Reflections on the Process — Donna Frazier

Donna at the Ritz_poet1962fullGLYNN

I wasn’t a stranger to the disarticulations process. I’ve sometimes played along when prompts have been posted, and I occasionally look at older entries on the blog when I wanted to start a poem from someplace outside myself. But this time was much more intense. We had a theme to honor. And a place, too—Descanso Gardens. I sat with lists of words, staring at them for long stretches and willing some image of my own to come to mind. I felt a start of deep recognition when Terry posted her free writing here, because I have turned each of those words over and over and over, sometimes willing them to be something else, the perfect word I couldn’t have.

I moved Terry’s words around, fruitlessly it seemed, until my mind let go and delivered “bird float” and “tree song,” and then the words were mine. The poem was there in the unclenching, and later in allowing myself to let words and couplets go instead of insisting they stay. This was a difficult, beautiful experience, made all the better by drawing inspiration from the gardens. And the next piece I wrote, with an infinite choice of words, was particularly delicious. I love constraint, and oh how I love releasing myself from it

So grateful to Terry for suggesting that we work on this together!

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