Slam

The daily sketch:

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Not pleased.  I couldn’t resist the reference photo; I’ve got a soft-spot for these little wall-eyed doggos.  But here’s the problem with these delightfully chonky puppers — the chonk adds a number of shadows and contours that I did not map out prior to beginning shading.  So I blocked out the initial shapes: the squarish head, the triangles of the ears, etc, and then drew the left jowl, and then promptly began sort of shading as I went.  The fact that the reference photo was a black dog complicated things further, because there was very little contrast except for fairly subtle shadow defining boundaries between flubber rolls and droopy cheeks and whatnot.  So, as I’m sure is obvious by the mess that is the lower right side of his face, I didn’t have line/contour guides for anything besides the figure outline, and I was trying to contour through shading as I went along, and that went, um, poorly, and I frequently lost track of what exactly I was sketching/shading, or how it corresponded to the reference.  So, I know not to do that; even if those initial lines get erased or shaded over to add depth and shadow in the end, I do actually need to sketch out outlines and boundary lines for any contour rather that try to simply wing it.  For what it’s worth, this was about seventeen minutes, most of that just filling in the flat, dark patches.

After talking yesterday about my consideration regarding returning to poetry and my difficulties feeling comfortable finding my own voice, I went and revisited some of my favorite slam poetry performances via Button Poetry.

A slam poet I have never been and will likely never be; I may not know all the ins and out of my own poetic voice, but I know that slam has a dynamic cadence uniquely suited to performance, and my poems are much quieter, and work the best simply on paper.  I love listening to slam poetry because a good slam performance is just that — like a slam in the chest, a punch to the gut.  I have never listened to any of the poems below without bursting into tears.

I don’t write like this.  That’s ok.  But I really want to figure out, very specifically, how I do write.  I want to become comfortable enough with writing sans automatic and intense self-criticism that I have the room to actually explore my own style and see what works without being ashamed of how rough and unpolished my writing, fresh on the page, is.

Sigh, yeah.  So it looks like the daily poem thing is going to happen.  I don’t know if I’ll post them all yet, but I’m going to make a point to write them, whether or not they see an audience.

I wish, I wish, I wish I had this level of confidence:

(CW: Mental illness, disordered eating)