Bobby Pins, Typewriters, and Morels… Or, Just Another Spring Week

The funniest things catch and hold my fancy. For days and days a thought can bounce back into my brain. Current thoughts are: I keep finding bobby pins in random spots and it’s so exciting because I need all of them. Listening to dough and how it works because it’s a living breathing thing, though it might seem to be inanimate. The Lumineers and the Pandora station. Ada Limon poetry. Spring thunderstorms. Spring flowers. Using older things for writing, I.E. typewriters, journals, notebooks, fountain pens, etc. the 1930s…. Oh, lastly, morels. It’s morel season.

All random thoughts. All unique and almost all applying to writing. Except for the bobby pins. That applies to just my life. I got so excited when I reached down into the pocket of my slacks last night and pulled out three bobby pins and a barrette. I need all of those. I had wondered where all my bobby pins were disappearing to. Now I know. Thank gosh because I used 20 the other day to keep my hair back in place. I thought I was using a lot before. Nope. I have it down to a lot more now. I wrote a Facebook update that was, “Found more bobby pins in my slacks pocket last night. I love this!” A friend thought that made for a marvelous prompt. From a man’s perspective. I think so too.

I was mentally writing about listening to dough, after reading Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book. Dough, you think of as inanimate, but in all actuality, because of the yeast, it is alive. It may be an organism, but it’s alive nonetheless. So you have to listen to the dough when you work with it. You can’t just force it to mold to your will. Ok, you can, but it might not be that happy. And in turn, neither will you. So the dough I have been working with has been kind of warm and lazy. It just stretches just so, like a person in the morning that yawns and stretches their arms above their head then falls back into the pillows all soft and sleepy…… Then there is the dough that my coworker made. It’s cold, lumpy, and very very grumpy. It’s like Walter from Jeff Dunham. Arms crossed, uncompromising…. a pain in the ass. You nearly have to beat the stuff into submission. Or in my case, I let it be alone for a while to sit and pout. It warmed up enough to be flexible so I could roll it into a ball, in which case, it got all grumpy again and was stubborn. Making into a pizza crust was a challenge later. It kept tearing and not stretching. Gads, it was a pain.

I have been stressed and mental lately. I have been thinking about Wilson Tennu and his issues. Spring storms seem to be so him. I think I had a dream about him recently and I was just a little bit more in love with this broken person. It’s terrible. He’s been in my head, choosing to listen to serious music. Not jazz, per se, though he does love it, but things like the Lumineers and folk music. Or indie music. Young the Giant is one of his new favorite bands. (Me, myself, I’m enthralled with the lead singer of that band. Yum) But he’s been so moody. I pulled out Ada Limon, Kim Addonizio, and Anne Sexton to try and alleviate some of his issues. But I think I need to read some Seamus Heany and Galway Kinnell. They are a nice balance of both of us. Him and I. We are both moody people. Gee, I wonder why. Insert sarcasm.

My father recently had his Remington typewriter fixed and made all shiny and pretty and smooth typing. I now need to have my Royal fixed up so I don’t feel like I’m clumping along with it as it sticks on key b, or bounces out a double space so I have to back up and use white out. Or a red X. But it’s going to be a bit before I can get to that. I have Wilson wanting to type and I have been kind of shoving him off and not letting him. See, I’m too connected to this person. I really should tell him to get a hold of himself, but I also don’t want him to leave. He lets me look at things from a different perspective.

Morel mushroom KLB

He’d have luck morel hunting. Not me. No, I flopped with finding only 6. Phooey!

Now that it’s nearly the end of my “Saturday”, I should go take a look at the three large books that came in for me at the library, and maybe let Wilson write a little.

Kate

Sounding Like, or Finding One’s Voice

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

If there is one thing I do, it’s read a lot of poetry. I read so much that I keep the poetry section of my library in stock. At all times. I read so much that I have started quoting poets without meaning to do it. I read so much that I randomly mention poets and poems like they are friends I bump into on a regular basis. It’s gotten to the point where my mother starts rolling her eyes because I bring up random poetry all the time.

Now I’m going to preface this next part with a statement so friends who read this don’t start sending me emails and messages about how great I write.   I know I write good poetry and I am perfectly content with the bulk of it. Accolades and compliments come often enough that I don’t doubt myself, so friends, please feel free to pay attention to only this part.

