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Poet’s Method

You may be interested in knowing how I work in writing poetry, as my method is different from a lot of other poets.

A good source on the internet is on the League of Canadian Poets site:

This is very interesting for anyone who likes the process involved in the creation of an art because the link has three different versions of a poem from my book: The Hunger. And there is the text, as well, and it explains concerns central to the way I work which is intentionally, willfully tangential. I do my best work when I am a little out of control, or when my life is in highest emotional turmoil.

I did write what I said there a few years ago and of course have moved on since then, but it is useful historical information that any reviewer or researcher would find valuable.

The book that will be out soon, What It Means To Be Human, breaks some new ground for me.

I continue to ‘push’ on the English language and have moved out, to write, in essence, a book of poetry that is a novel. Hence the prose issues of point of view, time, structure and so on are adopted.

As this is poetry, I have each of the five characters have different stanza structures, individual grammar, personality and so on, in addition to moving on to further compress my images while continuing to go for that connection where the emotion of one line leads to the next rather than the usual narrative lyrical free verse method of ‘writing little stories’.

I have tried to eliminate the narrative thread and write the way intuition tells me. This means walking off the cliff with each new poem and not knowing whether I crash or fly. Poems that crash I hope for a place for them that comforts their brokenness. The others I am simply happy to have been allowed the good fortune to have whatever gift there is for poetry and thus to write them. Once they are complete, I open my hands and they fly free, to live their own lives. They are not mine anymore, only the moment of their coming into their own lives which is the same as mental cocaine for me.

It is a necessary love. Poetry, all art, is subversive, and you must be incredibly strong, and without ability to do any other thing than to be an artist. Much carnage litters the ground. It is not a pretty sight, but it is scary, exhilarating, always falling forward and the fear..