Lately, I've been reading poems by Katrina Roberts. Although her tone or her voice or her approach shift and evolve between her books, she manages to be cerebral and tactile at the same time--and a little surreal, with a lot of depth. It's wonderful.
Because I am me, I'm doubting my own work and thinking my poems are too simple, too plain. At the same time, I'm reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. And she is telling me not to doubt, and I am telling myself that my voice is my voice. (Doubts, like gnats or mosquitoes.)
But isn't it fun to experiment with other people's voices? Like trying on the scarlet dress with the slit all the way up the thigh and matching stiletto heels? Or spending the weekend in different town and imagining that you really live there?
It's good to stretch, see how else my words can sound, what other words I can find, how I can evolve. It's also a little bit scary (although it isn't like I need to show anyone my attempts).
How do you stretch? And how do you swat those doubts away?
And what is the cat eating now?