December 2nd, 2013

Captain Kris W'lash

"Does it have a meaning? Does it have a point?"

I woke up Saturday morning with a poem in me. I got it out. I like it. I wanted it to be vivid; I hope I managed. I wasn't worried, though, about telling a story. Often making a story out of a dream is a path towards disappointment; dreams can have story to them, but they don't follow the storytelling rules that can satisfy us. (I can think of only one time the And then I woke up and it was all a dream really, REALLY worked well for me, and it's from a movie script that will never be filmed*. I also don't think The Wizard of Oz does that, because I definitely believe that in the context of that movie, like in the books, Oz is real. But I digress.) So, instead, I mine my dreams for images and emotions, not for plot.

I haven't mined enough for plot. I'm still not used to telling stories. So I avoid that. I tend to write poems that, I hope, don't need stories. I tell about my life in this blog, of course, but that's a very free-form and loose version of storytelling. And I'd better not make anything up on this journal.

Click the "poetical" tag on my blog -- calling it "poetical" lets me link things I wrote that even I don't think make it all the way to being poems, but make it part of the way -- and you don't find many stories. Is it a style? Perhaps. Is it a crutch? Also, perhaps. I do try to avoid the meaningless poetry Stephen King parodied thusly in On Writing:

i close my eyes
in th dark i see
Rodan ***** Rimbaud
in th dark
i swallow th cloth
of loneliness
crow i am here
raven i am here

...but I can still progress plenty of distance past that. And past what I've written so far. That actually was one of my early goals with this journal, over (whoa) nine years ago: be more poetic. Be inspired to be poetic. And Portland is a poetry-inspiring area.

I...I kind of feel I'm being self-justifying here. The insecurities of someone who maybe doesn't entirely trust his creative side. Or doesn't completely trust that his creative side can overcome his lazy side.

I want my poetry to have a point. And I'm worried that any stories I tell will wind up not having a point, either.

But as long as I can feel good about how I keep doing this writing thing, that'll help.

Okay, me: wrote more stuff I like. You've done it. Keep doing it.

(This was also a good way to re-link to my poem, for those of you who don't read the blogs on the weekend.)

* It was a draft of a proposed Sandman film, rewritten by Pulp Fiction's Roger Avary after it was first written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, but I haven't again found Avary's draft online.