Recorded Live at the River Gallery Exhibit

Isle of Que, Susquehanna River Selinsgrove, PA

My monkey, I mean my youngest son, recently left a comment asking shouldn’t I be writing poems, “you know, the Poet part of Dad Poet?” Good point, and I admit that although I have been working on a few new pieces, I once again find myself back into editing and submission mode. I am sending things out hither and yon, and looking forward to those rejection emails. Sigh. To be fair though, often when I am editing and revising, it is just late stage creation. For instance there was a poem whose original draft made it to paper almost seven years ago–I just finally decided it was finished two days ago. Um, yes, thank the muses that they don’t all take that long, but sometimes one has to put a good idea aside because it’s become bored with you. Then often when you come back, you find that what you started to create really did miss you, and is dying to tell you the rest of its story.

Now we are back to my mystical explanations of some of my writing processes, but really, I doubt there is anything truly mystical about it, more just the mysterious workings of a scattered brain. So, Micah, while I am working on some new things, here is one that’s really only been out of the box for a short time. I think I stopped fiddling with this one over a  year ago. Since I sent it out in submission to a literary journal, I’ll not print the words here (I don’t want them to consider it already published).

Before I post the video clip from last night though, I should tell you that I did recently update the Poet Page with a better, more thorough listings of my original poems that you can find online, but now I’ll have to add this video as well. This reading is the first time this poem has seen the light of day, or at least been read to by anyone other than maybe Brian. It seemed to get a great reaction, which is heartening. Sometimes I get to feeling, ‘This is all in my head. Nobody else is going to laugh or think this is interesting.’ But then I get surprised by people in the crowd like last night. They were making eye contact, smiling, even nodding and chuckling in all the right places. For me, live readings are just one more way that this odd practice of poetry I’ve taken up is really a journey of discovery.

This was a reading at the travelling exhibit for the photography contest winners of Landscapes and Treasured Towns for the Susquehanna Greenway Project. I was impressed with their presentation, and their use of the arts to reach people with the message of preserving our great river valleys here in Pennsylvania. There was a cute duet on Ukelale and Guitar that was FricknAdorable. No, seriously, it was, that was their name: FricknAdorable. Maybe I can include a bit of their music next video.

EDIT: I noticed I am missing almost a whole line! Yikes. Right after  I say, ‘You might consider a scope/ for those hawk-ish specks soaring far.” The next line should read, “The tripod should be sturdy; it’s windy/ on the ridge. Again, the shaking, the blur.”

How they thought it made sense without the tripod line, I don’t know. But it was a fun reading!

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14 thoughts on “Recorded Live at the River Gallery Exhibit

  1. Well, editing and revising is a necessary part of art, so I don’t really see it as not an important part of the creation process. Particularly if you’re no good at writing short pieces, and only write long – like me. Then editing becomes even more important.

    • Agreed. I saw you commented and guessed that you were identifying with that concept. :) I have always liked the term, “Revision IS creation.” And I think that’s true, though usually it is just polishing and tightening, sometimes it is really having a major epiphany about how something in the piece should go. In any case, in the short form it takes more time than people think, because really when there are so few words, and every word can have multiple metonomys and implications, changing just one word can change the whole poem.

      There is a poem that I wrote that I confided to two different friends (people VERY close to me), and each liked a different version very strongly, and I can see so much reason for both versions, that I have never actually been able to complete the piece.

      Lesson learned. Though workshopping can be helpful to get past blockages, at some point you have to just trust yourself and not reveal until you feel satisfied that your piece is finished and revised.

    • Well put, especially about the “liking” of something rather than the technique and craft. Having said that, I admit the line can sometimes be a tad blurry between “art” and “craft.”

    • I used to be part of a critique group (until they found out about my age) and it was very useful, so I think that the value is going to be dependent on the participants. If you have participants that focus on craft, method, and not the art then I think it can be very useful.

      But mostly I’ve found that critique circles focus on what people like. In those cases you just have to stick with your vision, I think. Likes can’t really de a basis for a systematic critique; not if the likes aren’t based in actual craft or method.

  2. I had an English professor who once put poems on the board for the class to edit. We altered a number of well known works and by doing so we realized how we removed the soul and identities of the authors…

    • I did this to myself with more than one poem, edited it to death. So yes, that’s the danger of going too far. I wrote “Overvision” (see the Poet Page) about that very thing. Sometimes, poems and stories, well, like grown up children, sometimes you just have to let them grow and do their own thing. :)

  3. EDIT: I noticed I am missing almost a whole line! Yikes. Right after I say, ‘You might consider a scope/ for those hawk-ish specks soaring far.” The next line should read, “The tripod should be sturdy; it’s windy/ on the ridge. Again, the shaking, the blur.”

    How they thought it made sense without the tripod line, I don’t know. But it was a fun reading!

  4. Pingback: Silly Star Poem at PUP for my Son the Monkey | The Dad Poet

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