Saturday, January 31, 2009

2am: Chats on Poetry When No One's Watching

meis this your poem?
Diana: nah
i wish it was mine!
me: I thought it was...
which means that at least to me, I think you have the skill to write this poemDiana: oh snap!
me: honestly, I think you have the skill to write something way deeper than this
yea i can write deep it just doesn't sound pretty
me: not all poetry sounds pretty
you can work on that part of it
it's the complexity, the layers you offer up that are the core, the shit that really matters
because you could have a bunch of people help you make something shiny
but if the core of your piece is a kind of flimsy metaphor for something, pretty doesn't really help
Diana: I don't think I layer well either
me: from what I've seen, you can get a bunch of layers/connecting pieces into one poem
you just need to work on allowing space for each piece
making sense of how they unfold
Diana: explain that a lil further
me: like, I think your brain makes good connections between parts of your (and other people's) stories- you see the way small moments relate to some of your big bad truths. And I think good poems consist of tiny moments or stories that hold within them something heavy- a big pumping organ right in your middle
so a good poet write a good poem
by unraveling the story, the momentary scene
to get the listener/reader to the point where they realize that they're not just hearing the moment
Diana: ok i see
me: but the bigger, heavier thing hidden in it
Diana: yea
me: so, from what I've seen of your work
you have an eye for the tiny moments
you just need to not be afraid to get to the full unveiling
to sort of deconstruct them til you're down to the big bones/truths
Diana: what would the full unveiling be?
the truth?
me: the full unveiling is when the story just sort of falls to the side and you are left with what the story tells about your life/your truth
and then really good poet can like really trip you out by telling the story, peeling the story away little bit by little bit
so that you don't even realize the story is falling to the sides
and then boom
there's the real shit on the inside
and then, they end it by grabbing the story up off the floor, and rebuilding it almost instantly so that it's intact by the end of the piece
and you're not even sure what happened or the difference between what makes a moment any different from the big bad whole...
that's actually to me a huge part of what makes Rachel McKibbens so damn amazing!

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