Sometimes it is the smallest thing that can cause a breakthrough. This weekend, I had a minor epiphany regarding a turn of phrase I had been struggling with for “Ophelius Arrested” and suddenly I was thrown into the creative effluvium vortex. As per my process, I got my chicken scratch version down.
From there, I knew I was invested in a particularly ridged meter for this sonnet, and being from New England, I’m aware that sometimes my syllables merge, so I did what any sensible technophile would do, which is employ a spreadsheet to ensure my syllabic breaks were on point.
Turns out, that after letting it sit for a night and some time plus, I rather liked “Ophelius Arrested,” in defiance of all norms and customs. Just two edits to two word choices left me feeling satisfied.
But only satisfied insofar as that poem was concerned. Because I immediately set-to onto a new piece. This time, I was set on a cinquain. But not just a cinquain, but a series of cinquains. Five, to be precise. Because cinquain is based on the word five, so doing five… yeah. And these cinquains were reflective of five particular moments that were formative to my childhood, the concept of “pentateuch” came to mind. And while I don’t consider myself divine, the name fits. But, rather than be too on the nose, I delved a bit into the etymology of the word, and my heritage, to arrive at “Pentáteukhos.”
So, I jumped in.
That said, the juju was still running strong. Though I was whirling and wheeling, I didn’t let my creativity get distracted. Whilst watching a separate-but-together move with the bestie, which I had already seen, I was still rocking and rolling with the poetic mojo. Feeling that, I set to towards composing a villanelle whilst Thor battled his sister, and sort of his brother and friend. After that we talked at length about any number of things, but most of them, unironically, about childhood memories and relationships. I’m trying to gather repose in retrospect after that chat, but if I am recalling my evening correctly, I set out to compose a new villanelle.
This is one form which has previously thwarted me. This time, though, I can only hope, I had a clear, concise vision for the poem, which led to an adroit facilitation of the required rhyme. Not being constrained by a meter let the creativity flow, tonight.
Thus, seemingly without intention, “Retrogression Expedited” was born. And, yes, I’m in the glow (or afterglow, since I guess it has been snuffed for the night) of a creative spark, but I feel good things. I am already considering my MFA application and how perhaps one of these might replace the (wrongly) perceived as sparse three-line Siju poem, where I will always wonder if the scarcity on the page is interpreted inaccurately.
Though there will surely be editing and revision on all of these new creations tomorrow or the next day, I cannot help but be proud and relieved that today, on this night, the muses did deign to bestow their creative beneficence upon me.
And then the bestie and I got on the phone after midnight and hashed out some truly epic childhood issues for three hours. That’s committed friendship, in case you’re wondering.