This month, the poetry group that I belong to in Tallahassee, Florida, Big Bend Poets, has several challenges assigned to them to incorporate into their poetry. One of them is experimental poetry, which, if you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I already do, on a regular basis. I call it, “Unpoetry”. I have already posted a guide to it in the menu for this blog, but I thought I’d revisit the topic a little bit, as I’ve had a few more thoughts about it lately, considering this month’s challenge for my group.
First of all, I am fully aware that this type of poetry that I write is very difficult to understand, at least on face value. What I’ve always hoped, though, is that it is something that can be appreciated by a process of “reading between the lines”, so to speak. Although one of my purposes, one that I try to convey constantly, but sometimes am not completely faithful to, is absurdity.
When I write these poems, usually, I pick my words very carefully, so as to not “connect the dots”, so to speak. I purposely do not want any syntax, any pattern of meaning. Although I do believe there is meaning to be found, if one searches and thinks and analyzes hard enough, I do not keep this possibility in mind as I am writing. In fact, I mostly try to avoid it. Sometimes, I may start with syntax, then break out of it, or vice versa. It is difficult to write, and sometimes, I am just lazy, I’ll admit.
Like most writers, I believe in what I write, even if I do not always have much hope in my heart for most readers to understand and appreciate what I’m writing. What I do hope for, is that every now and then, a person will come along and be able to appreciate it. After all, I think that if I can get something out of writing it, why can’t someone occasionally get something out of reading it?
It is a very narrow road that I tread in writing this stuff, usually, and it is a lonely road. I do not have many peers who do anything similar, at least that I have come across, in my 30 or so years of writing. Possibles might include James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, and some of the surrealist writers that did automatic writing, although my writing is not really automatic (is anyone’s?). So, I continue to write it, use it, depend on it, trust it. I hope some of you enjoy it. Thanks for reading.