overflowingbowlLOUD, Bold, Imposing………that’s me in public and I don’t know why.
I could guess and say “I was an only child, I needed attention, I was lonely”.
Probably not the reasons…I have had a husband, have children, have grandchildren, have friends and yet I constantly talk when I shouldn’t. I don’t always let others finish, and the older I get and the deafer I get, the LOUDER I get.

(Why do I write?)
I could say because I didn’t have the time, money, training and (very likely) the talent to become a great musician. Music is my first love and words are my second … now it’s easy to see why it’s poetry for me: that’s where they join together. When I am quiet (that is when I am alone) I fill up with words and phrases and sometimes with letters. The alphabet still thrills me. I like making letters. Good at penmanship, I just wanted to FONT those letters.  If I don’t talk for awhile, I become a cistern with words dripping in. WORDS Words words words words words words..the filling and the spilling of the words.

(what threatens)
Time and laziness and self-doubt threaten me. I am in awe of so many poets I read. I fall in love with a poem, say Brian or Claudia or Hedgewitch or any one of you writes, and I don’t want to do anything but re-read it and think about it. I roll around on the words and then I think I don’t know how to do that, I never thought of that, I could never have come up with that and I STOP!  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to read more or write more, but I want to think more, and try to think why I can’t write as creatively, not that way but my way, Then I get lazy, time slips away and life interrupts. I want to change, I re-read old poems of my own and sometimes want to destroy them and other times think,”not so bad”. I pledge I will stop this (if I can).

(why will I continue)
Again the cistern fills. Again the words at the brim. Because I have found people who will actually read them. Because my banker told me one day that she reads every poem I link to facebook and is happy she knows someone who writes; that my words touch her.
I want to write for the same reasons Margaret Atwood listed but most of all it’s because if I don’t, my head might blow off and all those words would flood my house — all unconnected and making no sense to anyone. I write to try to make sense of it, to arrange and order the words, to create something of joy, of love, of beauty.

Oooops I exceeded the limit!

Gay Cannon 3.6.2014

48 thoughts on “TO THE BRIM

  1. oh i love this gay… such a beautiful glimpse into your soul…such honesty… writing to make sense of things..i can relate to this and your poems are always so musical – i often find the musician of you in them.. i’m more shy in public and usually listen more than i talk myself…and i hate going through old poems to edit them…that’s one of the reasons i didn’t do my planned book.. the world of poetry is so magical..isn’t it… and glad to have met you on the journey dear gay

  2. I am so glad I met you. I want to come and visit your country and see you again. Praying that I will have the ability to do that sometime – I keep saying next fall. We shall see for now, I’ll just say hopefully sometime before I get too old to travel.

  3. Gay, I usually get the gist of the prompts early from Bjorn’s posts. But apparently that is not enough information. Is there anyway the prompt could be made available with all its nuances asked for earlier than post time? >KB

  4. First… the love of music and words secondly.. yes that’s me .. I know… I could play I would do.. or even sing… Hmm I think I relate a lot to your manifesto.. this is exactly HOW I would write … and I loved Claudia’s comment… great manifesto.. and breaking the word limit was easy to do

  5. you make music…jut in a different way you know…there is a huge connection between pooetry and music…and i think that is plays out in how we right to understand music basically….and you do know how to do that…you have taught me so much about poetry….so cool on your banker…my dad’s boss reads me…its crazy…ha

  6. OMG, Gay, this piece, this manifesto is magnificent in its scope, in its truth, & in its personal message, as your past, your muses parade by. After reading both your comment(s) on my two poems this week, and then this incredibly intimate, insightful, honest appraisal of your passion, your need to share as /the cistern fills again/, I am moved to tears, great scalding tears of joy, of thankfulness, for you, for knowing you & co-ha biting with you at dVerse, at our sites, and over all the imaginary landscapes we seem to explore poetically.

  7. Beautiful Gay! I write and don’t write for many of the same reasons you do. I really like your metaphor of the words, like water, collecting and spilling over. What a wonderful prompt and response.

  8. Interesting to hear that perhaps you write poetry because it combines your love of music with your love of words! I can see / understand that. I empathize with the self doubt. I think this is the demon that haunts us all at times! But somehow despite it all, we do / as do you create something “of joy, of love, of beauty.”

