Often people ask how to get unstuck–how to tackle that blank page. I have two tools, reading and making lists, and a third idea: writing like Billy Collins. I don’t think I’ve actually tried this, but I think of it sometimes–like yesterday, when I was going to the dentist and I imagined I could sit in the little waiting room with the magazines and the fish and if the radio wasn’t too insistent, I could start a poem about anticipating all the implements and measurements and the miracle of the chair that leans back as the trees gossip their green outside and to see where that might take me.
But I was in the kitchen, not at the dentist, and I didn’t write any of it down, so I didn’t find out where it would go. (When I arrived early at the dentist, they whisked me on back–which was good for my schedule but not for a poem.)
How often do you let a poem go by? Or do you always stop and write it down? (Bumper sticker: I brake for poetry)
Here is the DLTPGB challenge: For one week, stop whatever you are doing and write the poem, start of a poem, roughed-up draft of a poem wherever you are.
(I am not sure how this will work in the car. Maybe a speech-to-text app on my phone? But if I’m learning Italian, I probably won’t get any poems then anyway.)
Sure, I’ve put pieces of notebook paper, index cards, small notebooks, and pens in my pockets and never needed them. Perhaps the fact of being prepared negates the necessity. Fine in the case of an umbrella, etc., but not so much with poems. But I’m willing to take the chance.
One week. Are you in?