Slept late and did a full yoga flow and meditation. But I am still struggling off-groove. Sitting down to write after noon today is odd. Something cotton-headed about it.
I’m procrastinating on finishing the manuscript. So if I put off the morning tanka prose practice, it means putting off the manuscript. I have competing goals: a crisis in confidence means I want to protect my ego – not writing means I can still count on the validation of the last thing I published.
And if I think too hard about that, I will fall apart like a loaf of bread in water.
Speaking of which, yesterday I took the paper mache bust to a waterfall to film it disintegrating under the flow of the water. But paper mache floats. And floats away. I watched my head get pulled under the mill-house – never to come out the other side. I waited 20 minutes. I figure it’s trapped under the continual torrent of water, probably wedged between old planks and stones. I felt sick to my stomach about littering. And silly – standing there with the fishing-net that I’d purchased that morning to make sure I got all the paper fragments out of the creek once I’d filmed my head’s disintegration.
This was not helpful in regards to my confidence.
I’m taking a visual poetry course and feeling like a gate-crashing novice among the craftsmen there. I’m reliving the criticism of art professors from thirty years ago: poor craftsmanship, derivative concepts. I keep telling myself this is what bravery is. Youth has nothing to overcome. Age has the experiences of youth. At least age means I know now that originality, in and of itself, is bullshit.
I’ve also started writing a poem every morning according to Twitter prompts as practice. Years and years ago, I was briefly on the Zoetrope community website with short-story writers. There was a writer there who was taking part in critiques, who was taking in critiques. After a while, I finally realized he was an established, professional screenwriter. He never postured. Not once. I don’t know that I have ever admired a writer more. And I learned then: 1) assume competence on the part of others 2) there is no such thing as too-good-to-play 3) there is no such thing as too-good-to-listen-to-feedback. (Listening does not mean implementing.)
I find it funny that all this “play” is so difficult.
Back to the manuscript now.
the clementine rind
from yesterday’s lunch has dried
and pithy stories
can be read along veins that
twisted ’round unseen obstacles
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You do have such an ability/spirit to weave from raw cotton to worthwhile fabric. Ooo. Too wordy. Me not you. I like the way it settles into me, how you see and present yourself. My last thought, not uncommonly, was – beautiful. Thank you Ren.
I am so grateful for your kind words, Neil. They can pick me up on a flat day.
As a technique, ending each vignette with a Haiku is simply an awesome way to exit Ren.The fact that many are such good standalone poetry – that’s all about you. Great reads, thank you.
Thanks, Paul! I am not sure how I stumbled onto Tanka prose actually. I have liked Haibun – but felt that I was to much of a lyric poet for the conceptual nature of haiku. Tanka prose seems like something I was naturally flowing into – I had been ending essays with free verse now and then for a while – I am really enjoying this and plan to continue for at least a year as a practice. 🙂
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