When interviewed about the experience of writing Sula, Toni Morrison explained that the book sprung out of several images, memories, and moments that came together to form a constellation of meaning. Well, today I’ve entered into the next phase of writing this manuscript: I’ve begun to order the poems into a rough sequence. Doing so is thrilling, challenging, and perplexing. (My friend Tara Betts has informed me that someone has actually published a book on how to sequence poems. I will be buying that one as soon as she emails me the title.)
The joy in this part of the process is seeing my own constellation of images, voices, and themes come into focus. A few months ago, I thought my manuscript was going to be all about fire & heat. Now, it’s actually dominated by water, twilight, and earth-toned colors. The transformation has been organic and unpredictable. At 40 pages and counting, there are still many poems to be written and A LOT of revisions that need to be made, but I’ve turned the first of many startling corners.