Thanks for the comments on the "Paris, Texas" poem, guys.

Comments

katy said…
right, collin, i just saw the hills have eyes so i'm reading my fear from it into everything! your poem gave me chills!!

i think if i wasn't being a scared wuss then this poem would come across as a sort of heartbreak.

enjoyed it either way ^_^
Collin said…
Hey Katy...thanks for the comment and the compliment. I know everyone is going to bring their own experience to this poem, and while the title was inspired by Wim Wender's film (hence the photo of Harry Dean Stanton), the stanzas are open to interpretation.
Awesome. Opening line rocks!
The whole thing rocks! Love it.

-naw
Nick said…
Had to read S1L2 a couple of times, but by the second time around it felt just right. I Like S3L3 - great close. Nice... enjoyed.
Collin said…
Thanks, Nick. :)
jenni said…
wow! Texas is in the air!

now that I know where you are,
can pinpoint you on maps

or the fractured lines of my palm,

--I thought that was beautiful. There's a calmness in this that I admire--I have a hard time capturing calm tones, I'm just too damn sprung. But some of my favorite poems have the calm, soothing tones. Even when the poems themselves are about more tragic subjects--that's a good tension, i think.

Inspiration is so divine. I wish I could get some. . .
Tania Rochelle said…
Oh, Collin, I've said it before: I HATE it when you post drafts on your blog and then people blow smoke up your skirt. It's a waste of a what could be a great poem.

I know lots of people will disagree. Bring it on!
Collin said…
Well, let's get a discussion going. That's the way to get to a better poem. What don't you like about it?
Tania Rochelle said…
I'm not clear on your question, Collin: Is it, What don't I like about posting the draft, or What don't I like about the poem itself?
Collin said…
Both.

According to other poet bloggers, there was discussion about blogs at AWP. Some writers found them horrible and hated the idea of posting random thoughts and poems, while others put up their drafts and show the process of coming to a "finished" poem. Others said that writing on a blog was a waste of time and distracted from the creation of poetry. I'd like your thoughts on that.

And of course I want to know what your thoughts are on the poem itself.
Tania Rochelle said…
As for blogging in general, why would that even be debated. No one has to read a blog if he or she doesn't want to. If you "find the idea horrible," stay away.

But I think of poems as entities we wish to serve. A poem has a life of its own, something it wishes to be, and our job is to find out what that is and get it there. I don't believe that can happen ideally in a public forum. I think it happens best when you have a trusted reader or two you can run the draft by once you've taken as far as you can alone. And I do mean trusted--as in someone who understands craft in general, and your own style/voice in particular.

I could be wrong, but I suspect you post your drafts when you're pretty sure they're finished, or very close, and this notion of "finished" is confirmed by the oohs and aahs of your blog readers, who may or may not read poetry widely, who may or may not study the craft, and who might simply like the IDEA of the poem and give it a stamp of approval. Since we all want our drafts to be FINISHED, you risk not bringing the poem to its full realization with this kind of response.

Besides, it is a publication of sorts. A lot of editors wouldn't publish a poem in the magazine if it has been out in the public arena like this. So you're already selling your poem short, ruining its chances at the Big Leagues.

And finally, because you've mentioned to me that you consider this an educational opportunity--for people to
see the evolution of the poem, I want to suggest that until the poem has truly found its life, you have to honor the poem first. You don't owe your readers an "education," especially at the poem's expense.

This ain't no teaching hospital.
jenni said…
Well i never critique a draft posted on a blog, because a blog is not a workshop. If I find something to like in the poem, I comment on that. What happens to the poem is between the writer and the poem. I think of it as very private and do not want to interfere. I can only speak for my own process, but in several months I usually know if a draft has promise or not. At that point I make the decision to either revise or abandon it. I assume Collin, being an adult, has his own process too, which may or may not include posting drafts on his blog. Process is individual. There are no absolutes. What might harm one writer will help another. One writer may spend years revising (Bishop) and another may only revise a word or two (Ashbery). In the end, only you can be the judge of your creations.
Collin said…
I respect those thoughts, although I think several of the people who have posted here already know a thing or two about craft.

You still haven't said what you think the poem needs or does not need. You had mentioned syntax when you back-channeld me or possibly adding another stanza. You're right, this ain't no teaching hospital (or CBGB's or disco, for that matter) but since its posted and out there, give me some thoughts. :)
Tania Rochelle said…
Heck no.

I won't be a bridesmaid if I can't bless the union.
Collin said…
Moving on then...

lol
Nick said…
"Any poem is best imagined as provisional.... Even after a poem has hardened into print, it may continue to represent a risk, a chance, a surmise, or a hypothesis about itself." (Mary Kinzie) Therefore, since a poem is never fully realized, (at least according to Kinzie), it would seem to be logical to assume that presenting it to the world in whatever form it presently exhibits should not be detrimental to its health or evolution.

RE: "A poem has a life of its own, something it wishes to be, and our job is to find out what that is and get it there."

My guess is that any poem, much like the person that penned it, will never be what we really want it to be. Rather it will be in the constant state of "getting there". At least that is what I have found to be true of my poetry.
Tania Rochelle said…
And my guess is that if you put it out to the public prematurely and get a big cheese wheel of applause, you'll never push to get it as far as it would otherwise go.

But, guys, blog your poems all day long. They're your poems.

We can simply disagree.
Collin said…
The big cheese wheel of applause! I'm stealing that for a poem...unless you claim it first.

I do appreciate everyone's comments and thoughts here. Tania is always pushing me harder to write better work and has been very supportive and has voiced her opposition before about me posting a poem before it's ready. I'm sure this poem will eventually get some tweaking. For now, it stands as posted.

Not to break the mystery of the poem, but this was written in response to something that happened a few weeks ago in my personal life. I needed to see these words somewhere besides my notebook, needed to make a declaration of the situation so that it would be public record and a reminder.

Is it the "best" poem I've ever written? Not be a long shot, but to paraphrase Joey (Mary Beth Hurt) in the film "Interiors," I felt compelled to write these thoughts down. They seemed very powerful to me.
Teamaster said…
"can pinpoint you on maps

or the fractured lines of my palm"

BRAVO.

One of your best and most concise poems, Collin.

-D.

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