Balancing on one Poetic Toe

2012 has been a decidedly back and forth year so far. I seem to be getting as much good news as bad and find that there is an equally disquieting quality to both sides of the coin. Although everyone would agree that the bad news is the hardest to control and respond to, many times when good things happen they can also trigger a certain amount of anxiety.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am all for the good news, and hope that by year's end the good will outweigh the bad but in another sense good news can be just as hard to navigate; especially when dealing with life changes. I don't want to go so far as to say "be careful what you wish for" because that is the only way we get out of the rut and move forward. What I am really talking about is how to handle it when life changes and the thing you hope for finally comes into your life.

Any of you that know me will understand that moving on has never been an easy thing for me. I  often take a cautiously long period to settle in, trust new surroundings and adapt to new places. Conversely, I also am not able to read the sign that tell me when it is time to move onto something else. I am always beating that proverbial dead horse to a pulp before I actually realize it is time to pack the boxes and move on to the next place, thing, job or relationship.

I got to thinking about how this tendency effects my writing. Especially when writing in such a short form as poetry. I tend toward shorter, less narrative lines in poetry. The few poems I have with a long narrative and boxy stanzas always feel like something I want to chop into smaller chunks and tinier, less elongated pieces. I began to realize that this writing philosophy of get into it quickly, shift into the metaphor neatly and find the exit swiftly is a kind of rhythm I seem to have developed that helps to keep my poetry crisp, sharp and fast moving. I most like my poems that hit hard and to the point like this; almost as if I want to hit the reader over the head before he has a chance to see me coming.

So is this ability to look back and be able to work out the poems with swift agility a perspective of time, as in, a distance from the events because they are no longer in the present? And, if so, how do I put this into everyday life as a technique for moving into situations and opportunities when the time is right and getting out when that opportunity becomes stale and worn out like a cliched line in a dusty poem?

And while I am not so sure that poetic devises and techniques are something that can actually become guidelines for handling the very personal details and decisions in our lives, I figure, what the hell? Why not try it out?  Maybe memory has no indicators on a time line. Maybe our brain can ingest and categorize much faster than our emotions give it credit for and that once stored in the brain our lives become instantaneous memory able to be dealt with like balancing a shaky poetic toe on a falling petal in a smoky poem.