28 days ago I packed up everything I own, put it into storage, and drove east into a new life. I’ve landed but somehow haven’t arrived. Today I sit on a screened patio looking out over a pool with palm trees in the landscape as rain beats down. Isaac making his presence known here in north central Florida. Even in this setting, I cannot write.
I am working with an idea for a poem. The kind of idea that could be as good as ‘Hellbender’ if I could just get some words on the page. I write a verse then delete it. It’s like I left my creativity in the Ozarks.
This happens occasionally to writers. Sudden moments when we cannot seem to write. I am remembering a writing exercise around this, which is to just write about what is happening. To begin and just let the pen (or keystrokes) continue into the absence of words.
collecting bones, leaning into the dusty decay of death
My sacrifice carved on my heart……
I want to write this poem. I cannot seem to get the words to come I am thinking in images which is probably good for the long haul process of THIS piece, if I can stick with it long enough to pen some words to the page. I now just list words, feelings, descriptions of what I am seeing. I also know part of the problem is writing about an unfolding rather than a particular place in time or theme. ‘Hellbender’ had that same quality of writing about an unfolding. I wove that poem like a spell and perhaps that is the problem here. The magic of it has escaped me in my desire to have the finished product rather than see where the poem takes me.
Writing is full of twists and turns. We weave together words for healing, for love, for truth-telling, for romance. What we weave sometimes ensnare us, for good or ill, and takes us somewhere new and amazing. In March a poem about the Ozarks brought me to Florida. Now I sit here, wanting the unfolding because I am desperate to know what is next.