Arsenal of Words

The Writing of Arthur Klepchukov

Category: Writing Poetry

Why You Should Be Recording Your Poetry

I hate voice recording. It’s time-consuming, error-prone, frustrating, requires a range of skills, and is easily ruined by fickle technology. That sounds just like voice recording’s  ugly cousin – video editing. But as much as I hate it, I’ve found voice recording to be an increasingly valuable and necessary part of my process of writing poetry.

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Haikubes

Haikubes are a small collection of blocks you can use to write haiku. You can roll two inspiration dice and write on that theme. My friend Jay Marie and I recently played around with these. Here’s what I came up with when I rolled [ die 1 ] and [ die 2 ]:

[ a vision for ] [ our world ]

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blinks of awe themes: romantic antics

Until recently, I believed being in love was my purpose in life. That’s why the last chapter of blinks of awe, “a lonely heart,” is last. It’s one of the ways I’ve been consciously de-emphasizing this once omnipotent force. But being last is not just an act of defiant neglect. It’s also the writer’s last chance to drive his or her point home, to leave a mark, to get one step closer to immortality.

Love is a powerful way to find purpose in your life. Even the mildly reciprocal can instantly convince you that everything is worth it. Those gentle places of your heart are intoxicating to visit. The raw feelings are addictive and more memorable than scars. What else do you need to justify your very breath if not the way she looks at you and how that makes you feel?

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blinks of awe themes: losing youth

It’s hard to write about the poems in the third chapter of blinks of awe, th’ Lost & Young, without getting lost in thought about the people who inspired them. One endured one of the ghastliest things anyone could experience and went on to rebuild and build. Another isn’t here anymore. Another is still growing up so it’s too early to judge the effects of her youth.

Being young is fascinating because of the moments when we start to lose it. The adult world doesn’t wait until you’re old enough or strong enough, mentally or physically, before it pulls you in. No kids make it out of adolescence whole. They walk with young scars, whether badges of survival or self-inflicted. No one asks you to grow up. Time rolls on, and the world puts you in that difficult position.

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blinks of awe themes: the in-between

It’s fitting that “tiny anomalies” is the shortest chapter in blinks of awe because it refers to largely forgotten parts of life. When picking poems for blinks of awe, I tried to group them together thematically and emotionally. Most poems carried many feelings and suggested very clear categories but soon something else snuck up on me. I first came across it when I realized Chaos & Cappuccinos simply didn’t fit in any of the other chapters. I scribbled “off-beat” in the margin until I found a better name: the in-between.

The majority of life happens between moments we remember. Everything else, every coffee sip, every brisk walk, all the moments between places and phone calls and everywhere you’re going, ends up almost entirely forgotten. My mind gently glosses over all the hours I spend here until nostalgia rushes in to remind me that quite a bit of time has passed. All of those times you lived through but hardly remember? That’s the in-between.

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blinks of awe themes: nostalgia

“preDawn”, the first chapter of blinks of awe, touches on traveling, inspiration, the deep corners of the night, and nostalgia. Though the latter is only directly referenced in two of the seven poems, it drives the other topics and ideas in its own unique way.

Nostalgia has been a pet topic of mine for years. I moved over a dozen times before finishing college. That taught me how to connect and disconnect but not how to forget. My first novel is very much a nostalgia story. But before I was ready to write about it at book length, I explored those constant fields of change through poetry.

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What exactly is a poetry experience?

Roughly a week ago I submitted my first collection of poetry to Apple’s iBookstore. As I eagerly check the submission site for the book’s status several times a day, I reflect on what brought me here. How does someone who never imagined releasing anything other than a traditionally published novel end up self-publishing an interactive collection of poetry, exclusively for the iPad? Why poetry? Why just the iPad? What exactly is this poetry experience I’ve been pushing since I started the project?

I have a confession to make. I hardly read any poetry. I’m not going to come up with a convincing excuse. I’m just going to shake things up and make more people read more poetry, period. How? The iPad. Yes, the same iPad full of endless videos, high definition games, elegant news readers, and a thousand other distractions. Of all the apps that raced through your mind when I mentioned the iPad, I doubt iBooks was one of them. But I’ll change that too.

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