Sunday, April 26, 2009

What I Knew

I've been writing poems for God Damsel for the past two years. The first poems were written during NaPoWriMo 2007. At the end of the month I read over my 30 poems and knew this was the new poem direction for the immediate future. I did not know what my future poems were going to be, except that they would be God Damsel. I didn't know if they'd be boys or girls, righty or lefty, tall or short, smart or dumb, pretty or ugly, sick or healthy. Or even how many. I just knew they were in me. I knew them before I wrote them. Kind of like how God knew Jesus when he was just a sperm.

I knew God Damsel before I knew her name.

Winter/Spring 2007 was a very difficult season for me, probably the cruelest level of turmoil I can remember experiencing. I was forced to reevaluate. Things out of my control happened. I was cornered and confronted. This is what avoidance and denial bring. What was easy was writing poems. Especially in April. I knew it wasn't a level I could or should maintain. Jill suggested that if I pressed down, in 2 months I'd have another book completed. I knew that even if I could write another 20-50 poems during that time, I would not have finished God Damsel. I would have barely scratched the surface. At that early point, if I rushed it, I'd be doomed to writing sequels.

I often write late at night. Not only is it logically the best time considering my schedule. It's what feels natural. The day after I write a poem, I go back and read it. Rarely do I remember writing it. I'm not claiming that I black out or go into some kind of trance while writing. But the next morning, I remember very little. Sometimes I'm unnerved by what I wrote the night before. Sometimes I'm delighted.

Last year Bruce asked when would I be done with God Damsel? When I write the last poem. . . I have no idea. I did not know the answer and felt an artificial pressure trying to explain myself. I felt that there were still poems to be written. I knew there were more coming. When they came, I wrote them. Any deadlines would be unnatural.

A couple months ago, I felt the numbers dwindling. There were fewer poems left. I felt the need to create an artificial deadline. It started to feel prudent. It started to feel like my responsibility to take action. I knew it was time to induce the stragglers. Time to wrap this shit up. I'm neither Earth mother or Modern mother. I am both Earth and Modern. I am hybrid. I built my house on the bridge and this is where I choose to live. I feel and I think, not equally, but I do both. I intuit and sense, again, not equally. There's a time to wait and a time to prod. There's a time for patience and a time to hurry the fuck up.

I know it's time to make room for the next project. I don't know what this next project is. I just know there's a new creative direction taking form.

Gideon was induced. Gideon is, and will always be, my specialist of projects.

God Damsel is a series of short poems. It's one very long poem. It is a project of intuition and sense. It's an attempt at breaking everything apart and putting it back together in a different way, with the same pieces that are now very different. This collection will not be smooth or elegant. It will not not aspire to the perversion of perfection. It will rage against such sickness. It will aspire to embrace what is incorrectly branded as sickness and show its beauty and value.

Yes, I wrote "beauty and value."

It's April 26th. The plan is to write 4 more poems for God Damsel. The plan is to not to write any more God Damsel poems after that. The plan is to spend the summer editing, revising and assembling God Damsel. The plan is to have Mary Behm Steinberg design the cover. The plan is to have No Tell Books publish the book in early 2010.


  1. I am in awe of your spirit and drive and determination. Awe!