Sunday, October 3, 2010

Having fun with my juvenilia

As I am working on the new poetry book, I'm having to go through some of my earliest poems--- my juvenilia (though I was already old enough to be tried as an adult when I wrote them).

We all like to think we are making progress in our writing, and so sometimes we are embarrassed enough by some of our early work that we are tempted to through it out. But resist that temptation. Because for one thing, old writing can help you measure your progress. And sometimes you will be surprised by something that you wrote years ago that turns out to be good enough to keep, or at least be worth the effort to re-write.

Total Word Count Guesstimate
I don't know how many words the poetry book is going to run. It's actually more a matter of the number of pages. Currently I am at page 38 which is nearly halfway to the minimum.

A Guessing Game
These are two of the poems of the new book. One was written in my first year of writing poetry (un)seriously. The other was written this year. Guess which one is which.  Note also that the titles of these two poems are in the running for being the book title, so if you like one or another say so.

running about on hens' legs
for baba yaga
trouble, trouble vicks and tea
break the corners of tv
hide the harp and bend the lid
do you know what marko did?
too late
too late
anticipate
simmer pansies vixen tee
build the carpet on the sea

ninth horseman

my heart's
frying in a cast iron skillet

the refrigerator watches sullenly
as the world melts

2 comments:

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Oh wow, those are are both so cool!

I'm a sucker for Baba Yaga pieces. I'm working on a Baba Yaga story myself.

I'm going to guess The Ninth Horseman was written your first year of writing poetry because it's about heartfelt pain and typically people begin writing poetry when they have pain to express.

nissa_ami_kato said...

Gosh, why does everyone think my poetry is about pain and sadness? When I wrote ninth horseman I was laughing so hard the milk I was drinking came out thru my nose.

But you are right, ninth horseman was written first.

Love to hear more about your Baba Yaga story. I had an idea about Baba Yaga's hut in a modern city where it's passing as an abortion clinic, only if you go in you are sent to an alternate dimension where you can carry your baby to term, perhaps breastfeed it for a year--- and then emerge into our world an hour after you left. (Only if you have too many 'abortions' there, people start to notice you are aging quickly...)