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It was a dark and poemless night. How’s that for a spooky story? I have a kind of poem-desperation going on tonight. Today I’ve been looking everywhere for inspiration, and it is dripping and blooming all over the place, but the words aren’t there. Where did the words go??
There was the osprey on the highway bridge, I imagined being her, on the drive to work, and my two sunshine girls, always inspiration there, there was the creek, and moss, and the world, and injustice. All poemworthy. And yet, I have no fragments tonight. Do I write that every night? I feel like I do.
I read this Salon article today about practice, and about massed practice, as in daily practice, isn’t as efficient as spaced, interleaved, and varied practice. Maybe that is why I don’t really feel like my poems are getting any better. This is the article. In it the authors write that, ”
“While practicing is vital to learning and memory, studies have shown that practice is far more effective when it’s broken into separate periods of training that are spaced out. The rapid gains produced by massed practice are often evident, but the rapid forgetting that follows is not. Practice that’s spaced out, interleaved with other learning, and varied produces better mastery, longer retention, and more versatility. But these benefits come at a price: when practice is spaced, interleaved, and varied, it requires more effort. You feel the increased effort, but not the benefits the effort produces. Learning feels slower from this kind of practice, and you don’t get the rapid improvements and affirmations you’re accustomed to seeing from massed practice. Even in studies where the participants have shown superior results from spaced learning, they don’t perceive the improvement; they believe they learned better on the material where practice was massed […] Spacing out your practice feels less productive for the very reason that some forgetting has set in and you’ve got to work harder to recall the concepts. It doesn’t feel like you’re on top of it. What you don’t sense in the moment is that this added effort is making the learning stronger.”
Well, that would be a handy excuse, if I were going to make excuses. I feel, though, that my poem practice is varied, and because of my weird schedule, it is often spaced. I’m not totally clear on what interleaved means, except that it has something to do with blank pages or alternating, but I’m pretty sure that’s happening too. So, no wimping out.
Really, though. I got nothin’. There were these old pictures I browsed today, those are poem fodder, for sure. I’m pretty sure each on of those could be a poem. Maybe I’ll just pick one and poem it. I wish I could violate the BS rule and do a found poem with just the captions from this page, but that would be cheating too. Hp just tried to give me pep talk, and he botched it and ended up accidentally implying that some of these poems suck. I can’t be mad at him, in part because it is true, and because he is damn cute when he peps me.
Old photo poem time (I’m going to poem about all of them, so definitely check the link above if you expect this to make sense):
There was, “pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?” on a playing card. This is the mystery, no, the lesson, of Rushmore before the carving, of the six grandfathers erased into four forefathers,
There was the mourning breakfast of the nine kings, who gathered for one, this is the babies in gas masks who puppied not too shortly after,
There were window-knockers with long sticks for tapping, and the window cages for the sun-stared babes, that were mother’s last resort,
At this time, the post office still delivered babies. The practice was shortly outlawed. There were early prosthetics for girls with dolls, and new come hands holding the face of freedom,
There were these women filled pursed glee, saying “lips that touch liquor will not touch ours”, the lonesomest power, and there were cages for the unruly,
Don’t dare lose your head, like the girls on the picnic table, no, instead hold those bronze cups with the pride of your thighs, because there were books to lend to the bedbound,
and black and white coats to bathe, men to hold afloat with balloons, and tilting busses to buoy. The mother of the dustbowl seven, could not find the coordinates, and that bathing costume is not up to measure, but no one could stop the zipline,
but what use, what use, the dimple machines and motor elevators? There was the long kiss before the last train, for some of them.
What then, does luck mean?
Okay, I did write the poem to go along with those old pics, so I guess that is kind of a BS move. But, I’m okay with that, because I like some of those lines. Excuses, excuses. So I’m occasionally lazy. So I rushed this so I could go watch Game of Thrones with HP. It’s a poem on the page, is it not? Happy Monday, my poem peeps.