Thursday, November 11, 2010

Insight into the mind of a poet

Like many writers, I keep a journal. Several, actually. One for banal observations and whiny ramblings expected for the diary genre and then two others that I use for poetry/teaching/whatever else I need to write down when I'm at my desk (directions to restaurants, confirmation numbers). It's sometimes fun to flip through these hodgepodge notebooks and discover random things that I have no memory of writing. I recently came across this, well, list for lack of a better word. I'm guessing it was from a free writing exercise wherein I was trying to jumpstart my creativity. The "list" is as follows, verbatim:

rosebuds touching
a lonely harmonica
a patch of dead grass
unforgiving mailbox
where the wrist meets the hand
the second to last kiss
a church parking lot
flowers with the dirt still on them
zodiac sign language
selling individual balloons
a ballad, oversung
the worst sunset
a cracked pocket mirror
the Sunday newspaper
pewter souvenirs
not enough drum lessons
forgettable family dinners
steering wheel, too hot to touch
Tabasco sauce on everything
crowded aquariums
renting ice skates
one matinee too many

What does any of it mean? No clue. I really like "not enough drum lessons" and "unforgiving mailbox," though. And maybe I'll use "The Worst Sunset" as the title of my memoir. A lot of these would make great memoir titles (tell me you wouldn't buy A Ballad, Oversung: The Life and Times of Katie Vagnino). I don't think I ever wrote a poem or story incorporating anything from this list and the journal supports this: On the opposite page is a recipe for shrimp tacos that I remember copying from Real Simple.

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