Thursday, August 30, 2007

August poem-a-day

(POOF!)

The poem writing extravaganza is over. Thanks to all those poets who joined in. Having peers really helped the process along, especially on the tough days.

I'll be sending out some of these drafts during the fall. Hopefully they'll find homes. I'll definitely fiddle with them before that, though.

To you blog readers, thanks for your patience and for reading along.

***

Today, cookout.

27 comments:

Sandra said...

Beautiful--and I really love that you're posting them on the blog, too.

Peter said...

I missed it . . . loved the opening.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thanks you guys! Tore it down to tinker with the middle bits. New poem forthcoming later today . . . Right now, I'm in my sweltering office, getting ready to pick up student portfolios.

Rathanak M. Keo said...

I love your whole "poof" and "this poem will self destruct in 12hours".

nate said...

I enjoyed this, Oliver. Nice.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thanks Nate. I enjoyed yours as well, and I'm glad you're posting them on your blog.

jenni said...

Great draft, especially loved:

And if there were no compass,
I’d steer by shadow. I’d light a kerosene soaked arrow

and fire into the sky.

--I'm reading your poetry collection, "Names Above Houses," and I really enjoy it. It has inspired me to do something completely different with this one poem that I have been wrestling for almost two years.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Hey Jenni,

Thanks! So kind of you, and I'm glad I sparked something.

Sandra said...

This one (Children Playing...) is one of my favorite so far. Especially the progression in stanzas 6, 7, 8. Just great.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thanks, Sandra. And, weirdly, it's the poem draft that's taken the least time . . . I mean I literally dashed it off to the blog and the e-mail after finishing my coffee. The others . . . sheesh. . . hours.

Peter said...

"All of them//are laughing now, on the beach. They’re/taking off their skins. They’re coming this way."

nice!

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thank you, Peter. Say, have you recently run into Laura Jensen? I'm wondering how she's doing . . .

jenni said...

Yay for poems! Enjoyed reading these. Some fav snippets:

Shut up,
said the radio. Dance, said the automobile.


The neat house curved like a draining sink.

Hot cars shined outside. Their engines
snapped like a chamois.


Farewell to the desert,
zen, and to ballet. All I want is a coin

for my tongue, a tomb for my body,
a mirror for my breath, and a shovel

for my memory.

Love these lines!!

Oliver de la Paz said...

Cheers, Jenni!

Susan Allspaw Pomeroy said...

You're writing a horse book... i'm really enjoying these, O. It's got a different feel than your past work.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Gads! Don't say that, Sue!

I can't help it. On the way up to our house we pass two horse ranches and several pastures. I'll told, I realistically see about 15-20 horses a day.

At least it's not another bird book.

Susan Allspaw Pomeroy said...

o-- call me; i lost your new digits, and wanted to finally call you back. you dont have to post this, btw. miss you!

Peter said...

I'm enjoying reading these Oliver.

No, haven't seen LJ since a reading for the Long Journey anthology.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thanks Peter. I want to say that I'm enjoying writing them, but really, some days are better than others. At any rate, I've learned a lot about the way I write . . .

Sandra said...

Have faith that the days "less better than others" are part of the process. One of the distressing things, for me, about getting behind a day (or two or four) is that the more poems I need to write, the paradoxically greater pressure I put on each one to be capital-G Good. You have to shake that off. The quickie, mediocre poems aren't roadblocks--they're stepping stones. I really believe that. = )

Oliver de la Paz said...

See . . . I really like the pressure. I've always worked well under these conditions. And I know I'm going to write crap some days. I'm okay with it as a draft, but I'm impatient with my drafts. Always have been. It's just hard to prevent myself from tinkering with the poems the day I post 'em. I'll edit a poem to death . . . now give me 31 poems and, oh my god. My wiring shorts.

nate said...

I'm definitely diggin' today's draft, Oliver. You've been producing really fine work over the course of this process... great to read you!

Oliver de la Paz said...

Hey Nate, thanks a bunch! Likewise, I'm really enjoying your poems and sharing in the process. Couldn't ask for a more pleasant and talented group of co-conspirators!

jenni said...

love the line about the mountain and how you close this--poem aug 27th. lol. they keep changing!

Oliver de la Paz said...

Heh, Jenni . . . the change is the idea . . . but man! It's been tough! Thanks for readin'!

Susan Allspaw Pomeroy said...

O, I like "The hive bodies are a thousand hollow rooms"... You're great with a couplet, and some would say to stick with what you're good at, but I wonder if you are tired of them, or if you want to try something else.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Sue,

It's easier for me to draft in a couplet. If I attempted something like tercets or quatrains, or even a long, multi-lined stanza, I wouldn't be able to "hear" the language. Later, after I've fiddled a bit, I may experiment with different stanzaic lengths, but otherwise longer stanzas feel too cluttered and closed for me to touch.