The First Post As Word Zoo Keeper
What a zesty stew of emotions stirred by the 03/12/12 Word Press Daily Prompt to rewrite one’s first post. I hack through overgrowth of brain cells which choke accurate recall. Direct view is impossible because Word Zoo 001 was at Windows Live Spaces, a service now defunct. At December 2012, I use a different computer and must fire up the old wheezer. I hunt for first file and feel anxious, curious, hesitant and a heart-thumping excitement.
I discover a hard copy printout of the first cyber-splashdown at 12/11/08. The post is a poem, titled gulping sunlight (1989). The title of the post is Trying Out Space. There are no preliminaries, comments, trackbacks or pingbacks.
I am less perplexed in 2012 to condense the raison d’être for the blog.
As a project for a milestone birthday I decided to reread all journals. I made a conservative budget of two months. The project slid into a year. I do not mean 24/7 nonstop reading. I did stop to shower, snack, snooze and shave my armpits. At first I was keenly interested before I grew bored with a repetitive diet of angst, upheavals, failures, successes. I regret I was not a witty gossip or historian. I was stunned the record is mostly silent about chronic health disruptions and acute episodes of illness.
Yet in the compost of entries, I unexpectedly found poems. Not several. I lost count after 100. I began to keyboard a file, with brief commentary. Then I was at a loss as to what to do with the artefacts. I sent 125 to an editorial service that checked grammar and spelling. S/he also made comments about (non-)sense, imagery and possible points of confusion. What to do with the backlog? I thought it unlikely an agent from Random House would drop by with prepaid travel itinerary to circumnavigate the globe as Poetess, wearing fashionable head-gear festooned with wrinkle-hiding veils. Yet, in more than one daydream I was a mumu wearing poet, chomping on a cigar while chewing through a poem.
Instead I made visits to the library, reading contemporary poetry publications, renewing the joy of poetry with attempt to match my poems with their style and content. The task was failure to match, for example, a 1968 poem about the moonwalk with suitable publisher. I studied online self-publication, debating the utility of a limited edition. By 2008, I had earned a realistic understanding of health limitations and knew I had not the stamina to survive a poetry slam or run an at-home mailing service.
Did I even want another career? No; not as poet, plumber or pawn shop owner. I decided a blog would allow the poems to see the light of day. The project started with the first line: ‘gulping sunlight’ – with 165 words to follow. I hoped for one reader.
In hindsight would I change the first post? No. I set out to share poetry. I did. In 2008, I was unfamiliar with what would become the experience of blogging, finding connection with others and breaking through the at-home isolation of illness. The sharing of poetry became less important. Today’s Daily Prompt produces more than a few chortles because I realise the old poems are forgotten as I abandoned daily posts from the poetry vault and began to write new poems, prayers and whatnots.
© S. Calliou. 3 December, 2012
From Blue Dog Studio