Monday, May 02, 2005

something to say

An older woman, a poet who was going blind, who recited all her work, good poems, surprised me with a compliment, "You really have something to say," she said.

I've puzzled over that ever since.

Laurel K. Dodge, a poet whose work I got to know on a poetry bulletin board or two, has made public her blogs. One is for thinking aloud. The other is specifically for poems. Laurel writes a lot. The write-a-lot poet seems to bother people. Most poets don't. The reason books of poetry are so slim isn't just that the poet ruthlessly edits down her corpus to only the finest. Fact is, most just don't write many poems. An argument tends to erupt at about this point in the discussion: fewer poems = better poems? Or no? I'll say no and leave it at that.

As I understand it Laurel started her blog (one or both?) as a private place to put up her poetry, not sure she wanted the raw work available to any old click. But she discovered once the blog went public and she got visitors that she had motivation to post stuff. This is true for me. Even on my no-comments LoveSettlement (unlike Dare I Read where you can comment), I imagine people coming by to read what I write and that's more motivation than I get just tapping away alone at the keyboard, unseeable so unseen. (My email is easy to get to anyway, top of the page.)

Among other things I like Laurel's stream-of-consciousness prose. "There are so many things that I want to say right now and they're all crowding toward the door, trying to shove their way out all at once, fighting to be articulated. I feel overwhelmed. Perhaps it's merely hunger. And not desire, as my good friend would suggest. My good friend who thinks any thing, any damned little thing is an expression of or symbol for desire, whether blatant or latent. Exercise? Sublimation of desire. Hunger? Full blown, out and out desire."

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