Saturday, February 24, 2007

coming up for air (aka procrastinating)

I am trying to write my CBC Poetry Face Off poem today. The theme is "Made in Canada." I would like to say that I am taking a long time because I have tried a different approach, but I think it's more like I have tried a different approach because I needed to take a long time. The deadline for submitting my poem to the show's producer is Monday morning. The Face Off is one week later on March 5 at 8pm at Cafe Deux Soleils in Vancouver. My approach has been pretty Canadian I think. I know my own ideas, but that's "just my experience," so I have asked for input. I have talked/emailed/written to about 50 Canadians (neither a representative nor scientific sample, but an interesting one) about their personal reflections on what it is to be Canadian. My poem will include as much of this information as I can fit, and part of the problem is that I have enough material for four poems, when I have only 4 minutes for my performance, including recognizing the contributors. At the moment, all I know for sure about the poem is that it begins with a nosebleed and ends with a whispered promise. Somewhere in the middle there are fiddleheads and universal medical care.

For other research, I have watched a bunch of contemporary Canadian films. Last night's pick was one I missed at the Port Moody festival - Atom Egoyan's Sabah which was stunning and delicious. Interestingly, it's available in the Foreign Films section at Roger's video, which has something to say about Canada, but I'm not sure what. I have dipped into my copy of the Canadian Encyclopedia (2000 edition) and done some internet research on David Oppenheimer (just to be sure). My friend Jim McKnight just read some of my poetry from the new Shoreline Chapbook and called my work "soft rants." Probably my CBC poem will be another such. I intend to infuse it with feelings of love, pride and curiosity.

Speaking of films, I have not forgotten my promise to view An Awfully Big Adventure as suggested by "anonymous" after I posted my negative opinion of Hugh Grant as an actor. I'm eager to challenge my own personal prejudice in this regard, but I can't find a copy at the local libraries or video stores. If anyone reading this has it in his/her personal collection and wouldn't mind loaning it to me, I'd be most grateful. I'll pay postage if needed.

Another aspect to my procrastination is the fact that after several months of writing pretty much nothing, three or four poem ideas are bobbing at the surface, demanding attention. For now I must tell Tom Jones, moms embarrassing teenagers, fantasies about germs on doorknobs and Pluto and the middle school science curriculum to STAY PUT! (You'll have your turns soon.)

So now I've blurted my blog and drank a cup of chai tea. I have always wanted to drink chai tea then do tai chi (or vice versa), but there's no time for tai chi today. I have a poem to write.

question: what do you do when you need to procrastinate?

mompoet - bla bla bla

ps - what's one notch more assertive than "self-deprecating?"
self-effacing?
maybe there's a clue in the antonym list for self-absorbed?

2 comments:

Margaret said...

Good luck with your poem and your quest to drink chai tea while doing chi chi tie tie
bye bye
Gary Glazner
PS If you would like a free copy of my book
"How to Make a Living as a Poet,"
write me at poetmex@aol.com
and I will send it to you to reward your spirt of giving as muse mom of poetry and poets stuck
in the gestation chamber waiting to be birthed into the word. Or as they say things could be verse!

Margaret said...

Good luck with your poem and your quest to drink chai tea while doing chi chi tie tie
bye bye
Gary Glazner
PS If you would like a free copy of my book
"How to Make a Living as a Poet,"
write me at poetmex@aol.com
and I will send it to you to reward your spirt of giving as muse mom of poetry and all poets stuck
in the gestation chamber waiting to be birthed into the word. Or as they say things could be verse!