My fourth day NaPo challenge (https://www.napowrimo.net/) is to write a poem in the form of a poetry prompt. I’m not sure that’s an accepted form, but it’s been done. Mathias Svalina posts surrealist prompt-poems on Instagram. I chose not to follow the surreal examples or numbered steps, but I got ‘er done.
Everything I see is an unwritten poem, yet to be.
Even non-poets (if there are any) know this truth.
Listen to the music, hear it, feel it, watercolor it
(Julie’s prof said that’s a metaphor for letting go).
But it matters little if you let go or grab on tightly,
as the music is mused into your mind through
any of your human senses, not just the old five.
Recall the (Under) Pressure songs? Do it
like that. Hamlet said a thing is neither good nor bad,
but our thinking makes it so. A penny for your thoughts,
in the form of a poem, a memory, or a dream,
a hope for the future. Own your poem, then share it.
Look both ways for inspiration in life or death,
in the real or surreal, in the odd, the normal,
or in keeping Austin weird.
Mind the gaps, for even there the asinine fight the sensible.
I can’t always do it. I would never be openly showy or make any form of art before an audience. I don’t think I could. Challenges or prompts during writing group meetings and a few online are the most I can do in social settings where people know me. Other than that, my writing is a solitary effort, although I’m not exactly the poster boy of the garret-imprisoned scribe. I do write in coffee shops, libraries, parks, waiting or dining rooms, and even during my morning walks. But usually I write at this desk on this laptop.
Yet, I have times of emotional outburst writing. At least one reader seems to know or recognize exactly when that happens. I love the experience, and I find satisfaction when I read my scribble after the excitement has passed. If I can let go of something within me, an inner editor, judge, or critic, I like what happens. I feel so free. It’s about emotionally letting go of something.
I don’t listen to music when I read or write. I can only tolerate classical type without being distracted. I am not sure how it would work. I may try it sometime.
In order to give you an example for what I have in mind, I did some research on a well-known artist who I am familiar with. Well, I thought I was. Nothing about the art is independent of the artist—not the form, method, appeal, depth, or reputation.
Jonas Gerard of Ashville, TN, puts on an impressive show. The personal emotion he displays in making his art is the poster for explaining how I sometimes want to write, especially poetry. I have been to his studio, I have talked to him and several of his assistants, and I bought some of his work.
The youtube video below is an example of what I mean (he did a number of these). The vision of personal emotion (fake or real) is inspiring. But, artist or not, apparently old Jonas (he’s 78 or so) has had issues with untoward behavior (sexual harassment, maybe assault) in his past. I never put this guy on a pedestal or thought of him as anything more than a cool modern artist. Yet, I’m disappointed, angry, and confused. Because of what I learned, I considered not writing this piece or posting it.
But this is about me and I agree with what he says in the video about fear.
I want to write with emotional vigor displayed by Jonas Gerard when he paints. I want to let go, as he mentions. I love it when I can let go. It’s the temporary feeling and process I enjoy. The product, like all writing, will outlive the writer.
Look both ways. Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.
Mind the gaps but dismiss excuses.