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    Poetry Kicks Ass 3

     Note: If you haven't already, you may want to first read Poetry Kicks Ass, and Poetry Kicks Ass 2.  

           In my first two Poetry Kicks Ass posts, I wrote about why poetry does indeed kick ass, and how to set the stage for actually writing that kick ass poetry.
           I will now guide you on how to actually create poetry for the one you love. I’ll start off by sharing my experience of it, and what works for me.
           Words and phrases are constantly popping into my mind. Sometimes they are related to something I’m already thinking about, and sometimes they are out of complete nowheresville. Whatever or however they appear, I either write them down or voice memo them into my iPhone, so I can come back to them later. If I can run with the words or phrases right there, then I do. I stay with them. Within a few minutes, if the original idea or word or phrase was powerful enough, then other ideas will begin attaching themselves to that word or phrase, like leaves on a tree. And again, those leaves are sometimes sequitur and sometimes completely non-sequitur. It doesn’t matter right now. Because the tree is growing.
           If you pay attention to those bits of language that stream through your mind like an endless river, and if you are open to following some of them where they are trying to take you, and write them down, you will create poetry. I promise you that.
           Often times, a certain image, for example a fire, will flash across my mind. Then some word or thought or concept will attach itself to that image, and my mind will begin building relationships between the image, or images, and those words, thoughts, and concepts. I let them run free for a bit, sometimes for a long time, but often, after just a a minute or two, something coalesces and a true sapling gets created. And like a sapling, it already knows what it is. Now it just has to be nourished and grow into itself.
           And sometimes that sapling morphs into something else, several times, before it is ready to grow into what it is. Either way, I stay present. I feel what moves me and what doesn’t. I become part of the flow with where the young idea wants to take me. And I start writing shit down as soon as I can.
           My writing coach, Anika Nailah, shared this fact with me; on a biological level, when you build relationships between these images and words, you are actually creating new neural pathways for your brain. Thus, you are physically creating the biological infrastructure for more creativity. That alone makes this practice worthwhile, even if you never write a complete poem. But you will, eventually, create a poem. As long as you stay at it.  
           This can be an emotional experience. You may start laughing or crying when you write. I sometimes do. Stay available to your feelings and experience them fully. Let the words that are born from those feelings and thoughts touch you. If you do that, your poetry will be more powerful and evocative.
           Some poems really write themselves, and do so in a matter of minutes. Others require more thought, more effort, more crafting. That’s more like writing to me. But the poems that practically grow themselves, while I just pay attention and stay active without getting in the way, well, those are special. The poems themselves may or may not be my best work, but the process of them makes me feel more like a conduit to some higher consciousness; when it’s like that, it’s positively spiritual.
           It’s vital for you to stay present to whatever is coming up for you while you you are in “Poetry Place”. Poetry Place is that place you create when you commit to writing poetry. When you create the time, and surround yourself with the music and the images and the scents you need to write. So just be in that place and pay attention to what comes up. And write it down. And start riffing on it. Write whatever comes up for you, even if you don’t think it has anything to do with writing a poem for your lover. At this stage, it’s all about getting what’s coming up for you onto the page. Don’t focus on anything else but that.
           If you are truly present, then something will show up for you that hits you enough to want to move with it. This is really a process of flowing, not forcing. Think of it as yoga writing. It’s about the flow. The results will come if you are in the flow.
           As you are looking at the pictures and listening to the music and inhaling the scent of the day, if nothing is coming to you, conjure up a specific moment that you shared with your loved one that moves you. Then go into the details of that moment. Where were you? What were you doing? What were you feeling? What were you wearing? What exactly about that moment or period of time was special? Why was it special? Sometimes, a specific detail will provide the springboard for you to write from. Other times, the emotion, or the atmosphere, of the event, will spark your words.
           Poetry is, lets not ever forget, rooted in self expression. The more naked, the more vulnerable, the deeper and more real, the expression, the more powerful the poetry. By expressing yourself so fully, you are taking risks here. So if you are taking risks, then take them. All the way. Don’t hold back. Full speed ahead, Mr. Sulu, and Scotty, give me Warp Factor Ten.
           This extreme vulnerability and expression may be hard for you to reach with your first poems. Don’t push yourself further than you are ready to go, but push yourself. Past your comfort zone. How far out of that zone is up to you. Maybe you have to work up to blasting yourself to frontiers unknown. Maybe that will take a while. And maybe you just decide to go there form day one. There is no right or wrong here. Like meditation, it’s about doing it. Not about how you do it. So your first few forays into this may or may not produce poetry. Don’t get discouraged. Keep coming back to it. Eventually, the fruits will be there. Sometimes when you least expect it. And sometimes in a form that would have been previously unrecognizable.
           If you continue to write poetry, or even if you just continue to put yourself in the spaces to write poetry, you will see things start to happen. In your life. In your relationship. In yourself. If you keep showing up in this vulnerable, expressive, loving, passionate place, your life will grow. Your relationships will deepen. You will literally attract more love into your life, and love comes in many forms. Whether you actually write poetry or not. Because you are engaging in an expansive practice. You are opening yourself up to the possibility of writing poetry for the one you love. Just engaging in that will create differences in your life that will probably amaze you.
           In the next Poetry Kicks Ass post, I’ll give you a little more guidance on how to write a poem for your lover. And then I'll tell you how to present your poems for maximum impact.


    ©2012 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.   

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