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July 2018, vol 14 no 2

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Ray Rasmussen

Not Amused


Before storming out the door, she said,

“If anyone ever asks my advice, I'll say never get involved with a writer.”

I thought she’d enjoy being my muse, but after sending her a poem about our fight which I thought offered a hope for reconciliation, she wrote:

“It seems I was only your muse when we broke up, and not when I was loving you.”

I thought of replying with . . .

But romantic poetry has been done so often, so well. It requires Byron’s or Shakespeare’s gifted pens, not mine.

This is the third time you’ve broken it off . . . so I’ve experienced the difficulties of love’s journey. I can write about that . . .

To be true for me, writing about love has to be more about love broken, love lost.

And doesn’t everyone pay attention to a toothache, and not the sound teeth?

But no, I’ll write none of that. This is a time

for paying attention, not contrarian complaints

for re-engaging, not depression

for hope, not despair

And then, I wondered . . . what might I write?

dusk . . .
the old black dog
struggles through the night

morning . . .
my cursor paused
above the “send” button


 

Discussion: Reading Your Work Aloud

I made a voice recording for the fun of it ... and then discovered that I learned a lot not only by reading my work aloud, but by listening to it.

The haibun on this poage is a revision of one that appeared in Frogpoong 34:1 Winter 2011. Speaking my work aloud has important outcomes . . . I could hear problems in the piece, where pauses and line breaks might be useful, where a sequence of words is difficult to read silently or aloud, where words or phrases might be added or dropped, where something in the sequencing of the storyline wasn't working, where the cadence (tempo, meter) works and doesn't.

My presentation of this piece is unusual, as you've likely noticed. I formatted it so that I could more easily read it aloud. Thus the unusual system of line breaks, ellipses, double periods (. .) are all of use to me in knowing when and how much to pause as I read it.

If you'd like to hear me read this aloud, click below:


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