Thursday, April 17, 2008

For Karen

A friend recently had an allergic run-in with nature's dark side while hiking outside Las Vegas.

When I was falling asleep last night, I had three poems working in my head. One was the airplane poem; the other two were rhymed and metered. One of those was a sort of faux-Dickinson sprouting from the incident involving Karen.

I was finally gonna get to sleep at a decent hour (well, 2 a.m.), so I resisted the impulse to get up and write. Turns out I lost a whole lot of the poetry. Or maybe misplaced it. Or, you know, maybe it was terrible.

In the meantime, I have nine lines of the 12-line Dickinson.

Along the Red Rock Canyon
My tourist feet were bound
Beyond Sahara and Mirage
I found authentic ground

A poison plant—a Crown of Thorns—
Ensnared me as I passed

Amid great Nature’s majesty
Are freckles of delight
And dimples of mortality

- - -

I think I had all of what is now stanza 2 in my head last night. And there might have been a different third stanza--or maybe my drowsy mind was mixing this poem with the other metered one, which is about a musician, because the last thing I remember thinking before falling asleep was whether one could get away with the word "roadie" in something so Dickinsonian, and the other poem really isn't Dickinsonian.

(Whatever. I'm up for business hours.)

I don't like "authentic." I also don't like "great Nature's majesty." Maybe "Upon great Nature's countenance"? Except I don't really like "great," either.

I am resisting mightily the impulse to write lines 7 and 8 as follows: "And with its wide Golgothan teeth/It bit me in the ass."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying watching your creative process. You're over the hump now-and April has only 30 days! Patti