Where were you when you started to actually write the poem? And please describe the place in great detail. Upstairs in my house (Below) mulling it over mentally. I don’t write with pen and paper. I most likely grabbed my phone and opened the notebook app and typed the rough draft of it.
Since I work on either iPad or iPhone either in Word, Pages or the notebook, I just scroll through, read and listen. Delete what I don’t want. Or insert what I do. My ear can usually tell me when something doesn’t belong or should be added. Also I will do a specific revision to take out as many of the place holder words I can without it sounding awkward-such as “and, the, a, that” etc. I also revise to convert adjectives to noun-verb combos. I find those to be more powerful than to have a string of adjectives and I try to remove adverbs because I feel the nouns and verbs should tell the reader how the ie. person in the poem is doing something. I do line breaks intuitively. I always try to read aloud to a human. Always catch things reading aloud. Hear the issues. I am working right now on poems from the 1990s. Some are useless but some have potential, and I am teasing things out and into tighter compositions and submitting. I look at language as a puzzle. Just consider lines and see if the words can be rearranged somehow into something more efficient and tight. You want the biggest bang for the tightest buck. MMCB has been published in both journal and book. I shortened some of the lists. It can be alluring to have long lists. Imo this loses the reader. (Above Right: Revisions of Poem)
This poem appears in my mixed genre memoir Eating the Sun 2019 Clare Songbirds Publishing House.
What matters to me as a poet is resonating with readers, and this is a perfect example of how that works when it works.
Rachael Ikins is a multiple Pushcart & CNY Book Award nominee, & 2018 Independent Book Award winner for excellence in poetry.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies as well as a former sign language interpreter for the deaf.