Poem 78 Editing

One of the greater joys of being a poet is using words in their many forms junxtaposed for greater meaning. It’s a bit of a thrill honestly. There are no greater hacks to language than the multiplicity of words (that’s the new buzz word these days, hacks, bit of a silly concept really).

Poem 78, Post, is a study in the three uses of post: to post, the object Post-It, and the past of a moment, post. There is also a sense of one’s post as in the space the narrator occupies in the room. That one is less obvious, but a bonus.
If this kind of poem tickles your fancy there are a few things to remember when writing a multiplicity poem:
1. Don’t make it cheesey. Pick a genuine subject and focus around a word second. If you are trying to write a poem about a word, it will be just that. This poem is made better by its use of the word post, but it is still about something else.
2. At least three. I like the number three, like a triangle it is the strongest geometric shape. If you have just two uses then you might want to reconsider the poem as a multiplicity. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of a pun, but there’s no reason to write a whole poem about it, limericks have fallen from favor and are rarely art.
3. It’s still a poem. It still needs Truth, a norm, a moment, a heartline, all of those things we’ve been talking about this whole time. If you aren’t including them, you might want to hold off and figure out what to write first. See bullet point 1.
TAKWAWAY
Poetry is so much more than just words. But sometimes the multiplicity of a word can drive a little life into the piece. Remember to always make it meaningful, with a bigger picture, poetic conventions of some sort, and of course two uses of a word is hardly a revolution.
Be a master of language, in that way you will be a master of your own tongue, and your pen. Boyfriend bought me an old school dictionary and thesaurus and I highly recommend thumbing through a paper version, there are so much more inspiring connections to be made… and of course no advertisements.

Poem 70 Editing

This is the perfect poem for my number one criticism of my own writing. Wear Slippers.

Often my imagery will be graphic, gory and even unpleasant. That comes from my urge towards realism, my exposure to lots and lots of gruesome media and above all a lack of control. By control I mean emotional tethering. By reining in my language I am able to better manipulate those emotions I hope to evoke from the poem. Everyone will take something different way, that’s art, but there needs to be something there that I put in place to establish tone.

In this poem, there are a lot of bodily words, pimple armpits dry-patch, that are too graphic for the sweetness I am trying to capture. On top of that, there needs to be more universe words apart from vast to establish a sense of theme. By toning down my language, wearing slippers, I can make the words less jarring and more meaningful.

TAKEAWAY:

Watch your feet. By wearing slippers or strapping on those work boots you can make the language as vivid and vital as needed or as soft and simple as the poem requires. There are so many ways to play with language, so get an eye on the things that rob your poem of potential and get stompin!

 

Poem 70 RevisedPoem 70 Original

Poem 5 Editing

This is a question I hear all the time: You write poetry, huh, like song lyrics?

No, nothing like song lyrics. My best friend writes and performs her music and in the most basic fundamental elementary down-to-the-atoms way poetry is the opposite of song lyrics…
Poetry must stand on its own, it must bring a melody that carries through words rather than sound, it must be memorable without a rhythm to solidify its uniqueness, and finally (and most importantly) it survives on details rather than generalities.
My friend must make her experiences as general as possible to allow others to try them on and acclimate them to their own life. A song you hear is your song, about that time in college or when you took that trip. This is a skill separate from poetry, though it is just as difficult.
My poems must be specific, a reader should feel, smell, taste, touch and ache just as I did in the moment. A poem must be a tangible overwhelming truth, it also must be beautiful, memorable and realatible.
This poem has been edited before… the issues are in those details that no one will understand… The question becomes whether they add to the overall piece or if they alienate the reader too much. There is no perfect formula for this, you will just have to try over and over until you get it right…
That said this is also a personal poem, about a dear friend who shares many inside jokes and secret words with me… taking that out of the poem would deflate the meaning, but leaving it in ma alienate the reader… So the key is to make the message of friendship universal through our personal details.
Whenever I edit this poem I always worry about words like fish-hook and if burnt cupcakes are the items I really want to highlight… they are limiting in their relatability and yet contain exactly what I want to say about the friendship… There is also an underlying level of tension that reflects negatively on the comroderie that I always try to add to or clip out… I could edit this 1,000 more times and it will never be right… which sometimes means its done.
THE TAKEAWAY
Your poem must be about your life… When you struggle to write about something deeply personal, remember to balance those needed details with generalities that are universal. In this case, friendship is a universal commodity. While there is only one friendship like this one, the notion of secrets, a language all our own and details that are singular in their nature, there are millions of friendships that grow apart and millions of nostalgic readers who could relate to the ending of this poem… In this case it goes from small to big. As long as the universal and the singular exist in harmony, the poem is a success.