“One extends one’s limits by exceeding them.”

(M. Scott Peck)

Added to my list of things never to do is to recount, in public, a series of coincidences and dub them related as “meaningful coincidences.”


Because that is just asking for something bizarre to happen the minute you stop talking. And it did, and sort of left the whole group I was in going, ‘huh, now why did that happen?”

I keep running into writer’s these days that are all engaged in the same process, exploring a theme or idea in dual environments. Like, for me, I have the poem and then I have the non-fiction book that I am working on simultaneously that deals with the same themes. I met another woman today who is writing a novel that is drawn from the same research she is using to write a non-fiction book on modern culture; she is the third person I have met in three days doing this (not all culture but the same dual projects).

And I found today that I kept “stealing time” and making notes for the next section of the city. I am…without mercy, editing and rearranging the story and very concept of the characters. Its funny how there were some that originated out of people that I knew and I have completely ixnayed that out of the running. As the story has matured so have the characters. They are no longer reflections but becoming their very own beings. They have names now.

But what has made me most happy is I am beginning to see how to bring the characters together. I had, in the original synopsis, a very fast and dirty “and then this person showed up” but finding a way to make it fluid and believable and such that it would support what comes next has left me deeply puzzled. But the first and hardest part, i.e. when the first character joins War in the poem, explained itself last night.

I have been like a mad squirrel writing down lines and phrases and I am steadily chunking through my “have to dos” to get to the point where I can haul out the typewriter and begin to assemble the notes. I have three weeks to produce the next 2-3000 words for the group. And it feels so good.

I have been thinking of this poem for over 8 years now, picking at its structure for a year, and here I am, taking dictation from the characters just as fast as I can.

At buraco we listened to Pandora for the Brazilian music this time. A whole raft of musicians and singers that they had forgotten until then. And they told me all the stories and gossip that surrounded each one. The tragedies, the dramas, the love stories.

Every Sunday we drag ourselves there, tired and worn and threatening not to show up but we all do, and by the end we are giddy.

And here we go again, don’t forget

c.2010 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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