Writing in the Dark

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L.L. here with Random Acts of Poetry. Writing in the dark. "That's bad for your eyes, LL," somebody's going to say. And I'm not going to argue. Because the kind of in-the-dark writing I do is all in my head. This is not to say I imagine I write in the dark. I really DO write in the dark. Especially poetry. Especially at around 4:00 am. Sometimes I get up and sneak into the bathroom and scribble my dreamy thoughts. But most times I play around with words until they lull me back to sleep. Then when I wake up for real, I sneak into the study and key in whatever still needs to be said, which is generally most of the poem. Still, the heart of it gets born in stillness and shadow. Recently, Glynn discussed how he writes poetry. Wow, he doesn't write in the dark like me. And he uses paper. And erasers. Good sturdy ones. (Or do you cross things out, Glynn? I don't remember exactly.) The world is full of writing advice. But does it take into account our great differences in process? Probably not. In any case, here's my advice. Know thyself. If you want to write in the dark, go ahead. Or call me in the morning to say you've only just begun. Whatever you do, don't knock on the bathroom door. Can't you see I'm writing... ---- This week's featured poem is from Maureen. And we all want to know where she wrote it and how... Last Words With Her Executioner (jeanne d'arc) How did you silence my voice? I raised it to the king, who stopped it with his laughter. I signed it to the deaf, who had nothing but smiles for you. What happened to my hands? I wrapped them in rope behind your back. I broke them in surrender. What became of my eyes? I lifted them to princes to wear as jewels in crowns. I covered them with my sins, ornaments in my palms. How did you care for my wounds? I healed them with my sword. I bound them in the name of war. What did you do with my tears? I raked them to your stake. I drank them as your guilt. Where did you place my bones? On a scaffold in the streets, cobbled dirt of France's feet. How do you remember me? As a woman singled out. A woman with the body of a tender boy, a bell tolling round her neck, flames spurring to her waist. To whom did you give my love? I passed it among your generals, who wear it as their cause. I pinned it lonely to my heart. What did you do with my soul? I scattered it among rosemary to grow from the courage of hurt. Who follows me now? A name that will not die. We: other women beside you. ALL RAP PARTICIPANTS Glynn’s David, Hillside Kelly’s eve’s regret Linda’s Redeemer/Lover Monica’s Han and Leia On a Date Bina’s Mrs. DeWinter’s Nighttime Honesty nAncY’s meeley Kelly’s tension Laura’s Fruit Maureen’s Woman in His Life A Simple Country Girl’s Autumn Dance Sojourner’s Adoration Maureen’s Last Words with Her Executioner Travelmom's Love e.l.k.'s surface Lorrie's Nite Nite at Cricket Creek Join us next Friday in the Culture Section with Sam Van Eman. RAP will resume the following week. Late Night Moon photo by Kelly Langner Sauer. Used with permission. Post written by L.L. Barkat.

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