For kicks and giggles I randomly opened an old journal to see what I would find. I found the original version of a poem from my book Every Day Angels. Because my kicks and giggles quota is down, I decided to edit the original journal poem again, to see what I would come up with. My only rule was that I couldn’t end or start with the same lines.
I ended up with something completely different.
HERE: mysterious one HRB is the version that ended up in Every Day Angels
BELOW is the version from today.
I highly recommend this as a writing exercise if you are having muse issues. Take the original (hand written / in journal if you can find them) from years back, another lifetime ago so that you are in a new place, wiser, more experienced, more cynical, whatever. Write an entirely new poem from that place.
I was up all night
we drown or swim or let the tide
take us somewhere new
we are ships
even in (the) afterlife
I dreamed it was the
end of my world (she said)
and wrote it down
knowledge is a kind of rotten fruit
are what save us
smells like tornado weather
high above the plains
for a thirsty world
touch is matter
or anything anticipatory in the mail
but I exist in books
things on earth are definitive
squirrels die in trees
magpies gather in roads
we run out of gas and ink
the sun admits clouds exist
it goes or doesn’t go
(or becomes something else)
my hands are tied
we don’t imagine pain
but imagining there is something else
keeps us here
I think I’m going a little crazy
just dizzy in the sea
I don’t know which I like better. The one in EDA has some lines that are not in the hand-written version and I’m not sure where they came from. The one I wrote today doesn’t flow as much as the other – it’s more fragmented. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it just reflects something about my state of mind.
Here is most of the hand-written version. You can see that it was written in fragments even then.