Urban redesign


My writing practice these days is like Detroit. A lot of formerly vibrant space being abandoned, no longer receiving essential services. There has been talk for years of withdrawing to a city center, concentrating energy where it can still do some good. I don’t know how this is going to work out for Detroit.

But here’s my stripped down plan.

Start by making the best poem you can make.

Be merciless, be innovative.

Then, send it everywhere.

Then, put it in your manuscript.

When you have enough poems, arrange the manuscript.

Then, send it everywhere.

Ignore fads. Ignore trends.

Write only the best poems you can write. Write them every day. Never stop. Never pause long enough to question what you’re doing.

Never let rejection be anything more than a blip in this process.

Try everything.

After absence

I’m back. Where the hell have I been? In limbo. The let-down after finishing one stage of a large project left me non-functional. Kaput. Tapped out. Confidence-less. (And tangentially, TV-addicted.) It’s been awful trying to start up again. And no kidding, this is what separates the real writers from the wannabes: how fast you pick yourself back up. Right now I’m definitely on the “not-a-real-writer” side of that line.

It’s a big deal, how fast you recover from a knock-down, whether it’s from outside you or of your own making. How do you do it?

What’s been helping me in little ways: reading just a couple of poems; giving myself permission to write these uninspired posts. Being outside, where life has more of a chance to surprise you. Practicing the trance of wildlife watching. There are small rewards for patience, like the white undersides of a bird’s wings, in a flash before she retreats into a tree.