Poetry & Joy

Last night

My fiance and I stayed up past midnight with our flashlights and read the first five sections of

Walt Whitman’s Song of Self.

It felt like camping; like a secret.

I can remember loving poetry all my life. I remember loving the intricate lace of language. The taste and tecture of words. But this was the first time I shared it with someone that way.

The phrases popped in my mouth, on my tongue, in the way they were meant to…

I am certain now that poetry is meant to be shared in love, lamented in loss, raised up and out of our throats in heightened states so that we may see the light in it: the spaces between each and every vowel waiting to be wrenched open.

Share some Poetry with those you love!

Keep Writing

–ECW

Poem 151

a poem for my love which has yet to present a title:

I popped your epiphany

in my mouth—for safe keeping

I didn’t want to loose it

so I spoke it every moment

you were away//such a long while

oh cannibal—nibbling you loose

with my tongue\\when simply we dis

solved one onto the other

I touched my thumb to each of my

fingers to prove I was awake and you

said over and over that we would never

come apart now—not now not ever—but I

had known that all along.

—ECW

Poem 147

for a dear friend struggling with her young-voids, a poem for inspiration, or perhaps just proof that we are all the same.

selfmedicated

Maybe for a long while—

a sense of waiting, of bone loss

of time on lines running through our bodies

together rolling on a wild hushed open

I had hopes of closure before…

the long wide brush which cups the desert

and makes us whole. It’s never too soon to ration

our matches. Never too early to siphon our love.

I had known of secret rituals—bringing back the dead

young lies we knew so helplessly wrong,

and yet, some other afterlife

was always better-still

—ECW

Poem 146

Hey poets. School has been kicking my bum! Hope to write more soon…
A woman came in to the library today and needed help printing her poems as gifts. They were simple but I was inspired by her blissful writer-glow. I need to write more, in a small way it’s more important than anything else

nonleapyears

In case of wax flowers

know this—we are well thread

in the eyelashes of all things                     &this

hardly a coincidence we have

the same hair—espresso except

in summer, forever lovelier remembered

&this

heavier with time, unfolded over and over

&this

hollow quiet space which I filled w/ sleep-signs

ah-feather-be we wander wishful, pinkytied

&quiet

something humble this way grows

from the earth we come wide-eyed except

in summer, when our mouths are open &this

is the quietest place we can be: together

holding out for rain

&rain&rain&rain

—ECW

Poem 143

The Sum: Our Tangled Quarks

She sat straight up scolding—

I don’t need a man to have a baby

and it was so violent—just then

So much hate I felt seared to hear her justice

Divorce, single mother, two sisters

She hadn’t needed a man for anything {y}et

Even //sex{x}// the carnal compromise: science

rendered a sham. I can be who I am,

without a man

and fill the school halls with pupils

all of them genderless and skirted.

When did we get so angry—when did our wombs

sound the siren cry for justice. For mother-ness

In the infinite fatherless; our almighty insolence.

Together, a single entity, inseparably strong—

for without: the remainder of mother sans father—Was god.

I am no idol // no creator of life undaunted.

I {reclined to disagree} needed someone, everyday

to catalog my minutia, to record my human incidents.

someone every/day to suggest pizza for dinner—

movies-on-demand—someone, who would

pry when I stumbled in headlong-midnight

fear the worst when I pocket-vetoed voicemails.

I needed someone, who so happened to be a | man.

But it was quantum randomness that suggested us

together; an epiphany of skin that bound our nuclei.

And for that I was never angry

—ECW

Poem 66 Revised

Husk of possibility

Digging up arthritic roots

A buttress belldrop out for beauty.

We forgive ourselves for the folly

For which we are wholly to blame.

And instead take on fate like a

Lit flame left out in the rain.

Drop this stick, pointed green like a pen—

Watch it grow into a mangrove despite

Your best efforts to drown it.

Water and weed, we are in-between

We are shouting out through surface tension

We are sturdy like an island—

Current stripped of sand.

Sometimes all you need to root

Is another just like you.

—ECW

 

Poem 66 EditedPoem 66 Original

Poem 59 Edited

Twins. Poem 59 has a TWIN. 

Poem 59

I am all about this new idea I am mulling over. Twins. That a poem can be two things at once, that in its progression, an idea can occupy more than a single space and yet grow in similar or opposite directions depending on circumstance. Like human beings, the poems have relationships with each other that not only depend on all three dimensions (words for 1 dimension, space on the page for the 2nd dimension, extra-ness for the 3rd like images and commentary) but also time, the real life 4th dimension that has real and tangible consequences on the writer.

Twins, in my body of work, so far, represent the growth of what I will call a writable-idea, something that is both tangible and relatable, but also heady and philosophical. That’s just a fancy way of saying the worthy subject of a poem (note, anything is worthy of a poem as long as it is approached in a poetic manner, that manner of course is the challenging bit we poets love to muddle through). Fleshing out a writable-idea takes lots and lots of thought, both conscious and subconscious. So, as a result, i find there are doubles in my collection from similar times and of similar topics that could nearly be paired together in sets. I won’t go that far just yet. In most cases one is much stronger than the other. The second twin, not by time but by maturity, almost always answers the questions posed by the first twin in their corresponding approach to a subject.

