It has been years since I tried writing a poem a day for NaPoWriMo. This isn't a confession because I don't feel guilty about it in the slightest. I am proud of my past efforts and I am thrilled to see so many people attempt to write a poem a day for an entire month. And it isn't like there hasn't been a whole lot of material /fodder/pop culture happenings to inspire poetry, but this isn't my yea . . . again.
I am coming down off the tail end of completing a manuscript which hopefully will be out in the world by summer, and I am not writing poems. I haven't written a poem in months. Still not a confession---just a statement. This is just my pattern. I write steadily until I have a project in mind, then everything turns to that project. After I turn my writing attentions to that project, everything else dies. I write and write and re-write and write more towards that one thing. After it's over, I have no writing energy left. I literally have to re-learn how to write poems of a different voice, subject matter, and/or reflection. It happens every time. What has taken me years to learn is to ignore this particular kind of emptiness and silence.
I used to panic. I used to scare myself into writing terrible poems because I thought if I didn't keep writing I would lose what little talent I had and I would never write another good poem. I am not saying my "good" poems are really that great. I am just saying my poems during those times were/are particularly bad. Well, it has finally started to stick. I have learned to accept the fact I am not a consistent writer of poems. I do not write on a steady schedule. I am not an aggregate poet, in that I have a batting average when it comes to poems. I love all my finished poems even if editors hate them all. I have come to accept that I have forgotten how to write new poems, and it will be some time before that happens.
What's more, with every passing day I am learning to live with the sort of poet I am and the kind of poet I will never be. Rather than going into any of that, I will simply provide you a poem to read. It's a poem I like, which means it's good enough to share.
This cold morning