Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Facebook group inspires quirky poem

Poems are ridiculous, insecure creatures. They show up at all hours with no warning, demanding immediate attention like a troubled friend who believes you exist for him or her on demand. I joined the "Poetry" group on Facebook recently, and noticed a contest. The challenge: write a poem beginning with the word face and ending with the word book. The impossible—for me—challenge: confine the poem to 8 lines. The reward: cash prizes.

So in the middle of what I can only say is an absolutely insane week of freelancing—multiple deadlines, Monday a holiday, end of the month means time to send invoices out, not to mention duties related to home and hearth—a single line of poetry came to me. Last night at 12:30 a.m. So I jotted those lines down and after finishing an article due Friday, I finally went to bed.

This morning, the poem showed up in its entirety, knocking in my brain and demanding admittance. I wrote and revised it twice. That is very unusual for me, because I usually revise with almost neurotic intensity. The poem “Facebook, Wall to Wall” will be part of my next collection. It's too long for the Facebook competition.

Had I not followed my older daughter’s advice and joined Facebook, I’d never have met this poem. Sometimes, the writing of poetry is a near-ridiculous process.

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