Thursday, 5 April 2012

I'm getting wet and I don't care at all

07:30:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , , 1 comment
The crowbar is firmly in my grip.  Ready?

The theme is 'showers' this week.  I asked myself whether I had any immediate associations with the word and it threw back the phrase 'It never rains but it pours'.  This got me thinking about the use of the word 'but' in this idiomatic sentence.  This three letter, single syllable conjunction is here an abridgement of the phrase 'without it also happening that...'  A potent little word.

Proverbs, such as the one above, are neat abridgements of knowledge which serve as mnemonics for the various observations and understandings filtered down over the years into neat packages.  In some purely oral cultures it is expected that judges will accompany their sentences with a selection of fitting proverbs which contain pertinent meaning in an efficient quota of words. 

As a poet I find much of the editing process is spent attempting to condense ideas into neat packages.  Superflous words, lines, or verses, are dropped.  My reasoning, such that it is, entails drawing attention to the beauty of individual words by making them scarce and therefore more valuable.  This isn't to say that I don't retain baggage.  I do.  Sometimes for preference and sometimes because I don't care about editing enough.  Perhaps I am too generous.  Those words which snuck in at the start but now they sit on beanbags stuffing their faces while the important words get on with the hard work.  I like to keep some of those words around.  Maybe they keep the other words grounded.  So they don't get too self-important.

I imagine myself becoming harder as I grow as a poet; showing the lazier words the door more often.  Just as recent political movements have convinced me that yes, I could commit murder, so I feel myself becoming more vigilant in the weeding of words.  I shall become a rose.  Not the smelly kind, mind.  I shall become a watering can rose, forming a firm rubber filter over the outlet.  No gush of messy thoughts, rather a pleasing sprinkle...A shower.

Crevice these knotted limbs
Fissure patellae, gulp-soft
Schism Venusian mound
Ravine Beanvale, gulp-soft



Anonymous said...

I should have responded yesterday. I love that this week's theme is prompting such diverse tangents.

And I have to agree with your comment on editing - sometimes it does feel as though not enough has been done.