I’m Too Sensitive

#NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 16

[And then I decided to publish them anyway: “You’re Too Sensitive” and “Live in the Real World”]


I don’t want to share the poems I wrote today. They turned out long, personal, angry, and, well, sensitive, so much so that I don’t want to write much else today. I think they need a lot of work. I think I need to find a way to distance the persona narrator from me and the material. I think I need to make the poems a little more universal and public instead of personal and private. At the moment, they are too clear and accusing. Strangely enough, I think I can do this only by making the poems more opaque.

I’d like to share a craft-related thing that happened while writing the first poem.

I had a clear idea of the direction I wanted to go, but at one point I went off on a lengthy tangent. Eventually I came back to the main idea I was playing with and I wrote an ending I liked. While rewriting the poem, I moved that ending to the section just before the tangent. This naturally divided the words into two separate poems.

Tangents happen. I recommend going with them. I recommend not deleting them. Move them down the page and figure out if there is a way to reintegrate these words and ideas with the rest of the poem. If not, give the tangent its own page. It’s a second poem now. You’ve lost no words and no time.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).

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