august 29/RUN

3.05 miles
43rd ave, north/lake st, east/46th ave, south/32nd st, east/edmund, south/river road, north/hill
61 degrees

What a beautiful morning! Sunny and cool. Quiet, calm. As I started the run, I could hear the gentle hum of traffic from a far off freeway. Thought about my latest writing project on blind spots; I’m working on a poem about my feelings of wonder over discovering a way to see my blind spot. As I ran, I asked myself, should I try to convey a tone of wonder by asking lots of questions? (Probably not.)

Things I Remember

  • the strong smell of cologne as I ran on Edmund
  • two women running below in the tunnel of trees talking loudly
  • a couple of crows calling out to each other
  • being blinded by the sun as I ran east
  • the tree that usually glows a glorious yellow in late september has already changed colors; today it looks a mix of dull orange/red/brown

on metaphor and mood

Right now I’m in the phase of my writing project where I have ideas that I’m really excited about but that don’t quite work yet. I’m immersed in the project, thinking about it most of the time, but I can’t figure out my way forward. So far, I have decided I’d like to do a series of poems about my mood related to my growing blind spot that somehow incorporate my actual blind spot (the one that I was able to trace by staring at a blank sheet of paper, taped to a wall at eye level, and tracing the dark ring that I saw). Because my spot is not yet a spot but a thickening ring, I’m calling this series, Mood Rings. Now I’m wondering how to write about my moods–a literal description? metaphor? something else? A few days I encountered a writing prompt for mood ring poems:

(from Laura Deutsch Writing the Senses via Market Street Writers)

Pick an emotion—joy, anger, frustration, sadness, etc.—and complete your own poem.

When I feel [name emotion] __________________

It is the color _____________________ – like _____________________

I hear ___________________ – like _____________________________

I taste _______________ – like _________________________________

I smell _____________ – like __________________________________

I see ____________________ – like _____________________________

I feel ___________________ – like ______________________________

I want to ___________________ and ___________________________

But ___________________________.

I’m not sure I like this prompt or want to try it–maybe I will?–but it got me thinking about metaphor and how I might try to express my mood of wonder. Will metaphor enable me to get closer to expressing what I actually feel or further away from the IS/THIS of it? In a blog post for poetry foundation, Sabrina Orah Mark argues that metaphor, which means transport in Greek, reduces distance, bringing us closer to the feeling of what is being expressed. But, this transport only happens when the metaphor is encased within a world that supports it and its meaning. Metaphors fail when they don’t have a world, or that world no longer exists (does this fit with the failure of “doing something at a glacial pace” to work anymore now that glaciers are melting faster?). Does this fit with my own struggles to think about metaphor in my poem about wonder? I’m not sure, but I really liked this post and wanted to mention it here, especially this part:

But what if we can no longer tell if the world we are writing from is inside out or outside in? Up above or down below? The future or the past? What if the rules, like clouds, are becoming a rabbit, no an ambulance, no a dragon, no an unraveling spool of thread. What happens to our imagination when the unimaginable has imagined us up first? Is there an emergency hotline for metaphors?

Regardless of how much sense this discussion is making, it is helping me to come up with some more ideas. Now I’m thinking about ring as metaphor:


  • ring of fire, burning a hole through my retina
  • tree rings, expanding, thickening like my blind spot as time passes and my vision deteriorates
  • boxing rings, brass rings, a ring of truth?