I have lots of exciting news coming, as I’ve said. Even more than I expected. I can’t reveal most of it right this second, but it will be dolled out appropriately. One thing I can say is that it is the beginning of Nanowrimo. For those of you who don’t know, it is National Novel Writing Month. The point is to finish a 50,000 word novel in one month. Obviously there is not time to revise. The point of the exercise is to finish the basic shell of a novel in one month. Then, should it be something worth working with, go back and revise, revise, revise. I had originally planned on trying to write a novel this month, but I have been in a poetry mode lately, and don’t want to break the streak. Instead I am going to try to complete an entirely new poetry collection in a single month. This will be, in my opinion, as difficult, as it will require 3-4 pages of new poetry a day, to result in a collection that is 90-120 pages long. As with Nanowrimo, it will be largely unedited, so I won’t really want to share all the new poems here, but I’ll share as many as I feel are fit for public viewing, without time to revise. Bring on Napocowrimo! With that said, I will not always have time for my Wednesday “blog” posts, which have been suffering because of work and storms and birthdays, but you’ll get a few this month, as well as oodles of new poems, plus the standard “Poem I Love” Fridays.
So, here is a great poem by Russell Edson, the master of surreal, but important, poetry. My first experience with Edson was “The Tormented Mirror” a collection of incredibly strange prose poems. What Edson did, for me, was allowed me to realize that sometimes poems can seem incredibly inaccessible and odd on your first go-around, but once you start to read the poems over and over and look at what is happening, what seemed completely inapproachable is, in actuality, fairly simple. He let me know that sometimes those really weird images you have in your head can be the basis for poems. I don’t tend to write really strange poems anymore, but I had a huge Edson phase that affected me pretty deeply, in the long run. Ape and Coffee, at first, seems to be near gibberish, but it is a brilliant poem about approaching the things we do not understand, in the guise of an unusual conversation between a man and his monkey.
Ape And Coffee
Some coffee had gotten on a man’s ape. The man said,
animal did you get on my coffee?
No no, whistled the ape, the coffee got on me.
You’re sure you didn’t spill on my coffee? said the man.
Do I look like a liquid? peeped the ape.
Well you sure don’t look human, said the man.
But that doesn’t make me a fluid, twittered the ape.
Well I don’ know what the hell you are, so just stop it,
cried the man.
I was just sitting here reading the newspaper when you
splashed coffee all over me, piped the ape.
I don’t care if you are a liquid, you just better stop
splashing on things, cried the man.
Do I look fluid to you? Take a good look, hooted the ape.
If you don’t stop I’ll put you in a cup, screamed the man.
I’m not a fluid, screeched the ape.
Stop it, stop it, screamed the man, you are frightening me.