Thursday, October 14, 2010

I've written two new poems in the last week, after a nine months' drought. I mean, I've been trying to write--jotting notes, making lots of false starts. This happens every few years, so I've not been particularly concerned about it. But it's strange, coming back to the blank page and finally having something coherent appear.

Even odder, one of the new poems focuses on an event that occurred 50 years ago, something that, presumably, has been lurking in memory all this time. To try to analyze why that showed up now--and why it offered itself in a poem--is probably pointless, maybe even destructive of the creative process. It was hearing the barred owl almost every morning for two weeks of late, or it was re-reading Greg Pape's American Flamingo. It was putting in the fall garden last weekend, or something my old friend Phil Deaver said about writing.

The danger here, for me, is to make too much of the fact that poems have come through the door again. They might disappear again next week and be gone for months. I can't just grind them out. I learned that years ago. But I do have to be ready for them, and that means listening.