I've been having difficulty coming up with new ideas for each day's poem, and it's been enough of a struggle that I'm pretty sure I've written about the carpet in my apartment at least twice, and cornfields more times than I can count. This lack of variety strikes me as disturbing if only because in my first year of The Poem-A-Day Project, I stumbled upon some new topic every single day and that created some sort of variety in and of itself. Maybe it's because my life has settled into some sort of routine that doesn't allow for exciting poem topics, so I have to make them up myself.
Or maybe I'm just not paying attention.
That first year of my poetry writing, I was surrounded by people who would stop mid-conversation and say, "There's a poem in that..." Maybe not surrounded, but I definitely spent a good amount of time with the small number of people who would make that observation. Of course there was a poem in that. There was a poem in the epic battle between humans and zombies, there was a poem in the dining hall's lack of Sunday dinner, there was a poem in the sidewalk cracks between my dorm room and my first class of the morning. Sure I revisited some of the same topics over and over again, but the images that showed up in each new poem were different because I was doing something different almost every day.
Now that I'm not physically around people who can make observations about finding poems for me, I'm coming to the slow realization that I have two options:
1. I can go glue myself to the sides of the people who can find poems for me in conversations and daily life.
2. I can start paying attention.
Part of my willingness to glue myself to the side of poem observers comes from missing them so much, but I think there's also a level of laziness there too. So that leads me to conclude that paying attention is really my only option for writing some wonderful poem that isn't about how Nebraska isn't Chicago, because let's face it, that's been done about eighty times, and people are going to start to get bored if they ever read my Project from beginning to end (then again, won't they get bored with parking lot poems or "It's my senior year of college" poems? Oh well.).
So here it goes, my mid-October resolution to pay attention in order to write more interesting poems.
"Every day you play with the light of the universe."
- Pablo Neruda