aTi – Day 4

When I get overwhelmed, I become paralyzed and accomplish nothing much at all.  Welcome to The Downward Spiral.  I just hit a wall today.  My classmates weren’t overly critical.  My poem wasn’t a complete bomb, but I just didn’t know where to go with it.  The fact that the showcase was in less than 24 hours didn’t help matters either.  Whenever I tried, nothing was happening.  I sat down at a table.  I spread my papers over its surface.  I looked at them.  I took a walk.  I made no progress.  It is incredibly frustrating.  I was, however, able to help like 3 other people with their writing.  I knew I had addressed some of the weaker parts of the work, but that created other issues.  Conclusion = revision leads to  more revision.

Hoping some retail therapy would distract me I headed to Smithville.  It was quaint, but I was too far gone.  Dinner cheered me up a bit.  I regrouped and Peter offered to help a few of us in the lounge.

When Peter re-read my poem he basically said good job following the prompt instructions, now break away from them.  Le sigh.  Those were not the words I wanted to hear.  When I first read the piece out loud in class, Peter had counted and commented that my use of instructions created a bond with my reader.  I wanted to hold on to that.  If I removed it, I felt like I had nothing.  He also suggested that I needed to focus on the heart of the poem and remove the scaffolding to find a speaker.  I sat there in the uncomfortable chair, stunned.  Peter asked me a simple question.  My response evolved into the piece’s title.  And that enabled me to see the poem differently.  Without this session, I would have been a mess (or maybe just more of a mess).  I think it allowed my poem to grow from mildly amusing to something more.  I almost used the word powerful, but I’m not sure it is completely accurate.

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