I don’t typically do a ton of revising of poems. Generally I will post them up, and then notice just minor things here or there, and tighten them up…or a word that was too feisty and slippery for my muse’s grasp will be caught unawares and I catch it, lickety split and toss it in the poem-quarium for it to swim in, fed by it’s fellow words and nurtured by the kind attentions of you, Constance.
But “Haunted By a Lovely God” is different…it is dead serious. In its recounting of the stories that I lived thru, and in its telling to you of how I feel when I hear others relate their tales of woe and disappointment and abandonment.
Those events that happened…sometimes I wish they hadn’t! I wish that I was “normal”, and life was ordered and tame, even though dreary, cus then I would be maybe more received by others? Maybe not looked at with…oh god, I don’t know how to even interpret it sometimes…pity maybe? Pity that I “cling to the old legends and superstitious beliefs about some great skyfather…” I really don’t know…no. Really.
But that is not my life…nothing about my life has ever been “normal.” The body I am in, or if you prefer, the mind that I have in this body…the fact that the world is always all shimmery and sharp-glinty thrusts and tears of jagged brilliant eternity piercing and poking and pushing its way thru any weak spot in this semi-permeable sphere of atoms and molecules become a living and sentient world.
I am one of those weak spots…and it pounds in me, til it breaks forth, rends me and roars out rushing to chase darkness back into nothingness. It is not like it sounds…sometimes it feels like what I watched when my dearest darling became a living engine of life and brought forth to this world our children, our union and oneness made manifest. I was in awe at her concentration and bold resolute embrace of the pain for the sake of eternal gain!
Oh Constance…I dearly wish that each of you could experience living in a haunted world, one that is alive and laughing behind every tree and lurking in every flower to jump out and surprise you, one that is looming, impending in every sunset and mountain vista with its sharp razor Beauty to slash your heart to shreds and ruin you forever to anything ordinary ever again!
This poem is the best capture of me that I have birthed, at least up until now…as to the future, only They know.
When you read it…it is best read out loud, for I wrote it as a performance piece. The rhythm of the poem is the absolute key to it, and I have worked and re-worked it to make it as best I can carry a rhythm depicted such: “One two three, One two three” and so on…oh sure, there are the few lil carriers of the beat that are called for…but to apply the rhythm correctly, in nearly every case the first sound of the line is toe “downbeat” of “One”
If you get off-rhythm…it falls apart on you.
It is supposed to!
Because, it is just like allowing yourself to be haunted…you have to keep the rhythm, you must step in time, as They call the tune and change the tempo, and then everything is so heartbreakingly beautiful and precise in its place, so much so that words are trite and useless sounds far too small to carry such weight and loaded significance! But this is a balancing act, and it is easy to get distracted, discouraged, or simply grow dull in your attention…and the rhythm is lost and the “poem of your life” starts to stutter, and skip, and eventually, as some poet somewhere said: “…the center cannot hold…” (Yeah, I know, Yeats! Lol…great poem btw!)
But yeah…that was one of the things I have been working on…making the poem come into focus as rhythm is kept paramount in mind, and fall apart if it is neglected and some other part is allowed prominence.
It’s complex…and yet I am striving for a simplicity in the overall thrust, the summary effect it has, once you have read it, uttered the words aloud and birthed it into your understanding and heart…
I don’t know it it is any good. I really never do, with anything I write…I just know how I feel, how I felt before and how I feel once it is written, and then how I feel as I read it back to my heart. I dearly hope that you will be patient and perservere to the end with this one, Constance…it is long, for to shorten it is to give short shrift to the travails and trials and griefs of any human who has suffered abandonment in the hour of their greatest need, and it is to cheat Them of Their due in recounting and remembering the ways that They have apprehended me…
It is my fervent prayer and wish that you too would have opportunity to be
With much love and heartfelt desire for blessings towering and overflowing unto you…
The importance of this piece is evident from the start. When something you write is that important to you, it will keep calling you back time and time again until you get it right. I think it’s pieces like Haunted- that are such a part of you that you HAVE to write it and revisit it and revise it. Although our writing is always a piece of us- some of the things are so deep in us and part of us that if you don’t write, I don’t think you get it. (Does that make any sense?)
Oooohh! You nailed it with this, Kat! So succinct and really on point with this idea. And Haunted is just that…a part of me…no wait…I think it is the CORE of me. It tells my story in essence, in distillation of years and tears…
It was so interesting how changing even just a word clicked it into focus a bit more, or adding a few clauses or prepositions just, somehow, made if shore up.
Thanks for reading it Kat…perhaps someday I will record me reading it, for it has its true power shown when read outloud.
I will be reading it next week at Poetry Group, I think
It’s a great feeling when you tweak something and it suddenly becomes RIGHT. 🙂
I admire that you can share your work with others. I’m still so afraid. I actually have my post on John printed out for him to read but it’s hidden in my purse and I won’t let him read it unless I’m standing right there guarding it. Ugh. And he hasn’t read it yet so it’s burning a hole in my purse!!!
Okay…I’m going back to read it again with this in mind: “’One two three, One two three.’”
I’m so glad it found its rhythm. You have certainly found yours.
Dani the Dancing Wordsmith…thanks for the edit suggestion you sent last week. They illuminated parts and places that were clumsy and not comely…ideas that were hiding behind fig leaves like Adam and Eve.
Oh…and the ONE two three rhythm is based on syllables, of course, not just words…but I really worked it over to be as consistently the first syllable of each line.
Of course, some words insisted on their place in the poem, so I had to go with it.
On the subject of finding my rhythm…just wow. I cannot even tell you how fabulous things have been lately, and I will shoot you an email soon when I get caught up from vacay.
Much love and oodles of joy bombs on yer head!