Writing, Poetry, & Haiku

I think most writers would say that writing is a challenging business.  Unless of course they’ve had divine intervention of a Godly, godly or otherwise alien nature, in which case I imagine writing would be fairly easy.  The aftermath of inspiring lightning bolts or probes of some sort would dampen that gratification though.  I assume.

But for those of us with nothing more than our mortal wits – writing ain’t easy.

Hell, I find it a challenge sometimes to write a response to a friendly email!  As with most my writings, it’s something I tend to do in the evenings, and is often accompanied by a refreshing canned beverage of the “Iced” variety.  Usually 16 full ounces.  It eases the pressure I put on myself.  Though I will still read, correct, alter, re-read, rearrange, edit and analyze the final product.  Then rush to click send before I can convince myself it’s embarrassingly stupid.  Again, as with most all my writings.

One thing that really challenges me though is poetry.  Something I find especially amusing tonight, having drawn interest to my blog with a very spur-of-the-moment haiku.  (“Flames,” check it out just beneath this entry.)

I’ve always found poetry to be exceptionally daunting, because it is so flowing and free.  And maybe also because it is more directly, emotionally honest.  I can lie my face off in a blog post.  I’m a fiction writer – or at least I hope to be when I grow up – so I’ve always got a story to spin.  But poetry doesn’t work that way for me.  Poetry is in the moment, in the midst and heat and stink of it.  It can be so raw, so private.  And so excruciatingly painful to look at once I’m done.

There, I’ll say it.  My poetry embarrasses me.  Even more so than my other writing.  In blogs and in stories, I hide in my words like a raptor in the tall grass.  Poetry leaves me standing in a barren desert, naked and alone and on display.  Feeling self-conscious and more than a little bit silly.

I do, however, love haiku.  I love the structure and symmetry.  The rigidity of it.  The rules.  Like clothing my poetry in fatigues and Kevlar.  In a haiku, I can say anything and not feel too stupid about it, because I’m still following a set path of some sort.

Somehow, this makes haiku writing easier for me.  Though of course I must still lasso, wrangle, and coax words into the right place, the right cadence and syntax…  They also can, at times, sprout organically.  You have a thought, and in a few moments it’s complete and pretty, and ready to be sent out into the world.

Haiku via Twitter is definitely fun.  I love the idea of tossing it into the wind as soon as those three lines come together.  It’s exciting.  A bit scary, but a thrill.

All part of the process, right?  Just on a micro scale.  =)


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