I now have THREE poems stuck in pre-draft limbo. One has been there for two days, one for two weeks, and one for at least a month. What is this thing in me that will not give me permission to sit down and hammer out a first draft?
Well, besides mental health issues and a lifetime of experience at self-sabotage.
In desperation, I did a starburst on one of them. It looked like this:
The starburst is a brainstorming technique. You put a single image or word in the middle and start drawing associations; some will be important and some not.
My image for this poem has been clear from the beginning: a glass mug of hot water with a chamomile tea bag in it. Pale brown-gold threads are drifting out into the water as the tea starts to be absorbed.
The image, like many of those a poet chooses, is a tool for crystallizing a moment and the thoughts and feelings that went with it. The starburst helps me elucidate some of those.
I’d like to say that the starburst promptly galvanized me into action–well, not yet. But I know I’m closer, both because of such things and from having coffee with a fellow poet yesterday.