Friday, March 24, 2006

Song Lyrics, Self-Medicating, and Status of My Poetry Manuscript

I wonder if any of you do this. I intentionally don’t read the song lyrics that come with CDs. I’ve found in the past that I will come to really like a song and think the words say one thing when in reality they say something else. Almost always I prefer by version of the song lyrics by far. My theory on why this is the case is that I’m listening to somewhat ambiguous stimuli. Where I can’t fully hear what the exact words really are, I fill in the gaps myself. Hence, I am bringing myself to the song and inserting my preferences and what I find interesting into the song.

Overall, I’d say my default setting is to be a melancholic person. I’ve often wondered if I like coffee so much and prefer heavy metal music over other types of music I enjoy as a way to pump myself up to a more normal level of functioning. I’ve never quite gotten why so many people like drinking alcoholic beverages. I like the occasional imported beer now and then or a glass of wine, but I really don’t fully understand the draw to alcoholic beverages. I guess people who have different brain chemistry than I do enjoy the calming effect of alcohol on them. It slows things down and relaxes them (it generally just makes me sleepy). It also lessens inhibitions, makes socializing easier, and brings out more of who you really are under the surface. A good buzz can also be pleasurable versus overindulgence that leads to vomiting, the spins, and an awful hangover. I think some people also seek the oblivion that can be found in alcohol. Okay. But I assert that for me coffee is superior to alcohol. I want the energy and focus to do more in life and do it better, stronger, faster (like the Bionic Man). I want to be more fully present in life and achieve more rather than relax or seek a temporary oblivion. I’d even say for me that I usually prefer to drink water with lemon over an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol can be extremely addictive, cause blackouts, can damage your liver, and lower your concerns about practicing safer sex. Coffee is mildly addictive, can cause headaches from withdrawal, can cause stomach problems, can make your heart race and some believe cause heart problems. So, moderation in all things is best. I suppose we all have our drug of choice. For me, it’s coffee.

Last night after revising a poem I looked through all of my revised poems that come up to a level of quality that I feel comfortable including in a book. Based on a 12 point font size in Times New Roman and assuming that a page of poetry in most poetry collections comes out to about 35 lines per page, I estimate that I have13 finished poems coming in at 32 pages. Three of the 13 poems are long poems between 4 and 6 pages. Hence, I believe that I have half of a book-length manuscript ready at this point. I’d like to have a full manuscript ready by the end of September.

I’m flying to a work conference in Dallas on Monday, so I don’t expect to be blogging again until March 30th.


Post a Comment

<< Home