on how i write my poetry

it’s much like sewing,
seated in a pool
of moonlight, bent deep over fine spun threads,
white cotton,
never silk in my case, plucked by workers with
dark leather skin, i smell

traces of their sweat & body
as i run my hands through cloth,
feel for soft spots, knots and kneeling
on the floor (i don’t use
a table)

stitch ‘em loosely into shape,
layer after, after layer,
fill the room
with scent of clay, wet
on my fingertips,
clinging, holding roots that dig wide
where pulsating chambers pump
the rhythm, takes

me with it, nah– not flying,
crawling the earth, hands in soil,
fumbling for the core
of what it’s made of, there’s

a single light bulb,
(some would call it poor–
illumination)
swaying slowly with the wind that moves
the curtains just enough to get
a glimpse beyond
retainers, seams & pins,
that hold it all together

.

Gay Cannon has us writing poetry on poetry for FormForAll at dVerse today…see you at 3pm EST..

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66 responses to “on how i write my poetry

  1. This is really lovely, Claudia – both abstract and vivid, particular and universal. Very lovely picture of words being seamed – not so elegantly, but with a great deal of life. k.

  2. seated in a pool
    of moonlight, bent deep over fine spun threads,
    white cotton,
    never silk in my case, plucked by workers with
    dark leather skin

    Love this pool of moonlight…rapunzel great write

  3. You are a Master Weaver! The image I get is the neatly tatted lace made in Brittany or what my little Welsh grandmother would make. It takes real craftsmanship and vision to create something so delicate.

  4. love all the little bits of creation in this…the single lightbulb at the end is my fav touch overall because it is almost like a zoom out on the scene of the sewing (which make a great extended metaphor) and then zoom back in on another metaphor of the light bulb…may yours never dim…smiles….

  5. i thought i would like these lines best,

    “not flying,
    crawling the earth, hands in soil,
    fumbling for the core”

    then came to the last stanza with the light bulb and the swaying and curtains and glimpse and, well…

    this was great 😉

  6. What a poetic seamstress you are 🙂 This is all sewn together in a rich tapestry of words, silk or, not. The pictures you invoke are so vivid, alive. I too, loved the single light bulb swaying slowly with the wind.
    Another lovely read Claudia.

  7. I’ve always wondered how you did it. Now I know that you simply sew the fabric of earth’.
    This is so beautiful Claudia. The images, words and the heart that’s in it. It’s your love story.

  8. Isn’t that a perfect description of the process! Clever, creative, recognizable. I’m going to use this as inspiration to describe my own process.

  9. An unusual and extremely appropriate analogy Claudia–it’s all about making something with craft and care, something useful but hopefully beautiful as well. Loved the picture you drew of sitting on the floor in the dim light wrestling with the fabric–I can barely sew on a button without making my fingers bleed, but this poem was painless.

  10. Introspection is essential, and resistance is futile. This piece is of a piece, like the Navaho woman creating a blanket. And more than most poets, sensuality always lurks and languishes within your words. I liked the line /I smell traces of sweat & body as I run my hands through cloth/ Seriously, you def make me proud to be a wordsmith, to prize poetry above all other forms of communication; thanks.

  11. Claudia, this is so cinematic – the piece moves through essentials in a kind of sepia tone. Again its all about the craft – whatever the art form and here your stitches don’t show and your seams are flawless.

  12. An apt conceit and you do, as Gay says, sew it flawlessly. It is a beautiful companion process to your vivacious product and I feel privileged to get a glimpse into your heart. I loved it!

  13. Very much the way I feel after having clicked “publish” on some of my own blog posts, Claudia! Clay under my fingernails from digging out the truth I am directed to form into words by my muse that day! If only I could forever rip away that pesky remaining piece of curtain from the window through which I strain to shed my “light”!

  14. Pingback: on how i write my poetry « thebleedingpen

  15. I love how you get down and dirty with your poetry…poor lighting, hands through the dirt, bringing it to blossom in the glimpse of the scenery caught through the blowing curtain…this was AWESOME!

  16. Loved reading this- such a groovy extended metaphor- everything just fit perfectly together. My fave line- “crawling the earth, hands in soil, fumbling for the core
    of what it’s made of,”- simply a wonderful and profound image of what creating anything is to me ultimately about.

  17. Claudia, you really knocked this one out of the park! I second Matt’s comment above, and also loved this stanza:

    ” a single light bulb,
    (some would call it poor–
    illumination)
    swaying slowly with the wind that moves
    the curtains just enough to get
    a glimpse beyond”

    The single light bulb (some would call it poor illumination) makes me smile every time…

    and the fact that you use cotton, not silk—wonderful

  18. I love the metaphors that hold this together, stitched into each other so seamlessly. The sewer – play on words with other iimage? – pulling together the fabric of your life, our life, life like pieces of cloth (frayed, split, just spun) from common material. Then the one digging, clawing, clutching the earth to get at, maybe plant, its own seed so it can sprout in abundant fulfillment of itself. This poem is so loving, filled with enjoyment of what it reveals, etching the completion of itself in our souls. Wonderful.

  19. One of the things I identify with in this poem is the physicality of it… I often feel writing is a very sensory thing and much about hte blood, muscle, scent and motion of the human (or even animal) form. Although I can’t sew… this poem said much to me. Just got to learn to thread a needle I guess…. 😉

  20. Like the touches of humor and “fumbling for the core of what it’s made of” can so relate. . .Your metaphor, or conceit I guess, is beautifully unified and real.

  21. Gorgeous. For those who ‘sew’, there is an understanding of form through prospect and patience, a vision of possibility the moment that you pick up the first spool. Just as art should be. I can read this without taking a breath and fall to the floor as though I have danced. Absolutely lovely and I’m happy that it is so deep for you. 🙂

  22. “on how i write my poetry”

    Hi! Claudia…
    What a very descriptive poem you have presented to your readers…I also like the description Of the material you use/used and it’s origin(s), but also the type Of light[ing] you use a single light bulb,(some would call it poor–illumination)
    and the…
    “swaying slowly with the wind that moves the curtains just enough to get a glimpse beyond retainers, seams & pins,that hold it all together…”

    Thanks, for sharing your very [beautiful-descriptive] poetic words, once again!
    deedee 😉

  23. Really lovely poem that grabs the senses with such clear and vivid images. Btw, I also liked your comment on Brian’s blog about keeping your own voice and flavor without worrying about being published.

  24. gorgeous contrast in your first stanza. then you are on the floor with the clay and roots, and crawling the earth. this piece is chewy and tantalizing. ((bravo!!!))

  25. This is so gorgeous. I have had it open in a tab since it arrived in my inbox, rereading it during my day.
    Love the final stanza, but, oh, that third stanza. Your imagery is so touchable, inhalable, that I keep trying to burrow into the poem.

  26. I truly enjoy the image of feeling it, in the soil… I was thinking of pottery and clay as one of the ways I write, so I connected to this in your writing. Also, the sensuality of your writing comes across beautifully.

  27. The words are breathing, and how wonderfully you weave them. I’m so in love with your way of putting life into words. Amazing. 🙂

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