Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Images of Bubble wrap and Corrugated Cardboard

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
4 years, 9 months, and 26 days

Such a blustery day today! And exactly as forecast. The weather people said it would be 15-20 degrees cooler than yesterday, and very windy. I considered not taking my noon walk, as I had only a light jacket to protect against the wind. But I want to get 50 minutes of walking in this week during the work week, so I walked. By the end of the lap (one "lap" in the commercial subdivision takes me about 10 minutes) I was frozen, so didn't try to add any extra minutes. I suspect the wind chill was around 30 degrees, and I definitely needed a hat or hood or even earmuffs.

At the end of the lap two items blew by that stuck with me. First was a cardboard box, flattened and probably from the recycling hopper next to the dumpster. I blew by slowly, in front of the first building downwind of ours, barely leaving the ground. I considered diverting the thirty feet necessary to pick it up and put it back in the recycling area, which I would walk by. But as cold as I felt I decided to just head to the building as quickly as I could.

The second was a piece of bubble wrap, maybe 2x3 feet. I was actually inside the building and walking past the door nearest my office when I saw it through that glass door. It momentarily hung up on the outside door handle. Possibly, had I been quicker, I might have been able to open the door and grab the wrap before the wind carried it off to the south. Alas, in that second where my embedded cache was slow process the bubble wrap freed itself, as if it had hands to push off the grabby handle, and off it went, four feet off the ground and climbing in the last view I had of it.

Today I critiqued a poem over at, I think the first poem I've critiqued in more than a year. It's a poem by a man from Wales that I've interacted with on the site from time to time. I'd consider him a friend, though not a correspondent. His poem was rich in images, but so obscure as to meaning that I couldn't sense any meaning from it at all. He made good use of poetic structure, ending words, variety of line conclusion types. But I couldn't understand the poem. And what I don't understand I don't generally like. That was the gist of my critique. I posted this in the evening here, probably after he had retired on the English isle, so it will be tomorrow before I see his reply.

So what do these things have in common? A flattened box scooting before the wind, a piece of plastic beginning to soar, and a Welsh poem too obscure for me to understand? I suppose they are linked by my writing desires. While imagery and metaphor are needed most in poetry, they are still needed in prose. And this is a weakness of my writing. I can't figure out how to best work images into my prose, and I can't figure out how to make my poetry consistently metaphorical.

Consequently my writing doesn't soar like bubble wrap. It rather scoots along the ground like flattened cardboard, moved by the wind but not going places in a hurry. I need to do more to achieve the bubble wrap effect, to soar, and to give the reader places to press harder and pop open some hidden meaning.

Obviously I'll keep working on it. I'd like to think I was already there, however,

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