Monday Potes: ReFound

For kicks and giggles I randomly opened an old journal to see what I would find. I found the original version of a poem from my book Every Day Angels. Because my kicks and giggles quota is down, I decided to edit the original journal poem again, to see what I would come up with. My only rule was that I couldn’t end or start with the same lines.

I ended up with something completely different.

HERE: mysterious one HRB is the version that ended up in Every Day Angels

BELOW is the version from today.

I highly recommend this as a writing exercise if you are having muse issues. Take the original (hand written / in journal if you can find them) from years back, another lifetime ago so that you are in a new place, wiser, more experienced, more cynical, whatever. Write an entirely new poem from that place.

the field

I was up all night
(she said)
turning pages
pulling weeds

we drown or swim or let the tide
take us somewhere new
we are ships
even in (the) afterlife

I dreamed it was the
end of my world (she said)
and wrote it down

knowledge is a kind of rotten fruit

little deaths
are what save us
from wanting
too much

smells like tornado weather
(she said)
high above the plains

for a thirsty world
touch   is matter
not minutes

or anything anticipatory in the mail

but I exist in books
(she said)

things on earth are definitive

squirrels die in trees
magpies gather in roads
we run out of gas and ink

the sun admits clouds exist
the foot
a path

it goes or doesn’t go
(or becomes something else)

my hands are tied
(she said)

we don’t imagine pain
but imagining there is something else
keeps us here

I think I’m going a little crazy
(she said)
and did

no plan
just dizzy in the sea


I don’t know which I like better. The one in EDA has some lines that are not in the hand-written version and I’m not sure where they came from. The one I wrote today doesn’t flow as much as the other – it’s more fragmented. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it just reflects something about my state of mind.

Here is most of the hand-written version. You can see that it was written in fragments even then.


  1. pglt39
    Jan 17, 2011

    An interesting exercise. My poety is inspired by the Scriptues of the day hoping it is encouraging to other Christians. pglt30

  2. Deb
    Jan 17, 2011

    **cough** choke**gasp**–‘kay I have blown off some of my journals (gads am I that old?!). Great exercise for poetry and otherwise I think! And a good reminder to dig through the old to fine some new. Thanks for sharing!

  3. @pglt39 – hi – thanks for stopping by. I say write what inspires you. 🙂

    @Deb – i know what you mean – I have journals going back over (gasp) 20 years. I’ve been wondering what to do with them all – thinking there’s probably enough material inside to keep my writing life busy for the remainder of my years.

    I love when I find something I don’t recall writing – it’s new all over again.

  4. Maxine
    Jan 18, 2011

    What a fabulous idea to beat writers block!

  5. pglt39
    Jan 19, 2011

    I write journals too, but usually poeticize on the coputer. It’s just fuln to see how my handwriting changes over time lots of time.

  6. Jack Remick
    Jan 19, 2011

    Do you link blogs? I’d like to connect your Accidental Novelist to Bob and Jack’s Writing Blog but need your permission. Jack

  7. @Jack – I’d be honoured to be linked to on your writing blog. Super!

    Also – I’ll be reading at U Books in Seattle on Monday, March 14. You’re not entirely my demographic, but it’d be great to see either of you. Maybe you can borrow some small children to bring along.

    Here’s the FaceBook Event listing:!/event.php?eid=157152154336144

  8. @Maxine – thanks for stopping by!

    @pglt39 – I never used to compose poems on a computer – but I’ve found myself doing it more and more. There is something about pen to page, though, the absorbency of it.

  9. Jack Remick
    Jan 20, 2011

    Danika: All right. I need your url to make the link. I’ll be in Seattle most of March so will make your reading. “be-friend”me on facebook for more stuff.

  10. Jack Remick
    Jan 20, 2011

    D: Got it, it works. should be up and running in a big.

  11. Suma
    Jan 21, 2011

    Nice exercise. Thanks for sharing Danika.

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