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haunted by it

March 28, 2010

The best way to describe “how my most recent and much-awaited poem came to me” is to say it haunted me. I’ve been stressed, stressed, stressed, about a number of things, including not being able to write. I’ve been trying to read at bed time instead of fretting about other things, and so I’ve been retiring fairly early every night with a book.

Last night, once I turned off the light and closed my eyes, I tossed and turned. I often do this all night long with only frustration and exhaustion nagging at me. But it was a poem last night. Nagging at me. I kept still and tried to ignore the first few lines. Certainly, if they were good, they’d be with me in the morning. I’d been receiving a line here and a line there for weeks but hadn’t been able to make anything of them. I wasn’t going to make an effort for these stragglers. They were probably just like the others. False leads.

But they wouldn’t leave me alone. So I reached for my journal and wrote them down. I closed my eyes again and tried to sleep. Then a few more lines came and I wrote those down. This went on and on.

I have just now attempted to pull them into something. I didn’t use everything that the ghosts gave me last night. Maybe the leftovers are rubbish or maybe they’ll become something else. What I did pull together needs work, but as first-poems-after-dry-spells go, I am happy with it. It’s posted at “from behind my eyelids” at “i am maureen” with my password. Let me know if you need it.


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