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dverselogoMost mornings, usually when I take the dog out at the ungodly hour of 5:30 AM, some kernel of a wisp of an image will fly in my ear and wake me better than any old mosquito could.

I’m Joe Hesch, your host for tonight’s dVerse Open Link Night, and this is how most of my poems begin life, as a no-see-um jot of inspiration. They gestate on the ride into Albany, and are delivered in the 15 minutes it takes for my computer to boot up and for me to settle into work at 7:30.

Barely any poems get written at home anymore. That’s where the fiction farm is. Poetry just won’t grow in that soil. Must be too acidy.

Most folks who know me have heard me spout about how I find inspiration as poet from the life and work of American poet William Stafford. On my fiction side, you’ll find most of the usual suspects on the inspiration list. But right around the top is the short story writer and novelist Ron Carlson.

Carlson teaches students at the University of California, Irvine, and teaches me in his stories, novels, and (twice a year, without fail) in his fabulous book, “Ron Carlson Writes a Story.” He has said, “The writer is the one who stays in the room,” which is so true and so cool. It gets harder to do that in these days of run-run-run, social media time-sucks, and the noise (both literal and figurative) that surrounds modern life.

I envy writers who can do it, though. I know there isn’t a heck of a lot of time for me to stay in the room during the week. I have that fifteen or so minutes of writing time in which I furiously turn loose my poetic wolf on a yellow legal pad. I don’t have time to edit. I just scribble furiously, type and post on the blog. Maybe you can tell I work kind of fast and tend not to look back.

But you know what? I think I’m always writing, just not on paper or a keyboard. I don’t need a room when I have a place to walk, when there are people shuffling by deep into their own compositions, animals and clouds crossing my up-and-down vision and all-around hearing, and memories of so many things that have happened in my life, could have happened, should have, or might-maybe-ought to happen yet.

Tonight you get to share with us what you have accomplished by “staying in the room,” be it a bedroom, darkened office, front seat of a car while dodging commuters, or anywhere you connect your heart, mind and soul with a notebook in your hand or head.

You’re doing a heck of a job, too.

Here’s how you can share:

  • Link your OLN poem – one per blog, please – by clicking on the Mr. Linky button just below and cutting and pasting in your link.
  • Don’t forget to let your poem’s readers know where you’re linking up and encourage them to participate by including a link to dVerse in your blog post.
  • Visit as many other poems as you like, commenting as you see fit. This is where you get to express yourself about this poet’s work.
  • Spread the word. Feel free to tweet and share on the social media of your choice.

By the way, if I look like I’m staring right through you tonight while I’m pushing over your libation, don’t be too upset or worried. You know me. I’m just writing.