Last December, I posted an entry about the daily writing practice I learned from poet Kim Stafford. As a prose writer, I tend to think in sentences and paragraphs. I find that Kim’s instructions—“write something like a poem… or notes toward a poem… or sets of lines that never become a poem”—are especially freeing for me. Most of the time this practice results in words and sets of lines that never become a poem, or an essay, or anything more than, as Kim describes, “the open sesame” move that helps me get my pen (or keyboard) moving.
There are plenty of days I note frustrations or questions like these that I scribbled one morning:
I want to write about passion for work, even when my own passion for writing feels like watered-down coffee, like a cocktail that is mostly melted ice, like the rock-hard heel of bread. How can I cherish those times, as well as the days the yeast bubbles, the steam rises?
Those notes (and metaphors) then led to more words (and more mixed metaphors) that only resemble a poem to the extent that I wrote them in sets of lines:
Some days, the flowers
droop, the cake
falls flat, the ink
clings inside the cartridge
instead of flowing onto
the page. And still…
But, I like where I ended up—still writing.