Saturday, April 16, 2005

comments on "Modern Witches", version 4

We now have a fourth stanza. And the repeating line is "Do witches burn the way they used to?" rather than "Do they burn the way they used to?"

It's quite a different poem from the original. I'm enjoying watching it build its rooms. I sort of wish it were someone else doing the building, then I could just watch and not have to produce. When I was reading Oz books as a kid I'd dream of an Oz book writing machine that would knock out a new Oz book a year. I'm not sure why I didn't dream of a new author. Maybe the machine was taking dictation from somebody in Oz? In the tiny Ozian country of Oogaboo there's a tree from which you can pluck novels. Sure, a tree would never be able to do that. But a machine!

Recently I've been writing long poems, poems that I add to over the course of days, weeks, months. Maybe I should keep 4 or 5 poems going at once, the way I work through my stack of books. Write a couple lines on Poem A, then a couple lines on Poem B, then a couple lines on Poem C or skip C and do D. Practically it would mean I'd have to have simultaneous separate notebooks. Or I'd have to do my writing on the computer. I have been working on a Poem A and a Poem B. Poem A is in the notebook. Poem B is "Modern Witches".

What I need to do is get back to organizing books. I have several hypothetical books or books in progress, but I haven't looked at them in ages. There's London Transport, which is poems I wrote 15 years ago during a semester in London. There's fact which is a collection of brief self-conscious poems (you can find links to some on the bottom of the homepage of my poetry site). There's Windows, which I mostly wrote in Lyn Hejinian's workshop at Cal, a manuscript of poems using "windows" as a malleable metaphor. Similarly there is Houses. And there was Cities, but that one didn't really gel. Oh yeah. Telephones, which has become quite dated in a few short years as telephone technology morphs the sorts of phones we use. A book of autobiographical poems. So many! Easier not to mess with it.

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