Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blankinship-Poetic 4

Poetic 4

I found that my memories were events that I’d had plenty of time to process. For the most part, the memories didn’t relate to things that are going on in my life in the present. In fact, the memories seemed distant and inconsequential. They were experiences that no longer affect me.
Everyone perceives differently. I did not think it was necessary that I transcribe my memories in the exact same matter-of-fact manner as Brainard, because I perceive and process things differently from him. Many of my memories become abstracted and reduced to shape, color and sound. It doesn’t mean that I have lost those memories or that they have lost emotional value. In fact, sometimes the emotional value of a memory becomes augmented in conjunction with the loss of sharpness of the memory. But they do lose their concreteness. Sometimes when I remember something, I question whether or not it really happened. Once something is over and in the past, it’s hard to believe that it really occurred. At the same time, there is a certain comfort in making events into concrete facts, and knowing that those events have specific descriptions that cannot be disputed.
Brainard created a sense of “tell-all,” as if he held nothing back from his readers, and this propagated a sense of trust. I did not have this feeling of openness with my readers. I wrote a very long “I Remember” poem, where I held nothing back. Then I went back and weeded out a lot of things. I kept the memories that I thought created interesting images, and I also tried to keep a consistent theme. Since I didn’t want the poem to be too long, I didn’t try to create an autobiography. Instead, I wrote a poem that focused on themes of death, and also the idea of not quite understanding something in the moment that it was happening. A lot of the memories that I removed were either traumatic or very personal. I just didn’t feel as comfortable being as open as Brainard, although there is something nice about reading someone else’s sort of secretive thoughts or memories.
I wish I had more time to write this poem. It could go in so many directions. Still, I did feel constrained by the form. I thought it somehow held the language back from the natural flowering of musicality that free-form allows. I was caught between wanting to just catalogue whatever memories came to mind, and wanting to create a more cohesive piece where the language in the different threads interwove with more intention.

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