Poetry Doodling

I take myself too seriously a lot of the time. Putting my butt in a chair and doing creative work can seem daunting because I’m haunted by the idea that whatever I do might not be “good.”

I have a fear that my taste will always outpace my skill.

So I decided to play a silly game. I wanted to write a couple poems while restricting myself to using only the vowel “o”

These are clearly stilted, kind of weird, and not actually “good” by any traditional definition. But they’re an interesting exploration of rhythm, language, and most importantly, an excuse to lighten up a bit.

Body Shot

Soft cloth on frosty bosom
Blotch of blood blooms
Shorn locks, gown off
Torso blown, booms sorrow

No cross nor godly chord to
Comfort old folly’s frown

Scoop from, morph body
Honor lost ghosts

Some silly shit about birds

Old crows follow
Lost or sorry trolls (dolls?)
Down to drown
On floods of odd sorrows

Old crows scorn frowns
Worry not odd glooms or wrong chords
Only fowl own song or story

Old crows, strong owls hold honors
Not told to towns of morons, crooks
Lost only to fools, or on soft swoons

I love some of these individual lines. Body Shot works a bit better as a coherent piece, but the crows and owls are more of a feeling that I think could be fun to expand on in a different way. It’s a cool warm up. I think I might try a different vowel and see how it changes the sound and speed of the lines when read out loud.

This foray back into poetry is new and exciting. I loved poetry in high school. Heck, I won a fairly prestigious teen award based on my poetry and got a poetry scholarship to college (those old poems now unfortunately lost on some hard drive in some landfill). But once I was in college I completely lost touch with the medium. It feels like I’m relearning a language, and in the process rediscovering parts of my mind and soul I haven’t visited in a long while.

Today’s poetry recommendations:

A Complex Accident of Life by Jessica McHugh. This is erasure poetry from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein – learned about it on the Horror Poetry episode of Books in the Freezer.

Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez. This is the first poetry collection I read front to back since graduating college and it cast a spell on me. I picked it up at a Haymarket Books sale as an ebook and had to order the physical copy when I was done. For some reason it took me another couple years to try to read more, but this planted the seed.

Into the Forest and All the Way Through by Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo. I first encountered Pelayo’s work when I picked up her new novel Children of Chicago on a whim. I love reading local authors. Not quite sure how I learned about this collection of true crime poetry, exploring the deaths and disappearances of American women over the decades. It’s beautiful and harrowing. Not something you can read all at once – these poems can frankly be overwhelming.

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