calling all the shots tonight

After the exhilaration of the past week – good writing news, good times with family – I began to take a hard look at how much new writing I have been doing lately. Uh-oh.

Gulp. Stammer. Pretend I have been “composing in my head.” Make lots of excuses about papers to grade. Look around nervously for the poetry police. (Yes, they exist. They are frightening, and they all carry ink-stained bludgeons and look like Charles Bukowski.)

So, last night, I went through my “idea” file and found a series of photos I took at the British Museum last winter of Egyptian ushabti, the small figures placed inside tombs to do the manual labor for their masters in the afterlife’s Field of Reeds. I spent about an hour doing some initial research, then about another hour drafting a poem in alternating voices, a conversation between the entombed masters and the ushabti who are created to serve them. It is a rough, rough draft, with nowhere the level of language or the emotional stakes I want it to have eventually. But it felt good to go off in a completely new direction and just do it.

So I’m back in the saddle. (Thus the line from the Aerosmith song in the title of the post.) Yippee, Kai-Yay!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “calling all the shots tonight

  1. Two phrases struck me:
    (Pretend I have been) “composing in my head.” which made me think of how many times I do compose in my head, don’t write it down, and then can’t recall anything but I HAD a good idea,
    or composition and lost it to a mental pause.
    Look around nervously for the poetry police….I love the phrase. Mine are friendly, and so far just remind me that I have been silent for a while.
    Your mention of the
    Egyptian ushabti, the small figures placed inside tombs to do the manual labor for their masters in the afterlife’s Field of Reeds is fascinating to me. A long lost in my gray matter of an interesting topic I never pursued to learn more about.
    Thanks for the post.
    Peace,
    Siggi of Downeast Maine, USA

    • Thanks for reading! The ushabti have always fascinated me, and I have been meaning to find out more about them for some time. Maybe this will be the kick I need to finally check The Book of the Dead off my “I will read that someday” list.

  2. Love the concept, and it has a lot of potential. Do you just have a document on your compy, or an actual physical file, where you dump all the random little idea bits that pop up? Is it helpful? You know me, I’m a prompt-fiend, but maybe developing such a file would be a good strategy too…

      • The best intentions: I have a graveyard of half-filled Moleskines here and there, I think… ;P OK, so this will be a New Goal. It’s funny how often new goals are the old goals that we fail to achieve.

  3. Pingback: Day 10 & 11: Roughing It | Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

  4. Pingback: trapezius/orchard/submissions…oh, my | Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s