Once you start exploring different areas of what you can do, you also realize what limits you have. I’ve been longing to write a really great poem about a sunset lately. But I need to find the right angle. Often, when I have an idea like this, I end up putting it in a love story. But I’m trying to avoid that this time around. At some point you look at your oeuvre and it dawns on you: All my work concentrates around this one subject. I’m already finding it in me to write things that are less sickly involved with love. Less pathetic. But I would like to some day break free from it all together, or at least make it a very subtle sub-context of the poem. Something that can be read into it without being expressed.
I don’t know why, though. Honestly, I enjoy poems that are centered around love more than poems that try to avoid it. Maybe it’s because I want to be able to better grasp those other poems, and I believe I can do that by mastering them myself. Mostly, though, I think it’s because I believe there’s greater opportunity for me to evolve, if I learn that craft. I’m not saying love can’t be part of it. I would just like to be able to write a poem that is both great and centered around something else.
Mostly I want to be able to write longer poems. I’ve always been amazed by those who could do that; who could keep a reader’s attention, let alone their own, for more than two pages at a time with a single poem. Poems are so rich in precision, that they are often exhausting to read. It’s so very different from a book, where there are so many words to fill-out and fill-in the things you are left to think in a poem. To keep that poetic clarity throughout a 19-page poem, that’s amazing. I really hope I will be able to achieve something like that in the next year.
I’ve been striving to better myself over the past half-year or so, really focussed on writing, and it’s paying off. I’m ages ahead of where I was back then. Half a year ahead, at least. But there’s still so much room for improvement. Room for change. Yes, change. I feel everything changing almost every month. When I read my way back through the things I’ve written over that period, it’s ever so clear whenever something big happened in my life, and I find it hard to really enjoy the things I wrote just a few months ago. It doesn’t seem like… me, anymore.
Of course I know it’s me. But flavors change. I’m so far removed from those things. Even the things I put together in a collection this winter, they seem so out of touch. So rough, so pathetic. If I were to make a collection now, only 2 or 3 of them would survive. But that’s a good sign, I think. It means I’m progressing. It means I’m taking myself seriously now. It means I need not worry about keeping my current favorite poems to myself for some future release, because by the time I’m finally ready to put out a collection of poems that goes to a wider audience than just my close friends and sister, I will probably have written something new that I’m way more fond of.
This means: I should go through my poems now, and take some of the good ones to print in my new publication. If anything, they will serve as great advertisement for me, if any literary types are to read this (it’s aimed at those people, so why not). There’s no waste in putting great work out there. The only other thing that could happen is that they would either not be published for a really long time, and maybe never.
I’ve got a ton of other stuff on my mind these days, but I’m not going to put that up here right now. Just know that I think of you, and I’m by the phone if you need me.