Tag Archives: Editing


This is not the way
I wanted to spend the day,
mostly out of sorts
unable to order my thoughts
into any cohesive manner.

My head’s been spinning
and it seems focusing is lost to me.
Can’t figure out if it’s my head aching
or that I just don’t want
to do what I ought to be doing.

Editing is at the top of my list
but I want to keep writing
and not correcting the words
that came to me only weeks ago.

I’ve reviewed tips and books
on poetry tweaking, and such
should be committed to memory
and applied to the task at hand.
It’s the deadlines that are killing me
I think because I’m ready
to be free of set schedules for a time.

Okay. I just had to
write that out of my system,
relax to get rid of my headache, and remember
how much I like editing.
Time now to do what I know I can.

©2009 Shari Lynne Smothers

Watching TV and Writing

Watching television
not the best idea just now.
Luckily I often find it looking at me
as I work on editing
which captures most of my attention.

One of my favorite shows is airing.
But is this the right word
to translate my thoughts
to comprehensible language?
Vincent D’Onofrio’s character is making
insightful assessments from the start.
I’m languishing for ideas on
where best to cut each line for
emphasis and to maintain cohesion.

The suspect is nervous;
surely he can’t be caught
this early into the show.
Now, what to punctuate with
for maximum clarity?

Cut to the alley scene;
put this word on the next line.
He’s caught and he knows it not
thanks to the genius trap
set by Vincent and Kathryn
in perfect conjunction
with the hubris of the villain.

Thankfully a commercial!
I can put the TV on mute.
Oh, now that’s what the poem
is supposed to sound like!
D’Onofrio and Erbe
vanquish the bad guy and save the day.
I think it sings now
so I’ll let it play.

©2009 Shari Lynne Smothers

Prompt 071 from Poetic Asides: Write a juxtaposition poem.

This was a very interesting prompt. Like any prompt, there are many ways to interpret the path to completion. I hope mine is in keeping with the spirit of the prompt’s intention, but I can’t be sure.

Every Time I say Good Night

Each time I think I’ve got it,
possible changes jump out to tease me.
I have great hopes for my rhetoric so I
leave it alone to return fresh-eyed.

Mistakes I fix and then
choose different language,
to more precisely deliver
my message and the feelings behind it.

It’s important when I write a thing
to have it say what I meant it to.
So, in editing minutes turn quickly into hours
forty different best words replaced.

Syntax and punctuation
are re-done to shape for you
exactly what you should see and hear
when you read it.

Now for the fifth time or fiftieth
I’m shutting things down
only to find
there’s one more change I should make.

People say perfect is a myth
perfectionism is over-rated.
That may well be and doesn’t matter
since it’s not my goal.

If I can take the time
I just want to be reasonably sure
when you read mine
you’ll see through to me.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers