Author photo by Peter's son, Walter Bakowski

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Remote

When you channel surf

take care that your mind

doesn’t drown.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inertia

When all the things you need to do
remain
all the things you need to do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts from a writing desk. No.1

I think a poem should work first on the page. If it works on the page it should work read out loud.
I think it's not on to whinge or complain in a poem or write a easy target rant poem along the lines of:
war is bad,
politicians are bad etc.

As a poet I'm focused on writing clearly. A poem needs a beginning, a middle, and an end, with preamble and blathering digression cut out/sculpted out of drafts of the poem, but with an engine in the poem, moving the poem forward. In regards to writing poems, Charles Bukowski said, "Get in, get out, don't linger."
A cardinal self-imposed regime I have with reading live is not to over-read. If a poet or writer reads for too long they end up murdering the audience, the audience which was initially on their side, groans inwardly, sneak glances at their wristwatch, ends up resenting the over-reading poet.
I read five or six poems maximum when I'm a featured reader.
I've never gone for self-publishing. I've wanted to secure a publisher who'll give proper editorial scrutiny of the proposed book and also has national distribution.
I served a self-imposed eleven year apprenticeship in writing poems before I submitted a manuscript to a publisher. I always cull poems from a manuscript. I don't want any poems that are passengers in a manuscript, that let the team down. Be ruthless with your poems. Write more poems, write many poems and pick out the best. Better a thin, strong book of poems than a weaker, thicker one.