Worked on three poems tonight — a very rough/bad/”free write” draft of one, the beginning threads and connected concepts of another, and finally an initial and workable draft of the third. By the third poem, I was starting to realize why I may avoid this. It’s always more emotional than I expect, and always in the spots where I don’t expect it. I’m still rummaging through personal material, and the reaction surprises me when certain ideas and moments emerge in a more crystallized state. I’m not looking to make my work highly autobiographical, but I’m finding that even when I arrive at the bigger concept or polish off the root idea, it can sting more than the original experience.
You would think getting to the essence would create distance… the ability to see the experience as some separate, objectified thing.
Instead, it inches closer to the truth. And there sit any remains of the original experience, exposed and demanding some energy.
Not exactly the most comfortable barometer for knowing when you’re getting somewhere… but I’m game for learning to work with it.