the turntables might wobble but they don’t fall down


. b o x e d . i n
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Damn, I made it through NaPoWriMo with 21 drafts, and that has me feeling damn skippy.

And for anyone of y’all who took the NaPoWriMo (or NaBlogWriMo) challenge and came away 30 for 30– I salute you, word warriors.

I would have loved to present 30 drafts for 30 days but I knew early on that it wasn’t going to happen since I was out to stay on target and continue to add to my current manuscript and I wasn’t going to put the NaPoWriMo cart ahead of the manuscript horse. I also knew that 30/30 was not going to happen while reading four books of poetry, attending a ton of poetry readings, reading at two events, hosting one event, and blogging when it was necessary.

Looking back, I am proud of all but one of the drafts and stayed focused on expanding the manuscript with every draft except for #8, the ice worker palimpsest, which I am ultra-proud of for a whole different set of reasons and will be the only poem that will stay up.

Regarding Palimpsest. I came across the word while reading Beneath the Metropolis and saw a lot of possibility not only in the word but also in my interpretation of it. In the last month I have come to view it as a form of process, one where I insert myself into poetic traditions and take what I need while disregarding what I don’t. What is left is either homage or sacrilege, all depending on who is reading the poem.

The AudienceSpeaking of audience, this might be a good time to record the set-list from last week’s Achiote Press reading which was wonderful. I got to read with (and introduce) some amazing poets and had an attentive audience. What more can I ask for? (Gourmet food and fun music? Yes, the reading had that too! Thanks go to Craig and Jen for such a great event.)

Set-List

⋅ Palimpsest: Sonnet
⋅ Palimpsest: The Trouble with Poverty
⋅ Palimpsest: Zuihitsu
⋅ Palimpsest: B-Boy Prayer
⋅ Palimpsest: Congruence
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⋅ Palimpsest: A Bodega on Anywhere Avenue
⋅ Palimpsest: The Break
⋅ Palimpsest: Ghazal

It was great to read all the new poems and experience them in the format of a live reading. The start of the set was a little rocky but my confidence increased poem by poem and by the end I was feeling really strong. Looking forward to read some more of these in the future.

I did this NaPoWriMo thing on a fluke but I am glad that I did because it reminded me that when I want to write poems, they’ll get written. It might be painful, but it’ll get done.

To anyone thinking of doing it next year, I say go for it. I also say- Form is your friend. Well, at least it was mine.

Now it’s time to revise some older poems, get to writing a long poem, and then revise this group of poems for a future chapbook.

Word.

Author: Oscar Bermeo

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of the chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below, and To the Break of Dawn. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.

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