Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Music To Write To

I am dire need of some new music to write to. Does anyone else out there need a writing soundtrack? I feel like I've played every song in my iTunes 100 times and I'm still coming up short. April as poetry month is totally inspiring me.

I finally tracked down the folder that had all the drafts of the poems I worked on during the one class I took with Ken Babstock, many of which were on the computer that was stolen from our house two years ago. In my insanity, I had printed many, many of them up many times, so at least I've got copies, and I've been going through them tonight. A part of me wants to post all of them, just to see which ones are more successful than others, but I'll exercise restraint and keep going with the poem a day (I missed yesterday, so that's why there are two posted tonight).

The air's warm. The candles smell yummy. We ordered pizza for dinner. And I feel like my fingers could go all night. So instead of posting all of my cycle, 12 poems based on each (you guessed it) month in a year, I give you a highly illegal version of a William Carlos Williams poem that knocks me to my knees every single time I read it:


(William Carlos Williams 1883-1963)

Flowers through the window
lavender and yellow

changed by white curtain--
Smell of cleanliness--

Sunshine of late afternoon--
On the glass tray

a glass pitcher, the tumbler
turned down, by which

a key is lying -- And the
immaculate white bed.


Beth said...

I don't know what kind of music you listen to while writing but my kids have introduced me to Dashboard Confessional, Bernard Fanning, Damien Rice, David Gray, Pete Yorn and The Beautiful Girls. (I know, I know, they've all been around for awhile - I'm slow picking up new tunes.)

Anonymous said...

Depends - what sort of music do you like to write to?

Me? Well, I'm fairly promiscuous when it comes to that. Depending on the day, something ambient is good (Brian Eno). Or something worldly (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is good for those marathon, trance-induced writing sessions. And the albums with Michael Brook add a trip-hoppy groove to the Sufi goodness). Some days its modern classic (I'm a fan of the minimalists - Arvo Part, Gavin Bryers, Eno's symphonies based on Bowie's 70s albums, Philip Glass). Some days it's the Grateful Dead (nothing sets in the mood for long-term writing like a crispy 60s or 70s second set).

One thing that happens to me is I tend to feed off the music, and the story I'm working on will become co-dependant on the music. Which is all right -- a weekend spent listening to the same Nick Drake album non-stop is fine if you come out of it with a good short story like I did, but the sheer length of time it takes to write a novella can make the music a bit... much. I wrote a novella to the first two albums by The Band a while ago -- a month straight! Thank God they're such good albums. I tried changing them, but the story wouldn't let me...

(who apparently is incapable of brevity)

C. A. Jackson said...

Deep House. Bet you a million dollars you haven't tried it.

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