Friday, May 30, 2003

"Thinking in poetry," for me, was greatly nourished by "thinking in postcards." If sitting down to write each day--and needing to produce something before a 5 p.m. postmark deadline--was daunting in the abstract, the actually small size of the blank space I had to fill was comforting, a perfect example of constraint producing freedom. Each postcard on its own was "minor," enough if it captured a stray thought or scrap of conversation--Cassie sent me at least one single-line postcard, but I always felt compelled to fill the whole space, a leftover reflex I guess from the grade-school short answer test.

The form also blunted my usual instinct for closure. I'd run out of space before I could come up with some dramatic flourish, which is almost always for the best.

And for some reason I wrote a bunch of things that rhymed.

Hotel in Afternoon Sunshine

Cars nose in rows
to the floodgates: those

varied finishes
permit no blemishes.

Why a hotel should rhyme
is beyond me: a crime

against my usual
distaste for the audible

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