I had a serious engagement with the Poem of Legend and Lore today, the one I think will be the last poem in my new manuscript and the one I have discussed in this forum before. I had basically half a draft when I came up here--I took it to my writing group the last time we met in its half-assed state, clearly remembering the last time I took what I thought was a half-written poem to the group and they were all, "No way! it's finished! Write no more!" Well, not this time.
But that's the past, what's done is done, and I drove this poem all the way to Idaho to get it all the way written. Among other things on my agenda.
Here was a lucky thing: among the books of poems I brought with me, I brought C. D. Wright's Deepstep Come Shining, a wonderful, idiosyncratic long prose poem (I guess that's what it is). In the middle of coping with my draft's collapsing middle, taking a look at Wright's long poem gave me an idea for a with a solution: rather than try to accomplish a river-like flow, connecting all the disparate parts of this poem into some kind of coherent narrative, I could disrupt it a little. I've got some Jonathan Edwards in there, for instance--that kind of appropriation practically begs for a manifestly disrupted form, rather than some form that tries not to call attention to its joins.
Well, I know this kind of talk can be tedious, but I needed to say it anyway. My draft is significantly expanded and, I would say, much richer. Tomorrow I will be going down the mountain to find a place to print the whole manuscript, which is way long and will need reorganizing and cutting. Then I will drive back up the mountain to do that work. But I will also be able to de- and re-construct the printed-out version of the Poem of Legend &c., and--perhaps--have something like a complete, and closer-to-finished, draft. Wouldn't that be awesome.
Also, this evening on my post-dinner bike ride, I saw a bluebird, which is, my dad tells me, the state bird of Idaho. It was perched on a post. I slowed down, turned my bike around as quietly as I could, and headed back toward it, whereupon it flew up to a telephone wire. You know how sometimes the light has to be just right to see the color of a bird's plumage? I wish I had a picture to show you, but all I had was my own eyes. The light was just right, the blue was the very archetype of blue, and it was--you'll have to trust me--beautiful.