I’m in an online poetry class. Each week we write about the family–or are given a prompt about family writing anyway. Last week we were to explore a picture of ourselves with family. So I got out a photo album and started paging through. It wasn’t long before I realized there were a whole lot of dead people in these photos! Pretty soon the poem took a dark, dark turn that I didn’t see coming, that I found startling. But I let myself go with it–working against my desire to produce something nice or even good. And, I admit, if I hadn’t been on a time constraint I might not have sent that depressing, poem in. I’m glad I did though. This is how we let our work grow and breath through early drafts, this is how we open ourselves to ideas from peers.
Get that stuff out and onto the page. Let the internal negative Nellies telling you to stop go silent. Watch what your writing can become!!
And in the interest of practicing what I preach I’ll include a few lines (from the middle) of this still very new poem:
You Reach A Certain Age
I’ll buy you a beer if you can bring me a breathing Helen;
take her arm and help her out of some picture frame so she
can offer me an orange Popsicle.