May 28, 2013

The non-poet poet's best friend

Today I took a break from work and revisited not only the light verse on this blog but also the 60 or so poems I put on a private blog a couple years back. I expected to find a collection of amateurish, embarrassingly lame attempts. What I encountered, however, was a delightful olio of wit, cleverness, and wordplay, spiced up with a few dashes of powerful imagery.

At first, I loved what I was reading. I wrote that! I remember that! Ha ha, yeah, brilliant!

Then, I got real sad. Why? Because I haven't written more than two or three poems in two years. And reading those tickled me so much that I think it's a shame I stopped.

I used to carry a rhyming dictionary to and from work every day. Once or twice a week, I'd take it out on the train and use it to kick-start some goofball poem. Over the years, my old rhyming dictionary became so tattered and brittle that it eventually fell apart, so I replaced it with this pocket one (pictured).

But after a year or so, I stopped carrying that. I got caught up in writing my novels. I lost touch with the playful poet that I so much enjoyed reading today.

Just now, I dug the rhyming dictionary out from behind some Dave Barry and Bloom County books on our bookshelf. I'm moving it to my work bag next to my journal. And when I get a couple dozen more poems together, I'll clean them all up into an anthology.

After that, I might revisit my Unlucky 26 (a non-published POD version pictured here). The children of Marrow Moor really deserve to have their stories shared with the world so other children won't suffer the same gruesome fates.

When I pick up that rhyming dictionary, I feel like I'm reconnecting with an old friend. The kind that, when you go out for coffee, just sits and listens to your stories, and when you get stuck, he comes up with exactly the right word that sends you spinning off onto a whole set of new stories.

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