I worked hard earlier this month on two separate poetry submissions - polishing, questioning, reading aloud, re-writing, re-titling some pieces, and finally sending them off to meet deadlines. Whether or not I'm accepted, the process of submitting helps hone my craft. Since then, I've taken a trip to Knoxville TN to visit one of my sisters, celebrated the birth of a new grand-nephew, cared for our lovable chocolate lab grand-dog while our daughter was away, celebrated my birthday and the arrival of the Spring Issue of Rattle in my mailbox. I haven't done much writing.
It's easy to panic in times like this, when poems hide from me or don't flow easily. But today I looked through my notebook, and it's full of scribbling. Snippets of conversations overheard in the American Airlines terminal, ekphrastic impressions of a major piece of glasswork by Richard Jolley at the Knoxville Museum of Art, playful outdoor sculpture at the nearby Botanical Gardens. Spiral-bound phrases popped into my head at random moments. Here's a little sampler: "the Tree of Auspicious Fruit" "Will the trout get his fill at mealtime before the soaring eagle drops its talons?" "Where is the poem in foster care?" "Noise canceling headphones - 4th and 5th chakras exposed to the sun." For me, scribbling is part of my writing process -- a trail of visual and verbal bread crumbs to follow (or not) when I'm searching for new material. So don't be surprised if you see some of these phrases in a future poem of mine. My creative process doesn't travel in straight lines or adhere to a strict schedule. And that's fine with me.