Sheesh. This poem-a-day times two thing can be challenging! It's a quarter past ten and I guess I'd better get to it.
Today, from Found Poetry Review, Brian Oliu suggests we try the following: "Set aside about twenty minutes of your day with the intention of “doing research” for a piece. Do not allow yourself to write about anything that you do not experience firsthand: if you are writing about the feel of water, or the taste of an orange, run your hand underneath the sink or get to the supermarket as soon as possible. Allow yourself to be immersed in your project & only trust “first hand research” instead of cobbling things together from various sources/the Internet–it will be there later for second drafts. If you are writing about a scene in a movie, watch that scene. If you are writing about a trip that you took, try your best to replicate that trip to the best of your abilities. Take notes, but don’t let the notes dictate your experience. After you have concluded your “research” begin writing immediately & without prejudice–don’t stop, don’t worry about linebreaks or punctuation, or word choice: capture whatever fleeting magic you have conjured until the feeling is gone."
Today found me spending a good deal of time on the beach. Watching other people, watching dogs, watching the water were all things I was doing first hand. A pod of pelicans flew by, then another. This is exciting because there haven't been as many birds as in past years. I wrote for ages. But is there a poem there? Let's see...
Sleight of Hand
Someone trying to launch a boat
gets the engine going,
stands beside it in the surf,
holds onto its bucking
and I try not to imagine
leg meeting prop,
wonder what sort of marine life
such a strike might summon.
But then he's in the boat, gunning it,
and it rises up like the bronco it thinks it is
before he sets it down,
sleight of hand, plate to a diner,
here's your cash and they're off,
banana boat attached somehow,
wind so strong the desperate creaking
of the umbrella by the table brings
the waitress who tamps the sand
where it's buried in the ground,
looks up, looks worried,
but we can't talk about it because
we don't have each others' tongue.
So windy loose sand brushes my face,
what if the umbrella rips out of the ground,
what happens then—
does it break my arm, smash my face,
knock me senseless, crush me dead?
Should I move—
is it my time
is there a time
is it all random
and no, I don't want to buy a conch shell.
|Pelicans over Pedro's taco sign|