Please, Frankenstein was my father….

I’ve been thinking about my last workshop piece. It felt like two poems stitched together, and that’s because it was. I lean heavily on certain aesthetics and imagery we all already know I have a soft spot for, and I keep trying to use them as a crutch or disguise to talk about other things that, if I’m frank, I don’t always want to talk about.

Something we’ve struggled with this semester, both as peers in our workshop commentary and in relation to our own work, is separating the poet from the poem. We talked in class about ‘fudging the truth’, how once something becomes a poem, it should not, and cannot, try to be completely truthful and authentic to the poet’s reality.

I don’t have a problem with that; even in the middle of writing it, I could tell my most recent poem was veering away from its origins in my real-life experiences, and that’s okay. I’m left with this dilemma, however, one that I feel I have very often, where my writing seems to be trying to say something, but I don’t know what that something is.

I’m excited to work on it, but find myself at a loss. When I manage to write something I do like, I often feel as though my writing is cleverer than I am. So I’m left with this, a half-formed amalgamation of things, ideas stitched together, that’s taken on a life of its own.

How do you wrangle your Frankenstein’s monster?

One Reply to “Please, Frankenstein was my father….”

  1. My usual go-to for struggling with a monster poem is to take the best lines/phrases from it and scrap the rest. There are always going to be lines that hit harder, phrases that stand out more than the others. I take those, copy/paste them into a new document and look at ones that could build on each other without the structure of the previous poem. Sometimes coming back to them later after a period of time can help give you new insight as you forget about the previous poem and have this nice clean slate with cool phrases! Hope this helps!

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