dream wall

The past two nights I’ve dreamed of a box, a rectangle on the wall I can’t quite see. A piece of paper perhaps, but written on. It may not even be paper, I can’t see it clearly enough. It may be stone, wood, a pale face. Ancient. It wakes me up, but I can’t see it well enough to get a grasp on what it is. Of course it may be be my unfinished poem. There on the wall of my dream.
I feel swelled, swollen. I feel today right now as I remember feeling so often as a girl. The need to bleed something. It used to terrify me.
I want it to be right. Not reality, but truth. I just want it to be right, which is maybe why it’s having so much trouble coming out.

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6 Responses to dream wall

  1. Julia says:

    I love this. My aunt, also a poet, once wrote a poem in which she described the act of writing as a desire to push a sliver through her skin. Something important deep inside wanting to nudge its way out.

    • rachvb says:

      It can, during the process, be this sort of raw act. I’m always reminded of birth. Not that I’ve yet given birth to a human, but in a way, I feel poems are born in the same sort of way.
      Do fiction writers get this same sort of sliver effect? It seems they would, but perhaps it’s not so needy, so urgent.

      • Julia says:

        It seems to me that the people who most love writing are the ones for whom it is an urgent, expressive act. While I study fiction, it is actually the hardest for me to write. Other genres come much more naturally, maybe because it seems like there is less of an “audience.” But occasionally there will be this moment when, yeah, getting to the crux of some character’s life is akin to getting to some version of oneself. It often just takes several drafts to get there. 😉

        • rachvb says:

          One of my best friends is a fiction writer. The high at the end is very much the same. The struggle very much the same. I would one day like to try my hand at it, but I worry I don’t have the patience. I’m a much more urgent writer. I need a great expanse of words in a shorter venue. She has said before – I cannot do what you do. And I have said before – I cannot do what YOU do. Perhaps we are practicing differently. Perhaps that’s all it is.
          This poem I’m working on now is the winner of drafts for me. I’ll give you a vision of walking into a room with pages and pages tapped to the wall, flapping and flapping. A sort of “Beautiful Mind” movie moment if you will. 30 drafts, at least. But I’ve needed every one of them.

  2. Because the inner voices cannot be easily distinguished from each other, it is difficult for me to know, consistently and with certainty, whether the niggling (or stronger) feeling is mind chatter subverting creativity or some urgent call. Do peace and poetry go together or is there always a doubting undercurrent connected to wanting, needing to have it be true? Like life itself, the struggle for honesty, authenticity seems on-going, challenging. Finding a way to trust the process of living or writing, knowing we will discover our words and our way, takes us into the heart of the skirmish almost daily. I need to remind myself constantly that I am greater than my doubt, as are you. xo (P.S. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.)

    • rachvb says:

      There are moments of peace in poetry for me. I can’t speak for anyone else, but there are days of writing in peace. It comes after the hardest work is over. It comes knowing the poem inside and out. It comes in the final days or sessions of writing it. It’s very wave-like for me. Rilke talks about using doubt as an ally in ‘Letters to a Young Poet’. It takes some practice, but the doubt becomes your best critic. It questions the words, the whys and if you learn to work with it – it takes you to another level of the poem. It’s hard to begin working with that doubt, but once the connection occurs it becomes a puzzle you are both working.
      At times, the levels become unbalanced. Doubt wins, you win, doubt wins.
      Yes, this is supposed to be hard. Supposed to be so hard we made it look easy. =)

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