A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

The Poems I Need to Write


Lately, I haven’t been writing much because the double life is working overtime. My daytime career is chock full of project meetings and deadlines. My evening career is tying up loose ends with preparations for poetrySpark next weekend. Most nights, I collapse on the couch and veg out in front of the TV, often falling asleep before I realize it. And I feel guilty about it. Don’t real poets write at every possible moment? If Mary Oliver could get up at 5 and write for a couple of hours, isn’t that what I should be doing?

Instead of being so hard on myself, I am trying a different tactic—writing poem ideas down. Often the topics come in the form of working titles and a line or two that might be in the poem. Here’s my list so far:

Suiting Up: “If I don’t belong, at least I can dress the part”
Natural Hair: “Yes, natural hair is making a comeback everywhere—except my mother’s house”
Cleaning up the Break Room: “She wipes away the crumbs so they won’t think we’ve left a mess behind”

Then there are the planetary poems about I need to write to go along with the “Transit of Venus” poem I wrote during Cave Canem:

Mercury in Retrograde
Curiosity of Mars
House of Saturn

And the science-based poems that with any luck will turn into extended metaphors about race:

Dark energy/dark matter inspired by Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
Dark spot corrector inspired by a casual conversation with one of the inventors

I might have a trio of “Stuff White People Like” poems if I can ever finish that poem about yoga (#15) and start that poem on grammar (#99)

And just yesterday, I got the idea to write persona poems about famous women in technology

Lady Ada Lovelace – 1st programmer and daughter of Lord Byron
Grace Murray Hopper – found the first “bug”
Patricia Selinger – creator of stored procedures

Whenever I do get time to write, this list will keep me plenty busy!

Author: poetsdoublelife

Poet and strategy/data guru living in Massachusetts.

5 thoughts on “The Poems I Need to Write

  1. Natural Hair????

    There was something you said you were going to write about from our shopping excursion. Can’t remember what it was, though.

    That Mary Oliver lady wasn’t involved in half the stuff you are. Pa-L-E-A-S-E!!!

  2. This reply is from a member of “your mother’s house”: I’m very confused about the natural hair comment. I’ve been natural for years. I buy HUMAN HAIR that I assume originated from someone’s head or as some people like to joke, from a horse’s mane. Either way….human head…4 legged animal….what’s more natural than that?!

  3. I visited several blogs however the audio quality for audio songs present at this web page is actually wonderful.

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