Monday, May 26, 2014

Be About Making

If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little - somebody who is obsessed by Making. - e e cummings

Week #12 - e e cummings tarot card

Drawing a new Poet Tarot card, I shuffled the deck, fanned it out and selected from the fan e.e. cummings for this week. As I write this post I am already asking myself what it is that he might teach me.

If there is one think about Cummings I can already identify with it would be his tendency to write poetry void of punctuation. While I don't always do so, it is not uncommon for me to  cast punctuation to the end. Many of the later works of W.S. Merwin are too free of punctuation. I would say that my influence in this regard comes from Merwin and not Cummings, but  I feel him today smiling while nodding with approval.

Cummings appears to me to be one of two things if he was nothing  else...
first, a risk taker and second, one who managed to be void of concerns about what everyone else thought.

These are both things I admire and wish for my own artistic adventures.  It seems the ability to put aside worries about what others are thinking is of strategic importance to risk taking. If you cannot freely disassociate yourself with critics then you will likely worry yourself into a frenzy, an act that cannot be healthy of allow you to sustain your risk taking for very long.

This week I will contemplate who or what  inspires me to take risks with projects? How can I harness this inspiration to risk reaching further from my comfort zone

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week #11 - Gwendolyn Brooks

So this week another poet card was drawn. I continue to be amazed at the appearance of the Poet cards as opposed to the Suits which greatly outnumber the Poet cards.

Gwendolyn Brooks makes her appearance this week.

The Queen of Muses, Brooks impresses me as a more earthy influence then Plath of this past week. A bit of a counter balance.

I have to ask myself this week how I can bring a voice of tolerance, victims of injustice, the poor, people whose voices are often lost or drowned out by the everyday grind of life?

*Side Note:  A new Tarot Card was added to the deck today before this drawing. Pablo Neruda has joined the poets. At some future point I can count on drawing his card.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Learning Patience and Persistence

"I have a vision of the poems I would write, but do not. When will they come?" - Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Oh, how I've been here...

Plath Persistence

I started this week out with the intent, indeed hope that I would achieve some sense of communion with Sylvia Plath. There are times on the past where I've felt strangely aware of her in fleeting moments of thought and writing. I've found however direct or indirectly some basis for concluding that I've been taught some valuable lessons or at least have had some things reinforced as a result of such awareness.

Of course I'd like report that as I nearly reach the end of this week that I've had some whole new and insightful journey accompanied by one of my favorite poets, but this would be to stretch the truth. For me personally this has been a week of headaches and back pain. At some points awareness of myself has been difficult enough.

I have found myself trying desperately to dip into the subconscious but awake and into dreams for some purpose, some enlightenment, some story, some way forward. I've come to believe that this is not always as easy as seeking. I suppose this should come as no surprise as if it were easily achieved, we'd all be doing it, story over.

One thing that has truck me is that even as a young girl, Sylvia was persistent. Her persistent search for for writing material, her persistent socialization and search for a partner (which led her to Ted Hughes). Her persistent search balance between domestic and professional. Above all, and perhaps related to each of these is her search for fulfillment.

There was of course yet another persistent aspect of her life and that was the challenge of the sort of demon/love relationship with her father. Perhaps this was the aspect of fulfillment that drove her the most and would always be beyond reach as long as she lived.

If Sylvia is indeed saying anything to me this week, I believe it is to, keep on keeping on. If exploring my subconscious level is important to my writing, don't stop because it isn't coming easy. If the back pain and the head aches are getting to me, persistence is called for.. push on. Her father issues I can identify with on some level because I had only the most limited contact with my father and he is dead now, and I continually feel haunted by our relationship/non-relationship. I quite likely identify with Sylvia in some way over this.

I could say that I am somewhat disappointed by how my week with Sylvia has gone so far, but I prefer to take comfort in the spirit of persistence that exemplifies so much of Sylvia's life; to that end I am patiently awaiting yet another chapter from Sylvia.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week #10 - Sylvia, Sylvia, a welcome surprise

Yesterday, I drew the Sylvia Plath card from my Poet Tarot Card Deck. There are two reasons this struck me as interesting. One was that on week eight when I drew Anne Sexton I was thinking about the ratio of Poet Cards I have drawn thus far to the overall size of the deck. At that time I thought it could be a very long time before the Plath card came to me. In addition, this weekend Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday I had some rather interesting dreams. After a bit of a dry stretch where I could not recall dreams or they were very non-descriptive, I had two nights in which I was a very active dreamer. Three in one night and one the next night, but the quality of these dreams in terms of content was remarkable.

Sunday morning I was recording notes about these dreams and I thought how some of this might work into future poems. So drawing Sylvia's card has reinforced the thought of exploring  more deeply the subconscious aspects of creativity.

If there is a way to pull something out of the deep subconscious well within, I would count on Sylvia to show me how.

I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.
  -  Sylvia Plath

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Ace of Muses - Week #9

Sunday & a new Poet Tarot card.  I don't exactly feel that Anne Sexton is finished with me just yet, but I drew an Ace of Muses card and perhaps what wisdom Anne still has to offer in the days ahead can be enhances through the influences of the Ace of Muses.

This week I will explore the following in journal:
  • Future projects
  • Think about how I normally move from idea concrete form... my creative execution if you will. 
  • From where do most of my artistic ideas arise? Are there possibilities I'm overlooking?
  • Do I tend to be more intellect driven or emotion driven? Look at some of my  poems and specifically examine for intellect or emotion. 
Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard. - Anne Sexton

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Anne Sexton
 In a dream you are never eighty.

This is a particular interesting  quote to me because I cannot recall the last time I had a dream in which I did not appear younger then present.  While I'm not eighty it's a peculiar occurrence that in many of my dreams I will appear much younger then I am... sometimes going back to school years but I almost always conduct myself in the dreams as an adult. Others around me often appear as adult age but not myself.  Sometimes my wife is in them too and we both are much younger but function as adults. Strange phenomena but  when seeing this quote by Sexton it called this to mind.