too early in the morning and I’ve yet to finish a poem this week

by jhon baker

It’s about two in the morning, I’ve a terrible headache and find myself gravitating to yet another mad writer. I had to put down my William Carlos Williams volume II because his imagery is enough to stagger my further ability to parse more poetry. Some poets I can sit and read through masses of their work, enjoying quite a bit of it, while others (like WCW) I have to ingest more slowly; make a complete study of his form and ability. But WIlliams was not mad and I’ve alluded to the insanity of another poet I’ve decided to start a study of now. Anne Sexton.
While being quite familiar with her works already and her death, there was scan familiarity with her and her somewhat unique dedication to her work. I’ve started with a perusal of her letters (what has been published) for now as I am not sure I can intake the severity of her work tonight. After all, I do want to sleep.
My writing method and Anne’s seems similar in its obsessive rewriting and need to solidify the line and word structure. So this might be a positive influence on my poem but an ill advised influence on my mental state. Time will tell. I don’t think I’ve found a better influence than WCW in that I don’t write much like him and most certainly do not share his method or ability. WCW was much more prolific than I have ever been, Like Anne, I cannot leave a poem alone until it is it’s own and I can no longer own it. Leonard Cohen is also like this in writing – I envy those that can write a completed poem nearly daily.

on that which has been plaguing my sleep…
Over the past few nights I keep dreaming that I am being pursued into hell by an enthusiastic and stunningly wretched demon or the devil himself – trapped in a wasting forest, mired ankle deep in mud and telephoning for a savior that can only quote useless scripture, my leg is grasped tightly by a minion looking for a replacement limb, a leg I think – where mine is already damaged, its is worse, its whole self is distorted and seems to be linking itself back together through the bodies of others, in its basement is kept the most vicious of animals and the floors are bathed in blood and alcohol. These dreams are not tempered by visions of former life or current joys, impenetrable in terror and my sleep is abating in restfulness.

so I don’t leave this post on that note…
I’ve missed a magpie- I had no ideas for an image that is so familiar to me – well, there were ideas but they weren’t good verse, at least in my view. I am not sure that the photo of old friends bundled in winter conversations in sepia tone is going to be much easier for me either.
I’ll come up with something. This day, after I sleep is going to have to involve a letter to my aunt and some time with the typer. No matter what comes out.

7 Comments to “too early in the morning and I’ve yet to finish a poem this week”

  1. 'a poem is never finished, only abandoned' — and i'm probably misquoting slightly and at this ungodly hour cannot remember who said it….but there you go.

    i don't normally aim for intelligent comment this early — and before i'm finished my coffee — but i'm doing the Rabbit Tour and you were next on my list…;)

    wishing you restful slumber

  2. I'm up and here any time you need me Jhon. Just call. I believe I see a poem in your dreams. Wrestling with words you fear are holding you back, trying to conquer and create…

    I hope today is filled with your muses, and the future holds more shared evenings' smiles.

  3. J –
    You should have woken me up again

  4. haha, you have even stranger dreams than me!

  5. I have no fresh words.. Just wanted to say thank you for your care..YOur dreams are wild with a capital “W”!
    This blogger is momentarily distracting my

  6. Very interesting post, Jhon. This seems to be the classic anxiety dream, but there is certainly food for thought in it.
    If I were you, I would try and make a poem or a story out of it.

  7. I used to submit notes on my dreams as part of my therapy. In them, I'd be chased by things I couldn't see, animals, monsters, and tidal waves. I was always told it was related to anxiety. I'm happy to say, I don't often have those dreams anymore.

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