Map Making

Last time I spread poems out for a birds eye view, I started translating the words/language into images/glyphs. It’s all there: keys, snakes, stars, boats, dunes, daughters, fire– the usual cacophony.

If I use these glyphs to create a map, and the poems are placed/arranged according to its cartography, where would it lead? Could it possibly navigate inner and outer worlds, not to mention multiple dimensions and times, simultaneously? If anything can do this, don’t you think it would be poetry?

Wish me luck as I draft my way through this wilderness.

As far as companions along the way, listening to Louise’ Erdrich’s Advice to Myself has been my guiding star each morning at the start of a writing day.

And Jamie Figueroa’s essay on nurturing your writing ecosystem reminds me to be mindful of the habitat I create around myself:

” My life as a writer is its own ecosystem. When the elements of the ecosystem are healthy and thriving, creation is occurring….When this ecosystem is pulsing with aliveness, the flowering and fruiting of creativity happens—it simply cannot not happen—and stories of all kinds seem to fall, heavy and ripe, into my hand.”

How do you nurture your writing/living/working ecosystem? What are you mapping? What fruit is falling into your hands? What tracks are you following? Where do they lead?

3 Replies to “Map Making”

  1. Oh thank you for those gorgeous links! I *loved* the Jamie Figueroa piece. Unfortunately, I think “clean house” is part of my writing ecosystem so I will have to really work on taking Louise Erdrich’s advice. 🙂

    So excited to see your poetry laid out there. Good luck, my friend!


    1. True! But what about “Accept new forms of life
      and talk to the dead
      who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
      patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
      Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
      except what destroys
      the insulation between yourself and your experience
      or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
      this ruse you call necessity.”

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