Thursday, 16 April 2020

Eleanor Boudreau : part five

What are you working on?

Earnest can be read literally as Eleanor’s lover, but he is best understood as another side of the poet’s self. Moreover, in Earnest, Earnest?, I made up half the manuscript—I  did not invent images, all the images are things I have seen, but I did invent narratives to fit the images. So, for my next project, I’ve decided I will not make anything up—images, narrative, dialogue—it will all be true (at least to the best of my recollection), thus Earnest can never appear, because Earnest is not a real person, but a personification of parts of myself.

In short, I’m writing non-fiction with line-breaks. The result is more narrative and also more lyrical than Earnest, Earnest? That is intentional, as I am trying to change my poetic style as much as possible, to show range. An analogy I find helpful—sculptors have two methods, either carve small pieces individually and mold them together, or start with a large block and carve the negative space around the figure. Earnest, Earnest? is the former, but for my new project, I begin with large prose-blocks and I carve the negative space (the line-breaks and stanza-breaks) into those blocks to make poetry. This new project is very much still developing, but I am excited to keep working on it and see what that work reveals.

I’m also working on a murder mystery that is very much not true. I published this mystery as prose fiction years ago, but I’ve always felt it was, in fact, a book-length poem, so I’m calling it a “lyric mystery” and I’m trying to find the ideal form.

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