Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Miscellany and Goodbye Poetry for Novelists

Whew! I'm going to make Monday Miscellany on Monday this week and all thanks to a blue jay.  I was gone yesterday doing that Easter egg hunt thing.  When I got home, my front door was open. It's a little cranky these days and I guess I didn't pull it shut tight when I left. Very, very early this morning this loud, squawky bird swooped down from a beam in my bedroom to let me know he wanted out and right then. So I've been up since dawn, chasing a bird around the house until it found the open door again and flapped its way to freedom. Great start to the week: early rising, early exercise!

As to the poetry, I still think that poets have so much to show us writers of prose about putting words together, so they sound beautiful and create fresh and exciting images as well as convey meaning to the reader. 

Poetry and Prose/Apples and Apple Pie
Who wrote this--a poet, a novelist, someone who is both? Do you recognize these words? 

Where to start is the problem, because nothing begins when it begins and nothing's over when it's over, and everything needs a preface, a postscript, a chart of simultaneous events. History is a construct, she tells her students. Any point of entry is possible and all choices are arbitrary. Still, there are definite moments, moments we use as references, because they break our sense of continuity, they change the direction of time. We can look at these events and we can say that after them things were never the same again. They provide beginnings for us, and endings too. Births and deaths, for instance and marriages. And wars.

Let's see we should have a prize or something for the one who first identifies this writer. I've got an ARC of The Chaos that I can offer. It's a gritty futuristic novel by Rachel Ward.  

I'm working on reaching my ROW80 goal, so here's my poetry-prose connected piece that I promised myself I'd write. Draft #1


At dusk, lacy prints in the sand are all I see of the Iguanas who have fled before my footstep. But look up. There the clusters of bananas sway not from wind, but from a feast interrupted. 
At first light they skitter over slick tin roofs in pursuit of insects the heat has not yet driven into cool tile crevices. If an iguana becomes careless, it will most likely slide the length of the roof and land at your feet with the sound only a lizard can make.  
They regard people as dangerous and so I believe they're wise.  Inside those gilled heads, our scent triggers an ancient and healthy fear of humans and they flee, tails high, back to their tin sanctuary.  Perhaps they will survive.

Hope you'll share some poetry-prose here on my last Poetry for Novelists post for 2011. See you around the blogOsphere and be sure to visit some other ROW80 bloggers. Click on the ROW80 image at the top of this page to see if they're reaching their goals. Now I'm off to print out my WIP and get busy with that word count.


  1. Margaret Atwood? What a writer. If it isn't it should be.

    Like your piece on iguanas. The ones around my sister's house hang out in the trees. Dozens of them.

  2. How crazy that you had to chase a blue jay around your house this morning! Beautiful picture!
    I don't recognize the author of the piece, and I like your piece on iguanas!!

  3. I love iguanas! They're awesome.

    A bird in your house? We had a bat in our house once when I was growing up. I'd rather a bird.

  4. @Bish you are the winner! Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride. Isn't she a brilliant writer? Send me your address and I'll drop that book into the mail. I'd love to hear what you think of it. Won't say what I thought until you read it.

    @Hi Kelly glad you stopped in for a look. Always love it when you visit.

    @Kate had a bat inside once too! I agree the bird was a bit easier.

  5. Great posts on poetry C. Lee. Poetry is beautiful, but can we, as novelists, spend that much time agonising over every word? I know we should, but that way lies the land of the great unfinished novel.

    Of course the advantage of an unfinished novel is that it can be great because nobody will ever know. Although nobody will ever buy it either... :(

  6. I didn't recognize the author of the piece, but May Sarton sprang to my mind--which I see was wrong! Enjoyed your iguana, C.Lee, and that bluebird was stunning!

  7. I love your Iguana piece! "the sound only a lizard can make" - lovely.

    Good luck on your ROW80 progress!! :)

  8. @Christopher I don't agonize over every word. That would be torture, but I'd sure rather spend the time up front and put something of long-lasting beauty down than something I'd be ashamed of later. The worst thing I can think of (for myself) is writing a story to just get it done.

    @Clara I haven't read May Sarton for a while. Glad you mentioned her. Love her work.

    @Susan Thanks so much. I'm trying to stay on track with ROW80. So impressed by what you've done!

  9. Ah, Atwood (I cheated, looked at comments above)

    I love this part of your prose "land at your feet with the sound only a lizard can make" - now I want to know what that sound is!!!

    Glad you made your ROW80 goal - what is your next week's goal? Mine is to try to catch up (I'm behind already) - I'd like to get 3 chapters revised.

  10. You are a brilliant writer. And as much as I love birds, having a bluejay in the house would have driven me crazy. :D


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