My daemon and "Frenzy" by Anne Sexton

Attended my first-ever writers/writing program/writing faculty/editors/agents/publishers/booksellers conference a few days ago. One among the 14,000 or so people attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference March 27-30. An impressive, wide-ranging, energizing event. And a few days before I found that this national event was right down the street this year in my home city of Portland, Oregon. Even though I’m not superstitious, I know a sign when I see one.

Anne Sexton

I mostly took sessions on the nature of the business of writing and the structure of the industry. Afterward I even more motivated to pursue this interest. Wish I found the conference 15 years ago, but glad to have found it now.

The ideas in my book are important and urgent to me, and funny. But trying to extract/wash/craft an exquisite silver filigree design from out of the mud I’ve glopped around it remains a challenge. Do the words from my head performs as I’d like when they run through another person’s head?

Trying to balance my free time between continuing to revise the complete manuscript, seeking agents, and continuing to tinker with a writer’s platform. With all that in mind, for National Poetry Month I’ve got “Frenzy” by Anne Sexton in mind, a poem about the creative process.

And oh, I know it’s not all a silver filigree in there. There are silver daggers in there, too.

by Anne Sexton

I am not lazy
I am on the amphetamine of the soul.
I am, each day,
typing out the God
my typewriter believes in.
Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.
Not lazy.
When a lazy man, they say,
looks toward heaven,
the angels close the windows.

Click the image for more on National Poetry Month

Click the image for more on National Poetry Month

Oh, angels,
keep the windows open
so that I may reach in
and steal each object,
objects that tell me the sea is not dying,
objects that tell me the dirt has a life-wish,
that the Christ who walked for me,
walked on true ground
and that this frenzy,
like bees stinging the heart all morning,
will keep the angels
with their windows open,
wide as an English bathtub.