What’s Next for “Word Salad”?

For the past few days, I carried a book of poetry with me wherever I went. On Wednesday, it arrived in the mail, and I carried it, reading it whenever I had time, catching glimpses of words that bloomed out of themselves. Now it is already battered, a hundred years old, dripping with sage colors. I’ve been reading it in parks, on street corners, in cafeterias, on the loo– in hopes I can grasp life as she does. I clutch to inspirations’ coattails, praying I can breathe when it hits me.

What is so strange about poetry is that it seems to capture in mystery what we cannot express clearly. If it could be explained more clearly, it would be, after all, prose. And I’ve been thinking about my theory that everything is made not of molecules, but stories. Like instead of a soul, each of us have a red-pen-marked manuscript hidden deep inside our chests. Or maybe the entire story is just one paper, folded up a million times, planted deep inside the brain.

I have also been thinking a lot about this blog and my work, my fiction and poetry. I wonder how it may evolve, how I might make it better. With the flood of schoolwork I’ve encountered, I have not blogged since last Sunday. For the past four weeks, posting has been erratic, each short and strange. Like me obsessing over strings or telling stories. But I’ve decided that might be what I want to do. After all, I tell fictional stories. Why shouldn’t I use my blog as a format to spread my work, tell more stories? Not so much the fiction I’m working on as narratives of life. Things we see every day, these can become stories.

In my last post, 7 Reasons to Do Something for the First Time, I told 7 short stories about times when I did something for the first time.  Future posts may appear very similar to that as opposed to the articles I sometimes write on the state of the book industry, the varied opinions toward drugs, or rants on education. Instead, blogs may be structured in a much stranger way than they ever have before, half-poem, half-prose, exactly how I usually write.

So I’ve been carrying this poetry book with me everywhere I go, trying to be inspired. For what, I’m not sure. Should I bleed out my poems onto paper, trying to say something significant? I’m beginning to realize that significant things happen to me every day. I see people on the street, and their stories erupt from their heads like fireworks. Why look so hard for the significance of something when we can simply tell stories? Like parables, they may teach us something we cannot outright say.

Here’s to inspiration, to hoping stories will find me. And when I hear them, when I experience them, here will be where I might relate them.

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in books, musings, personal, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It’s amazing how much bloggers love to write about actual blogging. Isn’t that interesting?

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