Saturday, June 03, 2006

There were fifteen of them that day
fifteen who poked and prodded
fifteen, who at various intervals,
came and asked questions
for which I had no answers
There were fifteen that night
roaming the corridors
coming to look
fifteen who spent hours
watching and waiting
for heaven knows what
I kept quiet through it all
the endless poking
the meaningless comments
the looks that reminded me
of that time on the bus...
well, I won't go there...
For fifteen days and nights
my mind wandered the darkness
while my body lay in listless state
for fifteen weeks
that felt like fifteen months
I walked the border between this world
and that
Sometimes I don't know where my writings come from. Earlier I had watched a tv program, Inside the Actor's Studio with Jodie Foster. She talked about the movie Accused in which she played a rape victim. I never saw the movie, but watching Jodie talk about it, I could easily get caught up in her emotion. It was a hard role for her and she still feels the effect.
At first, with my writing, the "picture" in my head was of a gang rape, but the end "picture" was of being in the hospital. Did Jodie's talk trigger something in me? I certainly have not had that experience. When the poem was done, I thought that it had morphed into something different, but now I am not so sure. The mind does funny things. Could the "I" in my poem have been a victim and the mind confused doctors, nurses, and the assailants? And what happens to that woman during the time of healing... can she ever be fully healed when the minutes turn to hours and the hours to days... and weeks... and months? Can she ever again feel safe?
I don't know where I came up with the number fifteen. It just kind of stuck in my head and felt right. Perhaps, as I was not writing about a personal experience, I could not interject one as I tried to do with the bus experience. I could not put one of my memories into someone else's story. So, where did the story come from?
This poem, FIFTEEN, started with one line, "There were fifteen of them that day." A picture formed in my mind. I did not know where it would go. I simply picked up pen and paper and began to write. The "picture" blurred. I could not see faces. The words came to write the poem and I was just a witness.
Tell me a little about your writing practices. Do you spend hours working on a piece? Do you have to think hard or do ideas just come to? Where do your ideas come from?

No comments: