Thursday, March 25, 2010

How Revisions Work

Poems are made to be tinkered with.....change a rhyme, fix a meter, adjust a thought. It's a boring process for the most part - except to the author, of course. To the poet it becomes a puzzle, a labor of love, almost. The search for perfection which never gets found.

It's hard to give it up sometimes - and it can be done to death.

This is where the poem posted a few days ago has ended up....there's not much changed, actually, but it's taken hours and hours of time and thought to do. No one will even notice, I suppose, except me. But I heard a neat thing last night and it made the agony that no one will notice worth it.

"Better to have no public and write for yourself than to write for others and have no self."

Anyhow - here's the revision: See if you can find the changes.

My Sister and I

We were the worst Girl Scouts. We did not sell
our cookies we just freely passed them out
to long-haired boys we barely knew and hell-
bound men on low-slung bikes who'd hang about
a day or two until their engines cooled;
until their fresh-inked dragons scabbed; until
our sainted mother dragged us home. She fooled
no one. She wanted us to cry; to spill
our guts; to crack like china; crumb like cake;
surrender unto Mom; to never cling
to strangers but to her; to cower; quake
on sheets still wet with Daddy's sweat; to sing
through tears that only she could make us shed.
She swore to God we'd bleed as she'd been bled.

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