Blog photo by Daniel Spils
Take a measly little pone of a poem written, oh, seven or eight months back. One that’s been sitting, gathering moss, and that you’re certain is nothing not something. When you wake up, fresh, read it over again, and maybe again. Seek the buzz, the energy, where the phrases seem to be the way your poetic voice speaks, in dreams, in dialogue, in double entendre. Pare, sculpt, hone, edit, shape. Float the latest and greatest by a few trusted reading friends. Ask them not to spare your feelings when they critique. And they do. Thumbs up, thumbs down, lose a “to” here, lose a “the” there.
And slowly, slowly, you start to recognize which ones are the keepers and which ones have to sit on the grill, frying a bit longer.
Not a bad process. An assembly line of words, marinating to their perfection.
Read, revise, read, repeat.
Photograph: Potato pancakes on Yogi’s Grill at the Plymouth, Pennsylvania Kielbasa Festival, August 2009.