Sunday, April 7, 2013

At No Time is Change a Moment

(Immersion Journal ~)

In class last Thursday, I talked about Anne Carson's foreshadowing in “Autobiography of Red,” specifically the chapter “Ideas.” So why exactly did Herakles kill Geryon? Of course the answer is never simple, and each time I read this book, there's something new to be found – and new piece of the puzzle, a new answer. The truth is, no matter what we want to believe, there are so many different interpretations to the same questions. And the Powers that Be will let you interpret them wrong just to make a point and help you learn a lesson, right? (Maybe that's a bit off topic & not just about the book.)

My chapbook is entitled Hint of a Spark which is inspired by a small, incredibly and unfortunately relevant lyric of a song that I once sang to the other person. So far I've completed the pages – which are much larger than my chapbook last year, and aged by burning and this time with coffee. The covers are painted, and the lace ribbon has been bought for the stab-binding process. I've yet to write out the poetry – I need to go through workshop still – but when I do get to it, it'll be written with an old fashioned pen. Maybe if I'm lucky, my roommate will let me borrow her feather quill pen that she uses to write in her witch notebook – her “Book of Shadows & Paper Magic” as she calls it.

The artwork itself is refreshing – it's been a long time, and it feels like standing up and stretching after sleeping when I go paint again. That's not the challenge. What challenge I face now in constructing the book relates to what I started this journal entry with. Why did Herakles kill Geryon? Well, in one sense it's heartbreak, right? Or, as Geryon answers in the chapter “Ideas” – just violent.

 Which drives home my point – It's so difficult to write about bad things that hurt you without writing dramatically. Nobody wants to read a poem that's so soused in emotion that all the concrete details smear and become abstractions. At least I don't. I marvel at poets who can subtly tell their stories and then make us cry without outwardly screaming, “HEY EVERYONE! HEART'S BROKEN. YEAH. PAY ATTENTION TO ME.” It's honestly a difficult task and I don't know yet if I'm doing well.

 The good thing is that the writing is healing me. And now, as I proceed and as we study Carson's work a bit – I want to inject a bit of a story arc. I don't want it to be Author and X specifically – I want to give the speaker in the poem (even though she's me) more characterization and morph the X, the other, the heartbreaker – into a character too. He starts out like a monster – Just Violent. But later on, as the speaker grows into life on the other side of a relationship, what is he then? Does he get his name back? Or does he fade into the background? Either way, the speaker will stand on her own again. I want the story to kind of flow in a way that makes the reader care about the characters and what happens to them. It's going to take some amount of revision.

For Rhapsodomancy – divination via poetry – let's ask: “How will the above-mentioned revision ideas affect my writing process?”

“Look, look, look, he said, there it is, the moment is
changed, but at no time is change a moment. It slips in
between, a star seen best when you look to one side.” (Pardi pg. 37. Poem: God's Shins)

Ah, so it's what I am bracing myself for – the much needed push in the quite-possibly-right direction. It's going to be difficult. But I'll start revising some that I've written outside of class and report back on how I feel about the work next week.


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