I was sick for 2 days, so I’m cheating a bit and backdating my first 2 NaPoWriMo entries. I’ve written next to nothing poetry-wise since September, and I’m going to get over that by writing every day for the next month. And I’m going to post it all, in its terrifyingly rough and unedited nakedness, here. To give myself some guidance, I’m going to write about the trip I took across Canada and back through the southern US last summer. I camped the whole way, there was much chaos and bad weather, and there should be plenty to keep me going. The writing itself will probably be terrible–I’m an obsessive reviser and will usually go over a poem for weeks or months, or at least days, before showing it to anyone–but I’m interested to see what it will feel like to post first drafts publicly. It means I’ll also have a record of what I first wrote, which I can compare the final version to much later down the road. They’ll probably be insanely different, since I try not to self-edit too much during my first drafts. If I do any revising during this time, I’ll hold it back at least until NaPoWriMo is over.
I feel like I need to post a whole slew of disclaimers about how this isn’t what my poetry looks like by the time I edit and publish it, alongside a bunch of pleas for patience and mercy, but what the heck. Here’s day 1.
Out of the rain forest that holds you like green fog,
through the the alkaline lakes by Kamloops,
the pocket desert in Osoyoos where owls burrow down
in the roots of cacti, the running joke of Spuzzum—one house,
one gas pump, and somehow still a town—
over the mountain border, a half hours’ stop
in Banff, espresso and eight-dollar Internet, the irony of elk
hoofing it down the sidewalk, past Starbucks and the GAP
and tourists who want photos with wild bears—what is it
with them, a death wish? But who wouldn’t
want to die here, under bright snow, next to the lake
so clear and deep there aren’t words for all the colours
glowing in it.