on Rolling Over

I planned on working on a story called Tulip this morning before work, and still will as I don’t have to get ready until 7:30. TFK had run into revision snags as three different versions of the story — one coming out during the revision — compete with viability, making me wish I were fast and talented enough to do all three at once. So I thought I might take a step back from them all for a bit and work on the mentioned shorter story with working title of Tulip.

But as I sat in a saucer chair drinking a preliminary cup of coffee and thinking about that story, a revision to yesterday’s poem nagged at me. The kind of nag that has to be acted upon, so hence I came online to do so.

It’s actually the third revision in a very short time frame, both concerning the ending stanza.

I originally wrote:

there wasn’t

wanting a note of finality. But that didn’t gel right with the rest of the poem, so I changed it to:

there wasn’t

he didn’t

he couldn’t

which I think worked better, being a rejoinder to an earlier stanza. But this morning, the nag said the sound and sense was off. Didn’t and couldn’t are shorter sounding words compared to the more nasal and whole note sound of wasn’t. They are also different in states of being, with the former two that of motion being stopped, whereas wasn’t in the context of the poem is motion that is no more, and is the core of it. So wasn’t had to go at the end, to act as that final note.

So I kept the rejoinder, but answering the earlier stanza in reverse order, letting the shorter notes of coudn’t and didn’t naturally crescendo to the ending wasn’t, making it:

he coudn’t

he didn’t

there wasn’t

Which I think makes it a much stronger poem. Maybe not Ploughshares or Poetry great, but stronger for me. And that’s who I’m ultmately competing against, trying to get the best words out that I can during my own limited lifetime of beats

which now includes this.