September 01, 2007

Here we go again--

The draft-a-day project for August was a pretty damn good thing. I read (over and over) books by Paul Guest, Dan Chiasson, Dean Young, Mary Biddinger, Lisa Olstein, and Charles Simic. I built a 20 page manuscript up to 40 pages, which was my goal. I tweaked poems and began another round of journal submissions, which has already snagged two acceptances (yay!) from DIAGRAM and the Barn Owl Review.

Most importantly, I got to interact with these amazing poets on a daily basis: Oliver de la Paz, Nate McClain, Deborah Ager, Erika Meitner, Aimee Nez, Carly Sachs, Kelli Russell Agodon, Don Illich, and Kathi Morrison-Taylor.

Seeing their drafts (and sharing their frustrations with the encroachments of daily life) was deeply satisfying. Work kept me from going away to a colony or residency this year, but this feels like the next best thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who took part--or followed along and offered encouraging words.

And now: off to get suburned, play bocce, drink beer, and other forms of non-poetry. Have a ridiculous holiday weekend.

33 comments:

Oliver de la Paz said...

Lovely, Sandra!

Nick said...

Great start, Sandra.

nate said...

Loved this, Sandra!

Steven D. Schroeder said...

Should "vertebrate necklace" perhaps be "vertebrae necklace"? I don't understand it as used. Otherwise, I like it on first read. The house on chicken legs is very Baba Yaga. :-)

Sandra said...

Thanks for the encouragement, guys! (And Steve, good catch on "vertebrate"--that was an extra T.) Cheers, SB

newzoopoet said...

Your drafts are entirely too sure to be drafts! ;) Impressive...(not to mention a poem a day for all of August is inspiring!!).

nate said...

Beautiful work, Sandra.

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

Nice poem! Draft, heck, It's ready. Very fresh. Very crisp. Nice surprises. Good opening and closing. I like this.

(first time visiting. I'll be back - great blog name, btw)

Sandra said...

Angela--thank you, but trust me, they are drafts. There's a very predictable rhythm so far of the daily panic attack: "Damn it, it's 8 PM, and I don't have a poem yet."

It's making me a joy to be around, I'm sure.

Thanks for visiting, Lorna! We'll keep the light on for ya.

Rob said...

I really like the ending to this one (4 August)- the handful of light and the river. Very sinister. Not sure what part the pigeons are playing in it all. But the rest is good.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Enjoyed Have Mercy, Sandra. Nice work.

Cheryl said...

Lovely poem!

I'm a first- time visitor here, too. Hope you don't mind the gate-crash.

Rob said...

I'm glad to have found your site too and have enjoyed my daily poetry fix here. This latest one on memory and scissors is really good - are you sure there would be no blood? Great ending though.

Sandra said...

So great to have new visitors! Please visit again, Cheryl.

So glad you like the ending, Rob--as the poets trading August poems by email would know, I completely changed the ending between midnight and 1:30 AM.

And if you can believe it, the scissors incident in "Making History" is an actual YouTube video that I've seen. No blood.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

Nice... I especially like the cathedral/friend portions here. It might not serve your intent for the poem, but I think I'd like the poem ending one stanza earlier, before "All my problems..." Actually, "All my problems could be solved with catapults" could be moved to after the souls like boulders for an interesting effect. And, since I'm apparently a typo-alerting jackass type, "their the souls" :-)

Sandra said...

Hi Steve--Oooh--it's good that you're catching my typos! I am continually tweaking the Blog version of the poem, so they often creep in as I evolve between drafts. Thanks for the suggestions...the catapult line originally WAS near the hummingbird stanza, so moving it back might be best.

I realize these comments will be inscrutable to later blog visitors. = )

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

I like The Parade, too. Those cherry blossoms, and the ending, especially. Good work.

Lorna

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Really enjoyed "The Deep".

Sandra said...

Thanks Lorna, and Sam, and everyone. The encouragement really helps me keep going.

carly said...

Yeah, maybe I will try some bar ariettas tonight to accompany your vegetable medley :) Marcela Sulak also has some great ones too so you're in good company!

Diane Lockward said...

Sandra--I'm not familiar with the term "arietta." Does it mean small song? Is this a poetry term I should know or has it recently been imported to name a certain kind of poem? Your five remind me of riddle poems. Very nice.

Sandra said...

Hi Diane--

How nice to see you on the blog! Yes, "arietta" is Italian for "small song." It's not a form per se, but I did try to keep a consistency of rhythm and language in each section--and decided to never use the name of the food IN the poem, which is what gives it the riddling quality. So glad you enjoyed these.

Cheers, Sandra

Lyle Daggett said...

Just came by this evening -- was a little baffled by some of the comments, until I figured out that you've been deleting earlier poem drafts and posting new ones in the same post here. (Vertebrae? Cathedral? Confused cat expression...)

Anyway -- really like the ariettas (Blood Orange, Green Beans, Oysters, Baguette, Corn). Made me hungry, mmmmm. Myself, not sure if I would eat the corn raw, but makes me curious.

In places the poem reminds me of the brief clear poems of Jean Follain, whose work I like much.

Sandra said...

Hi Lyle--

Welcome to the blog! Yes, I imagine the comments thread would be a little odd without context...but no odder than eating corn raw, I suppose, which I still highly recommend. = )

Cheers, Sandra

Steven D. Schroeder said...

I was reminded of the picture of you in Switzerland from a couple months ago even before I got to "Luzern" (I didn't know what Pilatus was). The tourism and gathering the clouds, I think.

Word verification: nixjag

Amy Slykhuis said...

Hi Sandra,
I really liked this poem. You have a unique way of seeing an perceiving the world.

Amy Slykhuis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

Holy Toledo! Still going strong I see. Bravissima.

Sandra said...

Welcome to the blog, Amy!

Nick, thanks so much...it is the home stretch and I can use the encouragement. I hardly ever use epigraphs, but for "The Story" it seemed apt.

Nick said...

Sorry I missed it.

Amy Slykhuis said...

"Transcontinental Shoelace" is brilliant. Makes me look at McDonald's in a different light.

Nick said...

Glad I caught this one. :-)

nate said...

Congrats on DIAGRAM and Barn Owl Review, Sandra (we'll be page mates in BOR! Yay!)!! That's great! The drafts you produced during August were wonderful, and I'm glad they're already finding homes... keep us posted!!