View all NaPoWriMo entries HERE. Or click on individual entries below:
- cactus land
- untitled (NaPoWriMo #2)
- killing unicorns
- Bakhara's Song
- the burning man
- Rage, rage
- untitled (NaPoWriMo #8)
- the best chicken in the world
- God to a Gossip
- empty words
- grammar lesson
- Seasons in Sheol
- Kindness Level Two Civilization
- Lovecraft vs. Kafka
- electing presidents
- In Saudi Arabia, In America
- 8 lines
- Loving Monsters
- contrary monsters
- On A Plain
- Shanama Sea Shanty
Poets Say What?
I am not a poet. It's a cop-out that says: you know, I think I can do this, but I'm not going to accept any responsibility if I'm wrong. Yet, there it is. I know folks--people who trade conversation with me and others that I don't really 'know' but since we're being colloquial, we'll let the distinction ride--who are poets. They do something quite fantastic with a few words leveraged against the concerns of their hearts, and less celebrated but just as significant, their minds. See that: 'hearts' and 'minds'? Already we venture into poetic license. It comes naturally.
And that is the 'why' behind NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month,) at least for me. In all the projects, causes, and extended assertions I've expended energy upon, ever present is a populist sentiment that I have sought to convey. The idea that these wonderful devices of the mind are not the province of other people. The arts and all other intellectual endeavors are your homeland. Your birthright. In this spirit I set out to write a poem a day along with other poets of all talent levels, and here I've compiled my results.
The Experience of #NaPoWriMo
I will never do this again! The experience was downright irritating, but I am glad I did it, at least this once. There are a few poems here that I think I could have refined into publishable material. I knew what I was doing, posting the poems. Decided I would do this so thoughts of publication would not interfere with what came to me. Maybe I would do it again, but not post the poems so they'd remain publishable.
Twitter was the best place to be a participant, with #NaPoWriMo just a search box away. It was nice to browse the concise comments there from other authors sharing their day's effort, and click through to see what they created. Many followed daily prompts from various sources.
Lethal Enlightenment Devices
I was surprised how quickly I was able to write something i genuinely liked. cactus land and untitled (NaPoWriMo #2) were fumbling, but day three's Killing Unicorns worked out well. I tried to contrast the human characters caught up in their various relationships with fay and magic, and that of the elfland king to whom that magic is base to the point of being bodily in nature. Bakhara's Song and Shanama Sea Shanty both are derived from my Elegant Threat universe. Judgement's still out on the shanty, but Bakhara's I like. Count the burning man, Humet, Loving Monsters, and On a Plain as riffs on existing or planned stories, and weather they work as poems or not, the writing of them was useful.
Rage, rage starts playing with some ideas that I don't think I get really honest with until skylight, which I like a lot. Pulling in subject matter also from TLE and the language of the Lotus Sutra, skylight is one of the poems I enjoyed writing the most. Maybe because it was the last, too!
Where hypothermia through In Saudi Arabia, In America are probably the highest sustained quality poems I was able to do in the month (diarrhea reference aside,) entries like 8 lines and empty words were more 'fulfilling the commitment' for the day than anything particularly inspired or poetic. Short poems aren't without their merits, though, as I hope untitled: #NaPoWriMo #8 demonstrates. Toward the end of the month a few of the poems became more personal than I intended, and that's fine. If we're not digging deep, what's the point?
Lethal Enlightenment Devices is a play on words from one of the lines in Bahrain, and captures the threads of Buddhism, intellectual curiosity, politics, and flights of fantasy various of the poems express. All are presented here with a cc-by-sa license which means you can do anything you want with them, but include my name as the author along with a link back to the blog, which will serve as attribution.