    • I think a lot of us in every write. Some of my work has matured over time, some of my viewpoints have changed but I’ve always felt a little to a lot insecure about what I write. I’m so intimidated by poems better, deeper, richer than mine…it is a wonder I carry on, but I think I must as surely as you must! Thank you (I wish my name were Gabriella, but my mother wasn’t the only one to fall in love with the name “gay” clearly).

  9. Oh thank you Mary. That means so much coming from you. I try, and sometimes I drop the ball and sometimes I keep three in the air at once. I think we have to just keep writing, don’t you?

  10. I love this!! Yes, keep writing, because if your head explodes, your kids and grandkids will have to sweep up all those words, and that just wouldn’t be any fun at all!

  11. LOVE! I’m going back to the drawing board to answer each question in turn with a willingness to reveal more of me. Reading this, I know why I enjoy your work so much and know that we share the very same obstacles. Oh,my heart is flowing, beating wildly. I’m taking a break right now to digest all I have read so far.

  12. Thanks, Gay, for sharing a wonderful manifesto…the image of a cistern overflowing and writing to make sense of it all – yes!! (i can relate to the vulnerability too)

  13. Time and laziness and self-doubt threaten me.
    I am in awe of so many poets I read.

    A common feel among poets! Time constraints and seeing effortless ones of others. Those successful ones who had gone through the works could have felt the same when they had started out. That assumption helps to sustain the budding poets to soldier on. Nicely Gay!


  14. I seems that you are a dam about to burst…leave the flood gates open I say…

    A banker? Now that does surprise me. Bankers down here don’t read poetry….just crash tackle you at the door and rip the money out of your wallet…WILD THINGS:)

    Thanks for the prompt.

  15. I love the way you have framed your manifesto, i love that you give us insight into you as a person/poet, and I am absolutely on board with the closing line. Thanks for this great prompt…the perfect way to follow up on our evolution as poets.

  16. I appreciate your honesty, Gay. Someone said, we don’t have to compare, and what expressed by someone – maybe not your missing piece for now…~ As musician I can understand your amusement with letters and sounds…me too…especially as second language….~ Thanks for the inspiration and uplifting me at the beginning! xx

  17. Brilliant…oh, and the ending made me smile (you start begin with fact that you talk to much and then seem surprised (for lack of a better word) that you wrote to much…both rely on words and you have them in abundance. I can relate to what threatens….yet still you write on and I, for one, am glad you do (even though you are in my list along with Brian, Claudia & Hedgewitch).

  18. to the brim..this was a great write I think you captured everything and more. I think music is indeed a catalyst to writing. I always enjoy reading your words and your songs..

  19. Gay, so that was your manifesto. I wasn’t reading anyone’s until I completed mine or decide not to write. It’s good to know you, read about your inner crisis – how you feel about others writing. Such honest and bold statement. Nice.

  20. Hey Gay–your honesty here is so moving–you’ve captured why (I am pretty sure) many of us write. We just want to say. More. Something. (Or maybe One Thing More!) And we love to do it with letters; and of course music. This is hard to express to people that do not have the ear for it.

    Anyway, thanks much, and thanks for your very kind (if not exactly true!) comments. You would so laugh if you knew the details of my crazy nomadic (and not always so happy) life, but you are very kind. k.

  21. Wait, there was a word limit?!?

    Gay, I often stop writing for the exact same reasons that you do. I’m glad that you manage to push through your own self-doubt, and I’m glad you shared your manifesto. Knowing that I have a kindred spirit like you encourages me to continue writing. And so I say may your cup always overflow with words.

  22. Hi Gay, just wandering over here, the poem-post here is wildly appropriate both for the challenge and for the Texas-sized heart of yours. I’m a failed musician, too, as you know, that big night music was just too big for my thirst, but maybe it was part of the long digestion of sound down to sensible words. As Blake said, exuberance truly IS beauty, and filling up in order to spill over is the best order of the day. I’ll add my amen to that. And Williams was right, men do die for lack of what gets written here … so keep writing. Best, B.

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