If there is one thing I have found with writing and reading poetry on a regular basis, it is that I compare myself to other poets. I read poetry, and I’ll even do it with song lyrics I like, but I sit there thinking how amazing that poet said something and how in the world will I ever sound that good. Self-doubt is a lovely companion to writing. I think they go hand in hand. Almost like, if you don’t have self-doubt, you can’t honestly be a writer.

So I read poetry and wonder how I will ever be as great as some of the amazing things I read.  Currently, I have been reading a lot of poetry from Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times both edited and selected by Garrison Keillor. The selection comes from all those wonderful The Writer’s Almanac daily recordings. (I’m still so bummed that I can’t listen to that whenever I want these days.)  The poetry in the books is perfect for my life currently, but again, I can’t help compare myself to said poets.

I’m also reading a lot of Galway Kinnell, William Carlos Williams, Judith Viorst, e.e. cummings, and way too many others I won’t get into. Y’all know I love my poetry.

My friends and writing colleagues say I have my voice, but I don’t always hear it, and I want to ‘copy’ the greatness of these other writers. It’s not that I want to sound like them per se, but I want to have people read what I write and feel like I do when I read these other greats.  You would think that after the compliments of my friends it would be enough. And for the most part, it is. I think sometimes too, it comes from wanting one important person in my life to really appreciate what I write. And currently, I think he does. When he sees it.

I have so much that goes on in my head and I am forever trying to get it out.  I feel like I get one good poem a week out. This last week I think I got two. Which isn’t bad. I always surprise myself if I can push a few poems a week out.  I read something that Billy Collins said:  “One of the ridiculous aspects of being a poet is the huge gulf between how seriously we take ourselves and how generally we are ignored by everybody else.”

I feel that is incredibly true. I am quite serious about being a poet and what is going on, and if I can help someone with what I write, and will it matter. Will it all matter in the end. And part of that is making sure you hear me. Here what I am saying, be it in metaphor to use how you need it, or in completely plain speech. I want to say it the best way for me. The best way that you hear the ‘me’ in me. Which is why, while I would love to sound like other great poets, I still want to find my voice.

Obviously, I have enough of my own voice if other say they can see it. And this isn’t really self-doubt here so much as me just semi venting. And being totally blown away by some amazing poetry I’ve read this week. Current poems and authors that I’ve fallen in love with are: Passing Through a Small Town by David Shumate, In Paris with You by James Fenton, Wedding Poem For Schele and Phil by Bill Holm, Any prince to any princess by Adrian Henri, To A Frustrated Poet by R.J. Ellmann, A Millian Young Workmen, 1915 by Carl Sandburg, Ordinary Life by Barbara Crooker,  and lastly, Prayer by Galway Kinnell, which I will type up here because, wow….

 Prayer

Galway Kinnell

Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.

And on that note, I shall end, because Galway says it all.

Happy writing to those starting April PAD (Poem a Day) with Writer’s Digest. I haven’t decided if I’m going to or not, but I’m thinking about it. Just to add to my general writer’s crazy. Cause I don’t have enough things to think and write about.

Writing on

Kate

The Romance of Writing Love Poems

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
…wishing I could fly. Excerpt from the poetry collection “This Is For The Women Who Don’t Give A F*ck” by Janne Robinson. Published by Thought Catalog Books | ShopCatalog.com

I wrote the other day about how I was delving back into Foolsgold and I might find myself writing love poems.  I can’t say as I am a very good writer of those types of poems. I have to actually be in a state to write them. I did write a form of a love poem, and  I am prone to sharing those poems with the person they are for. Actually, if I write something for someone, I give it to them. What I mean by writing for someone, is that I will give the person a poem they inspired.   Lil, my coworker, got a poem that was about this brave wildflower pirate girl. Lucifer was given a poem that was to him. Mrs. Austen was given a poem years ago about tiny letters. (I think that is somewhere on this blog).

I guess you could look at poems to friends as a form of a love poem. One of the ladies in my writing group has two poems in my rejected manuscript. Actually, they aren’t so much as love poems, but inspired poems. That lady can inspire poems that are super incredible. At least to me.

Going back to reading Foolsgold, the heading for a chapter had a part of a Hafiz poem that just hit me hard.  The line was:

Tired of Speaking Sweetly
 
Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.
Isn’t that so incredible?  I love the manhandle part. I’ll post the rest of the poem at the bottom, but the thought of how love grabs a hold of us and rattles us to the core… Oooh, wait, I needed that line right there for the poem it inspired. Hold on. I’ll be back………..
Okay, I’m back.
So we’ve been wrecked and grabbed, rattled, thrust away, pulled back. Sometimes love has that ability to turn us black and blue and breaking things. I love finding poetry that hits me so hard that I have to start writing myself. The feelings contained inside are too much and I just wish I could hug the poet and say ‘thank you’ for saying what I’m feeling. Or what I needed to feel.

