Before Acadiana Wordlab was founded in 2012, I was pretty productive but I was at a weird point on my writing path. The book had just come out and I was a bit aimless. So much time was devoted to preparing the manuscript, seeing Eating the Heart First into publication and promoting it, I was off when it came to daily writing. At first I thought I didn’t need or want to be in a “writing group” and was actually a bit scared to write raw in a group. I was wrong. Acadiana Wordlab has helped me to go places in my writing I never would have ventured, and I am a much “looser” writer when it comes to first getting words onto paper. Also, the multiple creative approaches afforded by the variety of artist-presenters have opened my mind. This has probably created new neural pathways/tapped into other areas of my brain which has only strengthened my writing skills. People in attendance vary week to week but our core group has become pretty tight. It’s is a safe place to create. We are writing new. I am writing new and that is the most valuable thing to me.
Each week after a session of Acadiana Wordlab, I take the raw writing and work the words. I usually get at least one new poem or a somewhat cohesive draft out of the writing done in the literary drafting workshop. This past week, I led the workshop and the themes we explored were mortality and darkness. It shouldn’t have surprised me that I was terribly depressed Sunday. The darkness broke for me, thankfully. Today I worked on what I began in Saturday’s Wordlab. The following poem/draft is actually a compilation of the three distinct bits of writing. It is a work-in-progress. What is interesting to me is that I am pushing through to stylistic breakthroughs. I am going in new directions and that thrills.
The lessons I presented on Saturday can be seen at the link below. The item I chose from the small batch of “mementos” was a crucifix.
1-25-14 Acadiana Wordlab (click for the prompts/exercises)
The Hanging Woman
breathes desert into her throat
spear opens rib
the most egregious of transgressions
lungs vigilant flag
Heaven’s jaw shuts
borne upon the cross
we cannot willfully die
the women tear at their smocks
to terminal moonrise
burnt to bone
new meanings of the body impaled;
all sensation thrust
from pleasured skin
blade to stone
stone to bone
bone to blood night