My Poetry Manuscript is a Bear...

Self Portrait with Manuscript

I have been a terrible blogger this June. 

I have a list of things I've been up to (mostly having to do with family, personal life, a few small trips), but I'll talk about the literary stuff and my biggest project, my fourth manuscript of poems.

For some reason, this manuscript has been a bear to work with. And not one of those friendly Winnie the Pooh types, all sweet and honey covered, this is the bear that wanders into a forest so large you can hardly see him until you do, then you realize he is chasing a camper or shredding a tent.

This bear is surrounded by poem and so many, he's not sure which are good anymore. He's eating sour blackberries and pulling thorns out of his wrist. 

This bear doesn't want to organized, it wants to run wild through rivers while grabbing a fish. 

This bear growls at the thought of having to "have a theme" or any sort of structure. 

This bear doesn't even want to be named. Just call me "Bear" he says. But you name him something clever, and for a week, he's happy, then he says, "I hate my name and so do you." 

One day I printed out all the parts that made the bear and put it in a folder. I had its ear over its left paw. He had eyes on its knees.  "This is not how you make a bear," said the bear.

I just can't see how to do this. The bear took a nap and I rearranged his den. He woke to find himself in a modern day apartment with organic honey on the table. There are two throw pillows with pinecones on them on his forest green sofa. 

The bear tells me "You have no idea what you are doing." And I agree.

That said, the bear looks more like a bear these days, though I still am not finished.

The bear says, "You will never be finished," and with this, I agree.

~ Kells


  1. Perhaps the bear is a good sign of a manuscript so wild and mysterious that it is self-organizing.


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