Galway Kinnell

Last week…. no wait almost two weeks ago, I was at a used book store and found a Galway Kinnell poetry book. I believe, though I can’t remember, I first heard his poetry on an episode of Poetry Off the Shelf podcast, but either way, oh does his poetry hit hard. It hits you right in the gut; right in the heart and mind. While I can only read small doses of his poems, I am in love. It’s beautiful.

 I don’t often find poems that are really good love poems in my readings. I’m very selective, as I don’t want just a lovey-dovey type poem. I want something that destroys you inside. Leaves you raw and trembling because you totally understand it. That is how I feel about this Hafiz poem.

Tired of Speaking Sweetly

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

From: ‘The Gift’
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Currently I have the complete works of e.e. cummings headed my direction via the library. He had the ability to write some of the most provocative, erotic love poems. They have the ability to make you want to grab someone and kiss them desperately, they are that raw. I actually want to print them off, type them up, and hand them to people to make their heart race. To feel.

Even Shakespeare had that ability to thrust you into love wow. Oberon’s love of Titania is in my opinion, epic. Though currently I can’t find what I’m looking for in the darn play to post it here.

Love poems come in many forms. Sometimes, we even need to write love poems to ourselves. One I wrote this last Saturday, titled “You Can Be A Good Girl and Wear A Black Lace Bra” is a love poem to myself about how sometimes what you see isn’t what’s hiding beneath the surface, but it’s all intermingling with the outside to make you (or in this case, me) who I am. Thanks again goes to Mel for the title, though I added the ‘lace’ part because I want to emphasize the fact that there is total girly girl lace going on here.

So, how about anyone else. Do you write and share love poems? Have you read any good ones lately? I’d love to know about both, yours and other poet’s love poems.

Kate

Exploding Out of Me

Have you ever started reading something that just hit you with a force like a hurricane and

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

made you want to laugh, cry, sing, dance and hide in a corner, all in one moment? I’m finding that poetry, certain poetry, just hits me like that and I am slammed face first into this marvelous feeling that I want to shout out to the world, but keep quietly bottled up inside, a geyser that’s just hidden under the surface. I’d say what really started me on this journey of explosion was when I read Billy CollinsTuesday June 4, 1991.  This poem is so perfect in its artistry that you finish feeling amazed and flabbergasted and staring at the page like you just opened Ali Baba’s cave.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I feel like my eyes have been opened to a type of poetry that just sings to me.

I’ve been reading over and over, four more of Billy Collins’ books, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and I returned Aimless Love and Sailing Alone Around the Room. I keep reading them and I keep sighing with understanding and longing. Because the poems make me long for something. I want to desperately share these with someone. Read them outloud in the summer as we lie on the grass in dappled sunlight.

Along with Billy Collins, I have been reading a book of Erotic Poetry by the Everyman’s Pocket Poets.  And don’t think dirty poems. This deals with Eros and love and desire, hate, anguish and reverence for the body.

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

The poetry is marvelous and sensual and beautiful. It makes you stop and ponder and go, ‘Oh wow’. Or that’s what I do. I’m just stupefied and in awe when I finish one. You would think I’ve never read poetry. But it’s magical and amazing.

What got me started reading the erotic poetry was by reading Last Gods  by Galway Kinnell.  this is some seriously beautiful and sensual work. I suggest if you are interested in gorgeous poetry to try this one. It is magical and takes you to the heart of Eros. It makes you blush, but in a very good way. A private look at a man and woman and it’s beautiful.

This kind of poetry is much more modern than what I’ve grown up reading. Though, that being said, most of what is in the Erotic Poetry is pre 1900’s.  So, I suppose I’ve been reading the wrong things.  I’ve always been a fan of Emily Dickinson, though half the time I don’t know what she is saying. It’s the magic of it all that gets me.

Well the magic of these poets has me enthralled, craving more and wanting to scream it out to anyone who will listen.

Has anyone else read something that changed their life? Made them want to dance and sing and weep and hide? Has poetry changed your life in ways you never knew possible?

 

Signing off

Kate