parts of the greater whole

i began this summer not thinking i was gonna write a damn thing. i didnt have any features scheduled from may15 until (never). the BX1 feature was coming up but i knew that would be a short reading and it would be best if i focused on my bronx-centric work for that.

i know its horrible to only write for a feature. ive been told that real writers will put to pen religously every day and have these set patterns where they will and must produce some work for X numbers of minutes Y times during the day. man, i let the bullshit of that last statement live in my psyche for way too fuckin long.

as a newbie, i thought for sure there was something wrong with me when i couldnt produce work like that and that i must be some kind of poseur playin the role of poet.

today, i am still a newbie. i have not read all of eliot’s work and couldnt tell ya the difference between (john) donne & (stephen) dunn but im learning. and one of the things that ive learned is that your process is just as unique as your writing style and the minute someone tries to warp your process to match what they feel your process should be… RUN! DONT WALK!…. get da fuk outta der!

me, i work best under the pressure of a deadline. for the most part, i dont write the poems until the 11th hour but i do know that i am thinking about them. all the time. 24/7, y’all. and, on the real, i have only met a few people that can keep up with me on this one. i hear a lot of people say “OH THATS A POEM!” but rarely see it pop in their work. me, i see shit and make a mental polariod that would look like something right out of CSI. i am taking shots from different angles, seeing how the light hits the subject, where the wind is coming from, asking side questions, the whole forensic nine.

as far as featuring goes, i am under ZERO obligation to produce new work. none. the way most of these places work, i could hit em off with the golden oldies (MotB, Ceviche, Sorta Rican, Getting Ronald Reagan, cover poem, Oda) and be out. crowd applauds, feature takes a bow, thank ya very much. and the series organizers would be happy folks. luckily, i do have some friends and fans that do show up and do listen and would probably stop coming out and chillin with me the minute i start putting it all on loop.

lets depart from the ego bolstering words i just dropped about mahself and get back to the here and now… i started the summer with a desire to read more and to lay back from some writing. my experience tells me that i am a poet (and one that gives quite a damn if i am an effective communicator as well) and aint nobody gonna run up and take my poet card outta my pocket just cuz i havent written a poem in a few months.

and with that burden lifted from me, i go out and throw down a couple of poems this summer that all make me smile. im still reading and i still keep saying theres no pressure, nope, none, not at all. smilin all the while.

i got a feature coming up at the end of the month with Profe. lemme tell ya this- it will be the hotness. i plan on coming into dis reading with one older piece and even that one may get put on the shelf the way im goin.

one last thing- whatever you do, always take time out to raise a glass of chivas to the muse

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3 Comments

  1. Oscar…wow…and thank you.

    This is me: “i know its horrible to only write for a feature. ive been told that real writers will put to pen religously every day and have these set patterns where they will and must produce some work for X numbers of minutes Y times during the day.”

    This is also me: “i have not read all of eliot’s work and couldnt tell ya the difference between (john) donne & (stephen) dunn but im learning.”

    This I /so/ need to hear: “and one of the things that ive learned is that your process is just as unique as your writing style and the minute someone tries to warp your process to match what they feel your process should be… RUN! DONT WALK!…. get da fuk outta der!”

    ditto on this (as me):”me, i work best under the pressure of a deadline. for the most part, i dont write the poems until the 11th hour but i do know that i am thinking about them.”

    *rattling the bars of her self-inflicted cage*

    Yes! I see freedom!

    Thank you!!

    *raising a glass of chivas*

  2. good post, ob. this here i find especially interesting:

    “…and the minute someone tries to warp your process to match what they feel your process should be… RUN! DONT WALK!….”

    i have found some mentor-types do this either (1) in an ego-driven effort to create mini-me’s, or (2) because, even with the best intentions, they really haven’t the slightest clue *how* to mentor. indeed, it is best to give them their space!

    and as for, as you say, the “real writer,” yes, always thinkin the next poem 24/7, pluckin that next poem outta the air, breathing it, dreaming it, thirsting for it.

    and always smiling at the muse when she is demanding your bones, and that you bring her your fire.

    musing,
    bjr

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