|Publisher:||Write Bloody Publishing|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It's hard to say exactly when I fell in love with poetry. George Michael was still straight. My mom drove something with rust-colored interiors. So, let's not do the math. Let's just say with certainty I was young, and that besides my youth, there wasn't anything striking or cinematic about it. I didn't live in the storm shelter of a public library, or wear peasant skirts, or sit in trees memorizing Keats. I wasn't a beautiful orphan. My parents weren't ex-patriot literary scholars smoking Gitanes in the kitchen.
I did have an old paperback Norton Anthology of Poetry that I stole from a Sunday School. The one with the yolk yellow cover and vaguely Greco-Roman art. The pages smelled like basement, or tornado,
and were not uniformly loved. Chaucer was crisp as brand new bibles; Berryman was dog-eared and smudged. I liked how heavy it was. I liked the difficult words. I liked the even more difficult syntax that made reading aloud like chewing leather.
Mostly, I liked the way none of it made sense to me. It made the book feel stolen in more than one way. It was like a chronicle of ancient mysterious secrets had fallen in to my possession, and it was all written in impossible code. Learning to understand it, I knew, meant learning a foreign language. Maybe several. There were things in this book that I was not supposed to know - why else would it be written so strangely? Surely, I thought, if I studied it long enough, everything there was to know about life would be revealed to me.
It is not hard to say when I fell out of love with poetry - it was early Spring of 2005. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but I didn't know it. An epic, space-black despair was swallowing me, and the one thing that had always added so much juice and church to my life now felt stiff and lifeless.
Poetry had never been a career goal. I was pretty sure poetry careers were just legends anyway. Like narwhals. Or the gold standard. But poetry had been everything else to me. I had gone regularly to open mics and poetry readings since I was just shy of 13, and at these unruly caffeinated gatherings I
found people who are, to this day, the most eccentric and emotionally unstable people I've ever met.
I worshipped them. They weren't like other people. They were smart and free and weird, and they weren't always nice, or good, but they were urgent and alive. It inspired me.
Table of Contents
Glitter in the Blood
The Author's Forward 13
In the Beginning
Chapter 1 The Myth of Inspiration 19
Chapter 2 Begin Anywhere 24
Chapter 3 The Source 29
On Writing Poetry
Chapter 4 Practical Magic 37
Chapter 5 Any Thing Can Be an Instrument 39
Chapter 6 The Metaphysics of Storytelling 49
Chapter 7 Notes from the Nebula 59
Chapter 8 Architects of Yes 69
Chapter 9 Achillies Heeling 77
Chapter 10 Oh, The Places You've Been 85
Chapter 11 Benjamin Franklining and the Great and Powerful is 95
Chapter 12 More Fresh, Cold Prompts from the Prompt Snow-Machine in Mindy's Brain to Melt and Smelt into Hot Burning Poems 106
On Editing Poetry
Chapter 13 Paper Snow Flaking 101 113
Chapter 14 Your Editing Tools: a Field Guide 117
Chapter 15 The Feedback Loop 125
Chapter 16 Lessons from the Hanged Man - Editing for Content 130
Chapter 17 The Lost Chapter 137
Chapter 18 The Cure for What Ails Us, which Might Be Tone Deafness-Editing for Context 144
Chapter 19 The Dark Side of the Rainbow-Editing For Language 152
Chapter 20 Awkward Graduation Speech-Editing for Form and Structure 161
Suspicions, Skeletons and Zebras-A Bloody, Glittery Dénouement 171
An Incomplete Poet's Dictionary, In Sweet, Conceptually-Jumbled, Alphabetical Order 179
About the Author 197
Tear-Out Inspirado 199