Nos 11 to 20: the second installment of three line pieces (from fragment, to micro-poem to as much as I can fit and still call it, fluidly, three lines) which I have been sharing each day this April on Instagram – @pearldiver32 – as part of NaPoWriMo.
The work is a creative response to my consideration of the moving parts of poetic composition – and it is part of the ‘Knowing the Dance’ project.
20. Found Poem*
Fear of the body…
Fear of words…
Sometimes they are inseparable.
19. Still dancing after all
this time, our lines close to connecting, but still a holdback –
the romance of the Latin Mass left in our fingers –
so there’s room to hold both each other and our preferred other as mystery.
18. Playing Checkers with Little Nell
I move. You move. They watch. Next move, my move – I move. Now you. You muse
watch me, watch them, then make your move. I move, then you – they watch.
We choose our moves – then move. They watch.
Before the first cross-quarter day of that year, two little boys appeared
in my deep-winter drift, signalling me, with their spirit eyes, to cross-over
to join with gradual, waxing light – to rise as it rises, but not to fight.
16. Breathwork (b)
Difficult conditions, living seeds prepare to shoot through topsoil – a metaphor
she scores a dance from the breath pattern – all rise and rush, barely enough stop to refuel –
shapes of a body attacked by panic, or a cartoon charachter held in the air by ratata gunfire.
for Paula Guzzanti
15. Shoots (mark-making exercise)
The frank stare of the double-o. She looks at it, then takes the charcoal – breathes out
through its medium an upward moving vortex – swiftly overlaying another in red chalk.
Finished, she holds her body, without prejudice, where noun and verb meet in their sense of propulsion.
for Sarah Warsop
14. Where they hide their anger
the ones who never, mark that, ever feel even a frisson of that emotion,
is, in temporal terms, the minutest move on the face of a clock, but the oubliette opens
in the breath-crack between side-by-side words that begin and end again with hard letters.
13. Tonight, like housekeys in my handbag
The lines of your song.
Tonight I am safe, comforted.
12. What it is
It is the stick figures that run and leap as I flick the pages.
It is the rise and drive of dark lines marked on the paper.
It is the change in the speed of my breath, the ribcage follows: I sit.
11. Anxious scanning
Digital, my fingers on the keyboard typing.
My feet are on the floor tapping out a rhythm.
In between, I am – the doubt I feel is my own.
If you sit, just sit don’t wobble (zen saying)
After last week’s intense reading, this week I sat (not saying I didn’t wobble a bit) and reflected on what I had read and the wider ‘Knowing the Dance’ project. It was a strange, ranging journey – ending with the arrival of ‘The Dance Most of All’ by Jack Gilbert – which wasn’t entirely what I was looking for, and then again it might have been just the right opening to what is going to be a sequence for the next ten days. I know this is departing from the letter of the the NaPoWriMo project but I’m hoping it captures some of its spirit as this has arisen from the energy of working day-by-day during this April. I also went back and reread chapters of ‘The Body has its Reasons’ which has been a part of my world since I was a teenager. I was very sad to find out recently that Therese Bertherat had passed away a few years as I would have loved to have actually been a participant in one of here classes.
April is (Inter)National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) and the idea is to write a poem a day for the month. You can find some great prompts at the official site, and poetry support organisations like the Poetry School
Image: from Time Bug series (10cm x 10cm) by Emma Whitehead