I remember asking Michael McClure on the phone what it was like to start writing in Projective Verse. I think I had realized by that time I was writing in that manner, in which extreme concentration and dedication to the moment was preferred over extensive revision. He said: That’s like asking me how I learned to walk.” The notion here being that writing projectively (I sometimes use the word organically) is so ingrained, he can’t remember not writing in that manner.
This was probably around 1998 or so and I have learned much from that point about this stance-toward-poem-making and especially how this mode and a mode toward living are inextricable and involve the interconnection of all living things. McClure cites Hua-yen Buddhism and Alfred North Whitehead as influences in this regard and has been an excellent friend and guide to me in my own search.
So when asked to do a Craft Talk at the long-running It’s About Time reading at the Ballard Library on April 11, I knew I would talk about Organic Poetry and have adapted my notes for the occasion from the material at that link. (The event starts at 6P and Janée J. Baugher, Arleen Williams and Roberta Feins are also featured, as well as Open Mic.)
So, if you have heard me talk about Organic Poetry and still have questions as to what it is about, this event will be a good, though short, primer on it. I hope to be able to show graphics and play some sound, but we’ll see if that is practical.
I’m grateful to Peggy Sturdivant for the invite and for her work in maintaining this long-running reading.