, to look from under and from high above, perspectives that may nourish new understanding here, walking vision, I face fears to love myself again this fresh hunger will not feed old stubbornness
-Wow. That was great! So many new and interesting lines. If only a couple work with the poem, that’s gravy. The rest may make their way into other poems. I’m going to print this and start highlighting my favorite lines.
Choose the best lines and free-write. Dig down, find the deeper meaning.
As I went through, I did some quick editing and the lines I chose to explore further are:
after the ground falls away and I embrace free-fall, letting my arms and my dress, fly above my head, my pinky-toe the stoical point
a heart slammed closed kills confusion
but constant irritation and itching desire keep me in motion, juggling stomach rocks, insatiable hunger remains
your erasable touches won’t last past the first rain
An excerpt from my free-write:
I think some of the new lines work in the original poem. I now have a kill my darlings dilemma with the first line of the second stanza, they both work, but she’s thinking about her own artistry and skill being wasted, not any passion she once felt for him. So I’ll save songs and hips for something else. I think the lines of the ground falling away and telescoping view go well with vertigo, so I’m going to try them with the first stanza. What about that pinky-toe at a stoical point? That works with the next line, stepping out of the spiral, so it’s the tether that pulls her out.
~Maria L. Berg’s journal
Use the best line as the beginning of a new poem
I was going to combine this with “Force into a Form” in the next post, but while I was free-writing, it just happened. I really like the line “A heart slammed closed kills confusion,” but it doesn’t really fit with the original poem as is. As I started to write about it here’s what I wrote:
A heart slammed closed kills confusion
-maybe breaks confusion’s tiny bones breaking the what ifs, grinding the what could bes to dust, scattering the woulda-couldas to the corners or into the dark waters, but not collecting them in an urn, on the mantel, or planting them among mycelium. No. This death is final, sealed in a crypt where the rock can’t be rolled away on any third day.
Cut up and create a collage poem
I enjoy doing collage poems. For this one, I’m going to cut up everything I printed this morning, put all of the short phrases (two or three words) into a container and start pulling them out randomly. I already have pages set up in a notebook for this and these cool glue pens.
There are two more redrafting exercises I want to explore for the next post. I think we’ve already covered “Expand, write past the ending, and I think I’ll combine “Tighten, to it’s most succinct telling” with “Force into a form.”
Force into a form, or change from formal form to free verse.
Though this poem started in a form, it is a form of my invention, so at this point, it may help to play with some other forms, specifically some rhyming and line repetition forms. For this experiment, I took a look back through my OctPoWriMo 2020 posts and decided on:
In my post Relax and Process from last October, I tried an exercise called Channeling Emotion. This made me think of something to add to the Review process. Right after moods and themes, we should identify the emotions: both the emotions in the poem and also the emotion you feel when you read it. These are important things to identify during the review because we may want to revise to bring out these emotions.