Monday, March 26, 2007

Language, Domesticity and the Power of Patience

I've been considering these newest poems of mine today in the middle of doing other things. It's been an ongoing concern really for a couple of months now, since I've noticed how they're different from earlier work; worried how they'll fit with other work; wondered in fact if I'm up to the task of writing them. Some things are becoming clearer and other considerations are presenting themselves.

Essentially, these are domestic poems--not just about how I spend my days and what happens to cross my mind in the midst of that; but also about friends in different stages of their lives--how they move about their rooms, spend their time, distract themselves and what they might see outside their doors and windows. On its face, relatively simple (perhaps a bit voyeuristic) stuff.

The challenge of this is simple: the poems are slower and longer than what I've been doing. How to do this in a way that is compelling is the primary concern, of course. Finding a balance between my own predilection for plain language and lyricism is tricky. It's coming I live with the poems and rethink them there's a nag at the back of my brain...something I've forgotten or not yet thought of is suggesting itself.

This is one of the reasons I want to get back into the yard--to dig in the dirt and perform repetitive tasks. Something gets freed up in those moments and problems resolve themselves. I'm anxious to be out there in the breeze and the warmth and birdsong. I want to look at nothing more than the spadeful of overturned dirt immediately before me. I want to know what the next step is.


Bill Filer said...

Just wanted to say "right on" regarding simple, enjoyable, repetitive tasks breaking lose complicated matters. Well said.

I'm dealing with the same issues now regarding music, lyrics, and the whole creative process.

For me: the treadmill

RJGibson said...

Bill--Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It's astounding how those tasks and activities free up the creative center.