Bla. Bla. Bla. Basically, when I try to write about something I care about it comes out twice. Once iffy and then much better. The twin idea is something I am certain is not a singular phenomenon. I know from college that there are poets who experienced this (Whitman, Moore, Pound, Eliot, Bishop, Yeats.) The poems that get published by these writers all seem very singular and perfect, but go back into their works-in-progress letters and editing and you will see an internal dialogue through the poems they wrote earlier, a duel between twins. Or perhaps the birth of two queen bees in a hive, fighting to become the monarchy.

This poem needed more editing, but it also needed to break from its twin. The two together form a powerful bond, which will be reinstated later, I am sure. First, they must grow apart and reach their own potential lest they be bound together in this draft state and never improve.

 

TAKEAWAY

Twins. The phenomenon I am only just getting my head around because I happen to be going back through my whole collection one by one. In essence, the twin effect appears when two poems written in near succession are mirrors and informants of each other. More powerful together, they demonstrate writable-idea in converging ways that reflect on the idea itself and the time they were written. Some twins will come closer, others will break apart, though all instances are evidence that writing as a process is a dynamic flowering arc.

Poem 59 RevisedPoem 59 Original

Poem 73 Editing; An Idea on Twinning

I am a big picture person. I have always been and it gets me into trouble with those little-picture skills assessments we have to endure (always) and the when I get a top side view I always take the opportunity to see something I might have otherwise missed.

This poem is the perfect example to relay my newest discovery.
Poem 73 is a twin. I spoke of the idea of sister peoms back in my editing of 49 & 50 but thought perhaps it was an isolated incident. It was not. In fact, the more and more I look these over, the more I see the twin poems popping up everywhere.
So, what makes a twin?
By twin I mean the paired idea and another element to make them inform each other. I am sure all poets experience this phenomenon. Though I am not sure how they all treated it in the past. For example, Whitman had several similar poems, all linked by this sense of Singing. I am not sur if I would call this twinning or just a phase (like my own fish phase). Sometimes this happened with poets across collections, of course Moore and Bishop both have “Fish”. Having a twin poem is a powerful message, bound together by their natural gravity, both poems are made more interesting and poignent with the use of their outside information. It almost undermines the idea of capital P Poem, but again the body and the conscious are two necessary parts of a more effective whole.
So that takes us back to this poem and why it is so important. First of all the editing went very well. There are a few times I thought it was in my top fifteen poems. It was not, sadly, and neither was it’s twin, but top twenty to be sure. So, there’s that. I loved the inspiration, and the temporal link to its twin. Written around the same month, and one about me and my roommat/twin EK, they complete a circle of meaning far greater than could be achieved on their own. They are almost the yin and yang of poetic assembly, swirling around each other like fish (damn I will never get away from these fish).
The importance of twins, and their relevance in my collection might seem small now. but if almost all of my poems have a twin it might become more relevant in their final stages. Like sibblings, they will change and grow, but their connection will stay relevant.
Why have you never heard of this before? Because very likely I am the only poet on the internet who puts up every rough draft, mad thought, and random poem-let that pops into my head. Because forgiving a few stray drafts in my “earlier” years, this will be a whole, living collection and maybe the only one of its kind, and finally, not many poets take this kind of journey with their work in an overall sense. So you get the picture. Get a bird’s eye of your collection and you sill start seeing twins too, though I doubt anyone has as much spare time as me. Haha.
So the twin and the trajectory are yet to be seen, I like the direction this is going, so keep an eye on twinning, I will try my best to call it out as often as it happens. (I think Charlie Sheen came up with his own definition of Twinning, though that is not the same thing as this one, lol.)
TAKEAWAY
The poet will be likely to carry the same idea over several poems. This is what I call a phase. The poet may write the same poem twice in different ways, this is what I call twinning. Twin poems are powerful because they exist within themselves outside of themselves. A strong interlocking symbiosis, the sum is greater than its parts, like a chapbook and a poem, like an anthology and a poet, like a culture and a society. We are all twins of something, these poems prove it.

Poem 5 Revised

My Similar Soul–

Falls in love with other heard beats;
my long-lost bed-warming fish-hook
sends others to the cotton sheet corners.
My kitchen wants for burnt yellow cupcakes,
           and you.
All of my being wants for you,
but you, my Similar Soul,
find pace with other heartbeats,
lend advice to fresh ears,
lace impatient fingers with new secrets
           reminiscing often–you promise–of me.
           While I?
I fall in love with another soul,
less similar than yours.
–ECW

Poem 78

Post



I can remember coming home to post-it notes
clinging precariously to lamp shades, grasping at doorknobs.
And when I had collected them all in a pile I sighed, 
for I had been wondering about them all summer,
wondering where you might hide them, what color pens you would 
choose to inscribe over and over: I love you I love you I love.
 
It was a sad moment. I collected each one in my fingers, felt the frailty of love.
Paper love letters smooth in my fingers like eggshells, but warmer, paper
warms faster than eggshells; paper can be re-perfected. Love is the prettiest word to
behold on a post-it. I nearly wept to see them all there crooked together.
Sad to have found them. More self piteous than sad.
 
I love you I love you I love… those afternoons post, opening drawers;
unpacking boxes, rearranging shoes harboring hideaway post-its. Lines 
of a sonnet could be fleshed out there, in the terror of discovering the Very. Last. One.
I held quite still. Clutched the paper between my fingers. This paper; this love
hiding behind hangers and book ends, on the underside of tables. Not infinite, not over yet.
–ECW