Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Smithing

image from goodreads.com

The Smithing

It’s none of their business that you have to learn 
to write--let them think you were born that way.”
--Ernest Hemingway.

Every poem is/can be
                          a lively sprite/creature that
                          independently guides your pen,
                          fingers & thoughts--    r  u  s  h  i  n  g
out onto screen, paper, & page
like a desert flash flood
from a dark thunderstorm;                     orgasmic & dangerous--
                          born midst gasps & cries & moans,
                          stinking of placental overkill, 
                                                               d  r  i  p  p  i  n  g
of opulence, abundance,
& mysterious passion.

                                                 You stare down, stunned at the creative
                                        word pile, at the myriad of possibilities
                                  and with a reluctant but steady hand,
                          you reach for the fat-leaded blue pencil,
                    the pulsating quiver of arrows that will
             redirect words & clauses, & the thick red
        & black markers that obliterate & redact
certain errant words & phrases,
        forced to facilitate & witness as the
              letters swallow themselves in seconds,
                      as molten & barely metallic ingots
                              are cooled & drenched in icy creek
                                      insights, & the cerebral steam that
                                                rises always tickles your nose hairs
                                                as you lovingly pound a shape into the
                                       piece before the beautiful flames
                               fade from it, before it hardens into
                       its husk, makes
                       its initial impression & embraces
                       its verbal destiny.

Then, you sigh, blushing like a maiden
as you walk away, busying yourself
with the brewing of some green tea
that will be sipped slowly as you stare
at the new pink blossoms on your tulip
tree that has impulsively rushed ahead
of the calendar & sucked face with spring,
until the poem begins to do the black snake
moan--throbbing, whimpering & calling
you back to it.

You return gladly & stare down at it, cradled & swaddled, something
grand that you have whelped, parented, & brought to the light, seeing
it now with new eyes & a fresh perspective, & perhaps, possibly, the
next set of edits will be gentler, calmer, approaching subtle, 
                                before the Cotillion commences, 
                                before your debutante is introduced, announced,
anointed  & coronated--
                                before your poem is offered up, & presented for the
perusal & scrutiny of others. Smiling bravely, you take the child’s tiny hand
& walk with it to the front door, 
                                before letting go, allowing it to scamper outside alone. 

Poetry requires
both pain of delivery &
joy of birthing.

Glenn Buttkus


Mary said...

Excellent - you have really described the process of birthing a poem....from the blank sheet of paper to the choosing of words and phrases to the completion & then the feelings a poet has within about releasing that poem to the world! Thanks for participating. That Naomi Shihab Nye line you chose, I think, is going to birth a lot of poems today! Smiles.

brudberg said...

Oh yes.. what a wonderful poem... even though I never use paper and pen, it's the back and forth and thinking... I especially like the unexpected bloom of tulip trees, sneaking it's way in... wondrous writing Glenn,

Debi Swim said...

"Smiling bravely, you take the child’s tiny hand
& walk with it to the front door,
before letting go".... Oh, exactly. What an amazing trip from conception to birth. Something of oneself and yet something complete within itself, just like a child.

Victoria said...

I lost myself in your words, Glenn. An amazing extended development of "smithing" that will have so much meaning to those of us who play with poetry. For me, of all your poems, this will stand out!

De Jackson said...

Glenn, I like the way Naomi's line got swallowed up at the center of your poem. Perfect. Love this take on wordsmithing.

Grace said...

Wow, I love the details and passion in creating and sharing that poem to others ~ Love the feelings of motherhood & the ending, like a child, letting it go to the world outside ~

I like the line you chose too ~ If only my muse would behave like this in most days, smiles ~

Sanaa Rizvi said...

I was especially moved by the haiku in the end..!!

ayala said...

I love it! I wrote about the writing process. Brilliant piece !

Anonymous said...

Fabulous... all those colour pencils and me typing black and white on my keyboard. Love your creative process and this poem about it!

Gayle Walters Rose said...

Yes, how interesting that we both chose the same line and your magnificent poem speaks of birthing the words while mine speaks of ending them. I love your title and how you liken the process to smithing metals.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a wonderful description of birthing a poem. I like the shape of it on the page and especially admire "embraces its verbal destiny".

Marina Sofia said...

Perfect, perfect description of the joy and pain, craft and natural whoosh of inspiration, birthing and smithing of a poem. I enjoyed this very much indeed (and what a great layout - how do you manage it?) and will add it to my notebook of favourites.

Misky said...

And here, too. I write everything down - pencil and paper - always. Then I strike out words, move things with arrows and lines, and only after that do I look at a keyboard. Mechanical pencil. Only. A wonderful read, Glenn. Loved this one.

Carol Campbell said...

That's the process. Your metaphors are very strong!

Petru J Viljoen said...

The love and tenderness you feel towards your craft is evident. Big smile here.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the birth of a poem - no wonder I'm in virtual pain so often

lynn__ said...

Fabulous, Glenn! Felt like we were all in delivery room together for the whelping; with tulip tree witness and black snake whining in background.

Katie Mia Frederick said...

One of my favorite
Rock groups.. Styx..
along with its
lead singer
Dennis DeYoung..
has alWays fascinated
me.. but as is the case
with money and fame..
it can be rather
from free..
anyway the lead
singer.. expressed distress
that they will be among last
of legendary rock groups..
as anyone with
YouTube access
can either do it
or get it for free..
with yes.. emphasis
on making a few million
less or nothing at all...
Giving and sharing
Art was alWays iS
the human
way before
a dollar
bill roped it..
tied it and put it
up for sale.. and there
is the true beauty of Google
and its child YouTube.. and
even Word Press too..
anyone can do it..
and F the
way.. before..
iN giving sharing
way wHere someone
like 'Emily' doesn't have
to file it away in a drawer
to be discovered and shared
as early..
and forever on
servers in relative
human eternal way..
kinda hilarious to me
when folks get upset
about sharing tHeir 15
and 'Timmy '
was correct about
that now proven sure..
now iN