As soon as I finish this post, I’ll do another one, for Day 2 of the Poem-a-Day Chapbook Challenge (aka PAD). That’s right — I’ll be posting all 30 of the poems I write this month. Wait … Didn’t I say just a few days ago that I wasn’t going to do that, for a number of eminently sensible reasons?
Yep. I sure did. Yes. But then I realized that:
1) It’s really depressing and isolating to write a poem based on a community prompt and then not share it with that community.
2) The poems I write for these things are often very “prompt-y” and not necessarily what I’d want to submit, anyway.
3) Last year, I talked to a couple-few editors at reputable literary publications who don’t think this kind of thing warrants the scarlet PP (for “previously published”). At least one of my PAD poems (maybe more — how is it that I forget these things?) actually found a home in print.
4) I’m more interested lately in submitting chapbooks and full-length books, and for those, no one cares about PP for the individual poems, as long as you acknowledge where the PP occurred.
5) It’s good to be less precious with poems and to realize that you really can make more. Even if all the poems I write in November are down the well, December will come.
6) This type of challenge, while I do work at it, is also play. If I’m going to play a game, I want to really play it — to go balls to the wall (which, by the way, I recently learned does not mean what I thought it did), as it were.
One thing I didn’t like about PAD last year is that it lives in the comments on someone else’s blog, not on my own. But there’s no reason I can’t post my PAD poems here, too. I also recently learned about NaBloPoMo, which is a challenge to blog daily all this month (you have until the 5th, if you want to sign up and do it, too).
So … I’m going to post daily here and at Poetic Asides (home of PAD). I’m going to link to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets on Tuesday afternoons, as usual, and I’m signed up for NaBloPoMo. If I’m going to PP 30 poems, I might as well PP them all over the place and have a good time doing it.
That’s a lot of talk … Here’s my Day 1 PAD poem, based on the prompt to write about some kind of match:
Whittle it down to matches;
the tree is only the start of fire,
sunlight locked in its heart
like a memory of leaves.
No leaves now, it is wood
in a box; strike sulfur tip,
bring to wet, lichened log.
Cousin!, the match says.
I have returned.