Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Stacking Apples

I'm not sure why I'm writing today. I don't have a clear direction but someone who I read recently said write, even if it's shitty. Nothing new, but maybe seeing it written in such a stripped down way made me trust this piece of advice more than I normally would. The only writing I do these days is this blog, which consists of eleven paltry entries after nearly a year. Although I did recently begin writing a novel (ha) and gave myself a year to finish. My deadline is June 2008. I haven't touched it since the day I started.

See...even right now, I'm thinking stop. This sucks. You're not saying anything of worth, just useless babble. But I'm going to continue because I've been advised to write, even if it's shitty. Only I wonder if shitty is the same thing as useless? I guess shitty could encompass a myriad (thanks, D) of adjectives which I will now attempt to list: shallow, pointless, drivel, rambling, uninspiring, boring, childish...I don't think this is helping nor does it qualify as a myriad. This isn't very clever or inspiring which does however, remind me of a poem I wrote in college when I was raging against writing a villanelle. I will now post this poem for my one lonely reader's viewing pleasure.

On an assignment to write a villanelle

Try to force the words, like square pegs into a round hole,
into the right place, the right spot.
Make sure they lay just right, apples in a bowl.

That's not the right metaphor, apples in a bowl.
Apples are dying. You can almost smell the rot.
The trick is to use words, pieces of the whole, stacked in a bowl.

Or maybe it's like trying to bake a cake, only being told
you can only use one cup of everything, organic or not.
And don't forget the secret ingredient, apples in a bowl.

I'm really getting tired of this, it's not original or bold.
This villanelle is killing me and I'm not
reeling in images, like apples in a bowl.

And what can I fill this tercet with? Something new or old,
something borrowed or original, or flecked with polka-dots?
No matter. Just make sure they lay just right, apples in a bowl.

So technically I've done it, though in the process I've grown old.
And these flimsy words begin to rot
because even though they may be stacked just so,
they lack the feel of something real, these apples in a bowl.


Linda said...

Hmmm... at least two readers.
:-D I like your metaphor of apples. And the word "myriad". I can't remember which songwriter it was that advised other aspiring songwriters to write every day. "Write for the trashcan" -- because out of that comes those gems that you wouldn't have gotten to otherwise. It's kind of like sifting through dirt and mud to find gold. Or through poop if one of the kids swallows your wedding ring. Or something along those lines ...

Melinda said...

or like digging through the garbage dumpster behind Mr. Gatti's looking for your daughter's six hundred dollar retainer? that was a good day...we found it! thanks, linda! i like that..."write for the trashcan". i hope we can meet one day. Diahn thinks the world of you and I know you've been a great encouragement to her.