Journals in Stanza Form

the story of notebooks sacrificed

I have filled hundreds of notebook pages with bad to mediocre poetry. I am not a serious “poet” — I simply keep my journals in a loosely poetic form. Not that I do not aspire to be a poet, but my skills fail me. These journals are not online at this time, but they might return once I have them in a format that is more artistic and true to their contents. Someday, I might again distribute the journals in print form. Several years ago I had prepared them as small books, which I sold at poetry readings. These books are out there. I imagine each in a role: collecting dust, sitting in a landfill, or sitting under the shortest leg of a table.

I destroyed some of my original journals and notes in January 2002, during a rough period of life. I regret the decision in some ways, but still think it was for the best. There are events and people best forgotten. Even those journals that do survive are not void of poetic pain and human confusion; it is a requirement to play the suffering artist if you aspire to be a serious, literary poet. Then again, maybe I would rather be Shel Silverstein.

Journal Dates Entries
An Inkling of the Pages Between the Covers 1982 (and before) –
5 Jul 1985
167
The Requiem: Let Us Lie Together 21 Jul 1985 –
30 Nov 1986
207/374
Simply More Words 1 Dec 1986 –
4 Nov 1987
237/611
Reality Found in a Dream 11 Nov 1987 –
31 Aug 1988
232/843
An Inkling of Loneliness 1 Sep 1988 –
12 Aug 1989
201/1044
A Title 18 Aug 1989 –
20 Jul 1991
218/1262
Stealing Someone’s Seconds 30 Jul 1991 –
Sep 1998
180/1442
Sea of Tranquility 30 Sep 1998…
(11 years)
87/1529

There are more than 1500 entries in my poetry journals. The journals fill most of a copier paper box… which is stored away under various items in our basement. The time span covered by each journal seems to increase, at least from 1989 to the present. I am hoping I develop a routine again. It probably helped me sort through daily thoughts.

I began writing poetry primarily because there were poetry competitions for students in elementary school and junior high. I will never deny my extremely competitive nature. It was during junior high school I found myself writing poems and short works of prose during class, at night when I should have been doing math homework, and even in the car on family trips.

While in high school, I realized I had been keeping a journal. Those who know me well might even be able to track the events in my life against the poems. Even those poems that seem completely apart from any actual experiences are probably metaphors for something.

There are a handful of people, for whom I will always care, who could probably find things in the poems I did not know I hid among the words. My habit of embedding codes, words, and phrases is nothing compared to the hidden meanings of the most direct poems.

I seldom attempt to stay true to rhyme or meter. I write spontaneously and do not edit, revise, rewrite, or in any other manner “fix” an initial thought. When I have written poetry as part of an assignment, I care more about what the words say to me than if another person can find the meter and classify the style.


The works here most likely contain many errors. Please let me know where errors exist so I can make corrections. Editing is a never-ending process.

Links

Poetic Experiments

Though some poems in my journals are experiments, I assume there were reasons, triggers, for the experiments. Others might be metaphors I no longer appreciate. It is amazing how much I have either forgotten or never knew…