Day 30/30 of the Tupelo 30/30 Project (20170830)

My final poem is one stanza of a renga that all the Tupelo 30/30 Project poets participated in. This marks the official end to my participation in the challenge for the month of August.

I had a good time.

I’ve said elsewhere (and to anyone kind enough to listen) that participating in the project was harder than I thought it would be. I’m used to writing every day. I’m not afraid to write a bad poem; I’m pretty sure I’ve written a lot of it. You can’t avoid it if you write every day, and I’ve been doing it for a couple of years no. I can usually manage to peck something out on the keyboard. Some days it comes more easily than others, and this was true for the challenge as well, but overall, the challenge was just plain harder. It seemed that I had to call on different wellsprings of energy or inspiration.

It’s possible that committing to raising money for Tupelo added some kind of pressure to the old wavy matter sitting thick and still in my skull. But, no one stood behind me cracking a whip. It was very much, “We’re just happy with what ever you can contribute.”

And maybe that’s it. The idea of being a contributor. Sitting alone at my computer, I can write something I like, or hate, or think is funny, and hit the publish button. Some of you are kind enough to let me know if you like it or think it is funny; some of you will even call me out for taking the easy way out in a poem. no one has said they’ve hated one of my poems, or that I’ve ruined their life. Yet. And I enjoy being part of the community, interacting in the comments and sometimes in email.

But that still seems to be fundamentally different, that being a contributor. Contributing implies you believe that you have something to offer. Contributing means that others, who are on the receiving end of your beneficence, expect that what you are submitting has value. I don’t usually think of what I do as a valuable thing. It’s just something I do because I need to do it.

So, for all of you who have willingly or otherwise treated me as a contributor, I thank you.

The renga is available to read at the Tupelo 30/30 project page.

15 thoughts on “Day 30/30 of the Tupelo 30/30 Project (20170830)”

  1. Congratulations on completing the 30/30 project! I thought every poem was great. (Certainly way better than I could even begin to do at one a day.) You have my sincere admiration, Crow.

  2. You did it, Sir Charles! Never did I doubt you could, or would, do the thing justice! I appreciate your sentiments here about the difference between doing what you do simply because it’s in your artist’s nature, and doing it because you are participating in something bigger than yourself. You rose to this occasion with the utmost integrity and aplomb, not to mention some of your finest, most resonant, poetic moments… Congratulations!

  3. Thank you for your candor concerning your creative process. Your willingness to fail is one of those traits that separate the good writers from the bad and the great writers from the good. It’s an admirable (and enviable) trait.

    1. Thanks. My motto is failure is always an option. Or as my sculpture mentor says, don’t fall in love with your work until until it comes out of the kiln.

      I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next installment of your story. So many pieces to fill in.

      1. Is it? The “Across the Room and Into the Fire” stories? I’m afraid I will have to fly to where you are and squeeze some more out of you if you say that.

      2. No, sorry. I thought you meant “The Border”. ”
        “Across the Room” has one more chapter, but the “chapter” is the length of a small book. It’s also emotionally intense to write, so I’ve been dodging it. I’m happy you haven’t forgotten, and I’ll redouble my efforts. Thanks, Mr. Crow. 🙂

  4. Well done Sir Crow. I think the task before you was seriously daunting. I would need to quit my job and do nothing else for the 30 days. I have to imagine that took hours every day. In the closing Renga, can we know which stanza was yours? The very last line is superlative.

    1. You mean you can’t tell?

      Just kidding. Mine is the next to last stanza. I believe they’re arranged in alphabetical order by the poet’s last name.

  5. Congratulations–I think it definitely makes a difference if we are just making for ourselves, or doing something for someone/thing else. I would find this challenge very difficult. But you were definitely up to the task. (K)

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