Well, I've done pretty well with getting back into regular writing, After a sort of slow start, I'm up to 12 poems for the month. Now, I used to write 21 poems a month back in my 250-poems-a-year phase, and I would ideally like to ratchet my writing back up to that level [note: to those whose reaction is "why Quantity, why not Quality?", it had been my experience that my writing came out in a relatively predictable spectrum of "crap" to "superb", and by upping the total number of poems composed it upped the number of pieces that I "really really liked", which tended towards 10%, so in a year when I wrote 250 poems, I'd probably "really like" 25, "sort of like" 100, be "indifferent" to about 100, and be "semi-embarassed" by about 25 ... so the more poems written, the more good stuff}. The problem is that I don't think that I'm going to be able to get up to that level in the next year, so if I want my poems to fill nice and tidy 1,000 poem blocks, I need to set targets. I could go low, and shoot for 500 poems over the next three years, which would be about 166 per year (14 per month), but that's pretty much where I'm at NOW, and I'm just getting back into the "habit" of writing. If I targeted 200 per year (about 17 per month) that would be a bit more, but I'd have to block out 5 years of that to get to an even 1,000 or have an "off year" of 150 in there (1 of 4) before going back to 250 a year. Bleh. I could try to force myself up to 250 for this year, but that would be adding another 50% to what I was able to get done this month (assuming that I'm going to reach 14 with poems today and tomorrow), but I have enough other stressors in my life right now to be constantly beating myself up if I'm not "making quota"! (sigh) I assume I could take the less obsessive-compulsive route and just write what I can, trying to write as much as I feel I can, and see how the numbers break, and if they get close to an "ideal", then either push towards that or have a subsequent year have an adjusted total (like 2001 did ... where I was going for exactly 114 poems, which brought my 1998-2001 total to a paltry, yet round, 250). I tell you, this obsessive-compulsive stuff sure makes a lot of things complicated that might not be that way in a less-driven guy!
Anyway, here's one from yesterday. I intentionally wrote it in sections (each done in a different place), which is something that I used to do more of ... sometimes it works (like I think it does here) and sometimes it doesn't, but it is useful when I know I'm not going to be able to devote enough time to finish a poem and won't be able to sufficiently drag out ONE vision into a full "statement" (such as the 1/28 poem preceding it, which spewed out all at once pretty much). OK, now let's all say this together: "as usual, the rest of the poems are off at http://i.am/btripp if you want to check them out" ... I knew you knew that by now!
QUANTITIES OF THAT MALAISE
1 anguish encompasses all things of this world we are embedded in a matrix of pain smothered by fear and swallowed by dread each day more dismal than those endured before 2 how we ache for death, to be removed from these feelings deep inside; so much already's been removed, the things that brought us joy, the things that gave us meaning, why can't we be removed from all this horror? 3 what gravities involve me in these incessant drops? how have the physics changed to make all vectors down all steps unsteady leveled as though a mountain face or teetered on horizons of unseen blackhole wells? 4 so deep is this damnation so dark these pits of hell that I can see no pathway no route which would lead free; how vile the curse which traps us here, how hostile the race which forged these chains 5 all grey all vague no landmarks no orientation grid no sense of place amid the void the reaching empty the eternal naught