Three days in and the poem-no-longer-in-progress-but-now-declared-finished count is two. That’s not bad, given that I’ve also managed a daily minimum of 1000 words on my novel-in-progress as well as various other bits and pieces that have been clamouring for my attention. And also given that my house currently looks like this:

So there is a lot going on here, about which more later.

Meanwhile, there are three hours remaining until midnight, and therefore still the chance I might increase my PIP count to three for three.

For now, I’ll leave you with the opening lines of the two I’ve completed.

From “Welcome Stranger”:

It’s how we were raised, on the logic
of gold: all those men just a pickaxe away
from the earth’s rich blaze

(or – now that I read that again – should I break after ‘pickaxe’? Do I really need ‘away’? Decisions, decisions! So maybe it isn’t finished after all. Damn poems, damn them all!)

From “Naming the Beasts”

Tonight, the room is thick
with the smell of boy. He is blueness and
newness; she is caution
and calm.

Tonight’s poem is as yet untitled and currently begins with the lines:

There is something sure about a horse
until you’re on it.

Though any and all of that could change and it may yet end up being a poem about vowels and misconceptions, drive-ins and/or steamships – that sort of thing.

As you can see, I’m all over this poetry malarkey.

2 thoughts on “PIPs

  1. Mary Witzl

    I LOVE: 'a pickaxe away / from the earth's rich blaze', and the phrasing is perfect for me; it didn't trip me up at all (and I'm picky about phrasing).

    Poems are the hardest things of all to write. No matter how long I spend on a poem, I never feel like it's the way it should be.


  2. Meg McKinlay

    Thanks, Mary. I saw this comment before I finalised the new stuff I was going to read and it helped me rethink how I put that line together.

    I think it's a rare poem I ever feel satisfied with. You know that Paul Valery quote that goes “A poem is never finished, only abandoned”? That pretty much sums up how I usually feel. When I do readings I often find myself tweaking poems on the fly, years after they've been 'finished' and published.



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