Here are the first pieces Chase Public wrote for the CincyInk project. It combined phrases and ideas from Short Order poems we wrote at the 2013 MidPoint Music Festival, other Short Order Poetry events, and new words from the poets.
When we sat down to write this first section, we had Wallace Stevens's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird in mind. Stevens finds so many ways to address and imagine real and symbolic blackbirds. Some of our early conversations attempted to talk about the Queen City and to it as a Queen.
Reading SOP poems and talking about love letters and Cincinnati came first. Then we'd go off individually and write for a while. When we came back together, we'd paste whatever parts we wanted to share into an online document we could all edit at the same time. This is the first section we created.
Reading this after not seeing it for a year, I'm struck by how similar this draft is to the final poem. Many of these stanzas found a place in the final poem, either in these same words or in spirit.
Initially, we thought this draft might become one section of the completed poem. Other poet friends pointed out how disjointed the stanzas were. More sections written in this same way would be difficult to think of as a coherent statement about the city. It would be tiring to read, as well.
We'd written other "Queen" stanza fragments that weren't part of the section-draft. Here they are.
Here's the last set.