tupelo press 30/30 project: day 09

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i updated facebook about my day 09 poem for the tupelo press 30/30 project before i updated this blog. i wrote: “here i am bringing the smut to day 09!” and while i mean it, i hope there’s also at least a couple redeeming qualities to it beyond its subject matter. there’s word play. there’s mortality… and escaping it. or trying to.

my day 09 poem is still sonnet-like: 14 lines… though i’m mostly still ignoring rhyme. it’s called “sex starved fruit flies have shorter lives,* or ‘you better keep it fresh’.” here’s a preview:

She is a knife fight, and he invites her to a fancy dinner.
He is shark cage, is wrapped in steel bars. Her gut tells her
to want in, and her teeth make it possible…

the first part of its title is from a recent study i first heard about on the radio, but later found online: sex starved fruit flies have shorter lives.

as always with my poems, they’re “true.” by that — though truth in poetry is sometimes debated (and i’d like to write more about that AFTER the poem-a-day challenge — i mean: the emotions at their core are real. in addition (while i do make some things up via word play or imagery), i’m able to work in some details from real life. for example: i do use intimacy to buffer me from my fears about dying (we all do, right?). it’s total escape. and at the same time: it’s total presence in… in… it’s total presence. i love the dichotomy.

as i write this month for the tupelo challenge, something interesting is happening: it’s giving me a chance to discuss process and research and inspiration — and exposure (to be differentiated in this case from nudity LOL) — with the man i consider my SO.* he makes some cameo appearances in the poems.

for lots of reasons, i’ve tried to protect him from my writing both here and in the poetry. i don’t have words for all of it, but some of it has to do with my fear about my past repeating itself: poetry being part of what sours things in a relationship. and also: it can be odd to be feature in someone’s art (ask the spouses and children of comedians, for example). it can be uncomfortable.

but (surprise!) — we talk about it. he says, “do your thing.” he says, “let’s do more research” (he’s willing to take one for the team — ha ha — for the poems). what more can a poet ask for, but a partner in the adventure? in life? in finding out about ______? it’s so different from what i lived in my marriage… and not just on account of how my ex was in it but how i was, as well. we were too far gone for me to be willing to share it with him; he was too far gone to consider my poetry as anything but the enemy… and me along with it.

this is different. this is “he’s along for the ride.” this is “yes.” this is “let’s play.” this is “i am best when i am 100% who i am.” happy. and writing… without a censor.

*significant other



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