Journey into Poetry: Duane Scott

I don’t recall how it happened; how I got bamboozled (love that word) into writing poetry.

This much I know: L.L. Barkat is to blame. (Handcuff her, folks. Lead her away.)

She recommended I start by reading Billy Collins so I did and loved it. I loved how his words only made sense if you checked your reasoning at the door and were able to bend wayyyyy over, past that left brain of logic a person possesses. Here, I’ve discovered, leaning way to the left, is where the words make sense. Or no sense at all, but that’s part of the beauty of poetry.

The first time I leaned over, I leaned myself over until I became worried I was going crazy but then I thought if I had a single worry in my head, I must not be leaning far enough so I leaned some more until I was for certain I had, indeed, gone crazy.

And here’s where the magic happened, where I discovered “it”.

A world of weirdos like me, bed-hair sticking left, then right, all happy like it was doing “the wave”. A world where it is entirely possible a mouse could be an arsonist. Or a marshmallow could invade Texas riding a hot dog skewer. Or instead of a monkey peeling a banana, why shouldn’t a monkey be feeling a bunny?

This world is, in short, awesome. One of endless possibilities. “Where all your wildest dreams come true,” booms loud and I look down and I swear my dog was sleeping but now he’s holding a microphone seductively to his lips. His royal furriness reminds me I need to dust my desk at work, duster sliding left and right across its cherry surface, microphone screeching as the dog bellows through it because he’s getting car sick. Or duster sick.

So to this world, I go. At night, mostly, like now at three in the morning. I slip away, dipping myself low in it’s flowing depths of prose and beauty. I read words and discover worlds unknown, traveling from the thalamus to the hippocampus of another writer’s mind. Or if I’m feeling particularly frisky, I lie naked in my pajamas and write words like “bamboozled” in a little notebook by my bed.

And I always, always smile.

* * *

If this post made sense to you, congratulations, you’ve arrived at this world before. If it didn’t, I suggest you read a few poem books and start leaning a little to the left.

Photo by KalexAnderson, Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post by Duane Scott.


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  1. L. L. Barkat says

    You are such a poet, Duane. I’m just so glad you figured it out :)

    (This post totally made me laugh. You are a comedian too! :)

  2. says

    L.L. Barkat is culpable for many of us, Duane. I suppose if one must be blamed for something, she could do a lot worse. :)

    Fun post.

    Seems fertile ground for one Maureen Doallas to till…

  3. says

    Poetry-vision goggles might be mankind’s finest example of technology. I love watching those fiery flashes of creative brilliance, too. And you’re right: L.L. has tossed a lot of grenades through a lot of windows. :)

  4. says

    So you are over here too? Duane, you just keep appearing in my inbox from all my favorite places. :) Such a coincidence!
    I really liked this post because it made me uncomfortable. I cannot seem to open my box to the marshmallow riding the hot dog skewer. That bothers me. As if I am missing a creative gene that I desperately would like to possess.
    I enjoy this space because I feel like a poet could be locked inside of me. And I am not at all sure how to let her out. Does that make sense?
    So I thank you. For making me think. :)

  5. says

    Welcome to the dark side which is actually the light side…

    becasue we look from the inside out and the outside in and welcome all who would come…

  6. says

    I like this post and also the picture that accompanies it. Both made me laugh. They go together. Lego figures with umbrellas are the obviously the only choice to go with a post about monkeys, bunnies, words like “bamboozled”, and this journey into poetry. :) Love it.

    And, L.L.– she is to blame for a lot of stuff. I put my poetry online because of her, even started a poetry blog, because of some contest last year. :)

  7. says

    Oh, how I love this! And I absolutely love Billy Collins. Another poet of that stripe is Jack Ridl – a friend of Billy’s and another writer who can turn a phrase in ways that make even the punctuation sing. “Losing Season” is one of Jack’s most recent.

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