With or without.

This started out as a good weekend. I’d discovered Canada Writes, and decided to submit a two-hundred-word poem into the contest.

There was just one problem: my favourite literary device is logorrhea. Not surprisingly, taking my thoughts and scaling them back to two hundred words was like cutting off my arm with a pencil.

Worse, it's in iambic tetrameter. I spent the entire Sunday morning agonising over two things: whether the word "with" should be in line 3, and what three-syllable, middle-stressed word could describe a cityscape. You know, something like "imposing".

(...wait a second.)

At any rate, this was doubly frustrating for me, because I had just attended a slam poetry festival in Edmonton. Wasn't I inspired by the adrenalised emotion of their unfettered words? Their ability to scream epithets against monkeys whenever they pleased?

No, the sad truth is that although I'd love to don the black leather jacket of modern free verse, my physique doesn't fit anything but the blue employee's vest of happy sing-song. I guess that sometimes suffering for your craft means that the reader can't suffer with you.

Poetry can be so cruel sometimes.


Anonymous said...

And you give yourself awayyy...


Denton said...

Um, you're welcome.

Ironically, it's a post about reducing one's word count, and I post only the three words in the title by accident.

Maybe I could write haikus entirely out of my old post's titles:

flat Edmonton streets
a tree falls in the forest
get gothy; deep breaths

Uh-oh. That actually worked pretty well.

About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.