Poem 28 is a bathroom poem. The bathroom poem is kind of an interesting thing and during both challenge months, several poems are bathroom poems. Nothing dirty or gross involved here. In the morning as I get ready for work or whatever, and most often when the shower has just started or when I’m shaving an idea for a poem comes to me. It might just be that flowing water (meaning a constant flow like the sink or the shower) seems to be a trigger for me. This is also when creative solutions for things at work tend to come to me too. I’m sure other people have their triggers, like walking or washing the dishes or fishing. Mine happens to be showering or shaving.
My poem today is about those random associations your mind makes while you doing or reading or thinking about something. Becky asked once how I come up with bringing two episodes in our lives together into one poem without them having any sort of obvious connection and this is it. We all do this. I’ve learned to listen to mine a lot. I don’t really like playing hunches, but I do so all the time. It’s sometimes useful in randori, because you let your unconscious read uke for your conscious mind. Some of these connections, though, are very odd. Mixing BB King and changing a diaper and reading a poem about Israeli/Palestinian fighting and Lionel Richie. Yes, music gets stuck into these connections a lot. But part of what I’m writing about is also the context in which these associations are made. Jim, my MFA adviser, once cautioned us (mentioned in the poem), about the pop poetry you’d find in bookstores that often talked about the heart. He mentioned one poet in particular and how this poet’s career was also around the time of the first open-heart surgeries and that the images of the latter created a strange context for the former. The poetry, he said, was crappy but the images of the procedure made it also harder to stomach. Anyway, more food for thought.
I’ve already got the draft for poem 29, and will be dedicating my final poem to Jim Spencer, a friend and sponsor for me in this project. Thank you, Jim.