Thursday, January 18, 2007
Bad Sleeper and the Hodgepodge Post
I'm a bad sleeper--always have been and fear I always will be. I envy those who just go to sleep easily, who don't wake up a couple of times a night, who actually feel rested. On an average night I wake up 2 or 3 times for about 10 minutes per episode. Strangely, I'm less likely to do this if I'm not sleeping alone. I wake up, but usually I just flail blindly in the dark, shlump myself over to Brian and throw my arm over him.
Monday I woke up before 5 and stayed awake...bleh. Tuesday night I stayed at my friend Michael's because we drank and watched the American Idol auditions. I woke up a couple of times and then woke up at about 5. I watched some Nova doco. on PBS until I felt sleepy. Last night, I woke up about 3 am and it wasn't the usual stuff--I wasn't hungry (I'm practically a sleep eater some nights), didn't need to run to the can, wasn't sitting up trying to scream from that damned "falling from great heights" dream. No--I started a couple of new poems.
This to me seems worth it. I got the words down and I don't know what they're going to do yet; what they're going to be, which is exciting. The lineation and rhythms feel different than what I was doing before, so we'll see where they go. As much as I love my sleep, I'm willing to sacrifice it for new work.
I've spent precious little time the last 9 months generating new poems. Maybe three that were actually worth pursuing? Hard to say. Mainly I've revised; rethought what I was doing, what I wanted my poems to do; read. I've found out this is how I work--sustained bursts of new writing, maybe seven or eight months worth of new poems, then about the same amount of time not generating new material.
It took me a while to accept this--I had a long period of writer's block, about three years--and once I was writing again I didn't want to stop. I was afraid to stop; that any lag was the start of a new drought. It took a lot of patience to train myself. The seven or eight months is dedicated mainly to new poems with minor attention to revision, unless there's just something so nagging I can't ignore it. The downtime is dedicated to revision and edits and playing with exercises.