Day Fifteen, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project: Halfway There!

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Halfway There!

When I signed on to produce a poem a day for thirty consecutive days, I wasn’t certain what to expect but fear and exhaustion. Although I write daily, I seldom complete more than four to six poems in an entire month, and even then they “marinate” for weeks or longer before seeing the light of day. Yet here we are on day fifteen, with fifteen new poems. I can’t claim they’re all complete – some feel right, others seem almost there, while still others need work. Imagine that! Fifteen poems in fifteen days. Only fifteen more to go.

“Cutting Down the Anniversary Pine” is among the Day Fifteen offerings of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project (9 poets have agreed to write 30 poems apiece in 30 days, to raise funds for Tupelo Press, a non-profit literary publisher). Many thanks to Greg Alspach, who sponsored and provided the title.

Cutting Down the Anniversary Pine

Things expand. Plans change. Clouds disperse,
people move. I remember swimming

through a dream’s warm water, and rising…

To see the rest of the poem, click here

Tomorrow’s poem is titled “Setting Fire to the Rose Garden,” thanks to the kindness of Lily June, who provided the title.

I hope that the sponsored titles and my responses to them have been entertaining, but other sponsorship opportunities abound. For information on these and their corresponding incentives, click here.

“Name That Poem” sponsorships are still available for Wednesday and beyond. Conjure up a title (be creative, be weird, be gentle, be poetic, oh, heck, be mean if you wish), donate $10 to Tupelo Press, let me know what the title is, and I’ll write the poem. The  sponsored poems thus far have been a blast to write, and the titles have led me to poems I’d not otherwise have written. If you’re so inclined, please visit the 30/30 blog at: Donate to Tupelo. Scroll down to “Is this donation in honor of a 30/30 poet?” and select my name, “Robert Okaji,” from the pull down so that Tupelo knows to credit the donation to me. And please let me know as soon as possible what your title is.

Thank you for your support! Only 15 poems to go!

22 thoughts on “Day Fifteen, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project: Halfway There!

    • I preach “patience in poetry,” but that’s because I’m not one of those fortunate individuals who can produce flawless pieces quickly. I have to chip away at the flaws over time, as I’m slow to recognize them.

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      • I think there are very few who produce flawless pieces quickly. My usual process is to slosh an idea and early drafts around in my head for days/weeks before I even write anything down. If I do have to write quickly from a prompt, as we do in our community poetry project sessions, I have a deuce of a time revising enough to make the piece decent for human consumption because it is the opposite of my usual approach. I’m working on learning to do this, but I’m still relatively new at this and trying to build my skill set. I’m grateful to have some experienced local poets with whom to workshop; they are a huge help. Still, I doubt anything I have ever written could be termed flawless. Maybe, eventually…

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