At the Writing Retreat/Baby Moon, I set aside Manuscript #3 CL, feeling rather finished with it at least until I can become a better writer to hate it entirely. During the boredom of the pandemic, I sent it off to 4 contests (1 semi-finalist but loser result, 3 no results as of yet) and I have one more contest I’d like to send it to, but otherwise feel like it is just waiting to get picked for the team. So I thought it might be a good idea to assess some of these poems that have been growing into a tree-of-a-pile on my desk.
Since around April 2019, I have written 76 poems (/14 months = 5 or 6 poems a month), which is a tremendous amount for me, a writer that usually plods along at 2 poems a month, maybe just 1 (but if it is 1, it is always one of my very best poems). They are about Kit, like I said in my last post, and mostly about losing Kit. They are sad. This will be a very sad book, one that I think you should not read unless maybe it is a rainy day and you are hoping for a good melancholy feeling.
I did the beginning stages of manuscript gathering—I came up with a tentative title (it is better if I can have a list of titles, but only one comes to mind right now), and sorted the poems into:
I – yes
II- maybe yes
III – maybe no
IV – trash
? – clearly not part of this manuscript
The shake out was as follows:
I – 24 poems
II- 35 poems
III – 12 poems
IV – 1
? – 3
Since I tend to edit toward minimalism in a manuscript (I once had a professor that said in regard to essays, aim for the minimum length—less chance of screwing it up), my I and II categories coming out to 59 poems is promising. I’d say I’ve fairly much got a 4th manuscript here.
However, I know too that I’m not quite finished on the topic. I was surprised to have even had 3 poems not on the topic of Kit—they aren’t the most recent either, just scattered in there from the year. I decided to wait to begin arranging this manuscript until all players are in the game—and I’m fairly certain that I’m not done writing this book yet, though these numbers tell me that I’m getting close.
Loosely, I think that I will be done writing this kind of grief poem in November, to mark the year of having lost her, though of course I’d never hold myself to a deadline like that. I think that is naturally where it will fall, and then poems about other things will begin to surface more often.
Like I said previously, this book is a lament. It is wailing on the front yard with my head shaved and ashes smeared on my face. You can’t rush that sort of thing.