Thursday, August 8, 2013

Piles of papers ... poems

Found an image that is perfect this afternoon's activity.  I decided to sort three of several folders/notebooks I have with poems in them. I have never thought of myself as poet, but, my gosh, going back to 1980, I have poems.  Lots and lots of them.  That I wrote!

I have a very large, messy file that is OPP-- other people's poetry.  And, of course I have two, now starting to be three, book shelves of poetry books. Maybe tomorrow I'll sort of straighted the OPPs. Today's job was sorting and finding what I wrote over that long period of time.

I've lately been working with my daughter to learn how to self-publish something the size of a poetry chapbook. After our trip to New Mexico I wrote a lot of narrative poems about what we did.  We are combining them with photographs and I hope to make a little booklet just for the three of us (my two daughters and I) Mostly we've got it figured out but there have been some glitches -- like two lost poems and a need for some photos that Leslie has. But she doesn't have her own computer and seems to be allergic to post offices although we beg her to put her photos on a disk and send them to us. 

This is relevant because I've been thinking of two sets of poems I wrote a few years ago. One was written when I traveled to northern India and was awed into trying to catch some of the wonder in poetry.  The other is a set of poems that I wrote over about 18 months called "7th at 8:00" which was mostly about a two block walk I took on 7th Avenue from 23rd to 21st Street when I was working at a small business on 21st and usually arrived about 8:00 which let me observe the street's  local denizens settling in for the day.  I thought I'd like to do a small chapbook-ish thing to keep those poems together.

Amid all the papers, I found quite a lot of other NYC poems -- too many, in fact!  If I were a deeply serious poet I'd round-file most of them.  But they were written over several years when I was moved by specific things -- including my long 9/11 poem.  So, just for whatever posterity may be curious about my writing, I think I'll put them all together. Although I'm sure I won't be able to go back to them without making some changes. 

And then there are many other poems, a few fit into categories, and many are miscellaneous.  I have to admit I've surprised myself at how very much I've had to express myself over the years. All that time I've been writing much, much else. Writing has always been my true mode of expression. I had no one to really talk to growing up, no mentor, no one with similar interests. So writing has always been the way to explore what I'm thinking. I don't really have time to get all these in order. I am writing a lot anyway.  But I think I'll chip away at it. As of today I've made a little order out of the chaos of papers.  Now, like the woman in the illustration here, I can put my head down and close my eyes. Until tomorrow.

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