Organizing poems

The Hub thinks I should post a poem a day. It might be better than just stacking up drafts like cordwood. It might be a step in the direction . I’d half want to organize a collection around some arbitrarily chosen theme and then pull out poems around those nodes and show them. I seem to be becoming more of a closet writer. (Would posting them in their naked incompetableness finish up the pendulum swing to exhibitionism?)

It’s just such an intimidating slog to go through. Everything I look at I want to fix except a simple fix can easily eat 5 or 6 hours.

Previously I had a draft file and a finishing file. I would pull out poems from the first to reedit. But then I only had initial days drafts and the reedit of “done” none to two edits later. When the file became too slow to load, it was time for a new file.

I thought it would be a better system to keep all drafts of one poem together. And each file is by the month. Now I’m looking at pages of drafts for a 10 line poem and revisiting 5 or 6 times and still calling it worthless. I just ran the numbers last night, counting and plugging the updated numbers into Miscorsoft Excel. Looking just at writing for 2006 I have over 260 poems drafted and virtually none declared done. That’s 1500 poems in under 6 years. Some of them may split off into smaller poems. Some may get tied together into longer poems, but even throwing out most, that’s absurd and unmanageable.

I need a better discipline and a better system. Shall I make a system of files chuting all haiku, haiga, senryu one way, all experimental sounds down another files, anything lyrics, narrative, local another…do I have enough sonnets to make a file worthwhile? Should I bag it with other forms? I could cluster around subject or tone. Some form of metatags so that the files could be automatically generated from search strings. Ok, I need to work on erotica today, or on tree poems or erotic trees.

Thing is I can’t find things. I can’t see or remember what I have. Even if I take a poem, one poem at a time, where am I going with any one of them? Done of perfect word in perfect order is subjective. Maybe that’s why I’m reading more form poems because of that desire for concrete verifiable fundamental volleyball net. I want something outside myself to verify it’s done.

The thing is that looking at my poems I love them as soon as they are done and the next day to 10 edit later, not so much really. If it dismays me, why do I bother to keep after it? It’s like a gambling or other addiction. I don’t like the sound of my own voice but I go mad if I don’t vent. Maybe I need a better way to vent. I wonder if I don’t need to look at poems much more dispassionately and I need a routine of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. to exclusively polish poems, speak them aloud, scare out their bugs, research where I can send them.

Or else dismiss the backlog, never look at any of the 2000 plus backlog and start fresh with what I know now and apply a new discipline to finish and diligently market them or else burn them as they come and agree to take only the benefits of the process away with me.

Perhaps if someone asks me if I write and if I have a book I can have a vial of ash around my neck and offer to shake out some dust of the outcomes of my poetry with them with a serene smile.

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