Discover more from THE LABYRINTH with KP Kaszubowski
the daily poem & a morning routine that probably was very unhelpful
writing as a practice / writing as a morning altar space / writing as breakfast
hi, this is me after asking my friend Jenna to take a photo of me while laying down in the sand and I don’t remember if I thanked her for this dedication to a joy photo. Thanks, Jenna <3
skip to the bottom if you want to write a daily poem with me in April (poetry month!) on Discord because doesn’t that sound nice?
Last night, I watched Nicole Callihan’s book launch in Brooklyn while laying down in bed,
trying not to acknowledge a migraine that was probably brought on my dumb dumb hormones, and found myself taking notes. Dawn Lundy Martin—an aside: if anyone was meant to lead an intimate book-talk poet-interview, it is this person, wow—asked Nicole a “Paris Review” question that was something like “what brought you to writing?” Or maybe it was “what brought you to the work?” And while I want to tell you exactly what Nicole responded with beat-by-beat, it may be something that you had to be there to witness.
I will say, her response spurred something in me that made me start this Substack, after “o i dono”-ing over it for months. I wanted to tell people what brought me to the work, to the word—
And bless whomst-so-ever created the Zoom broadcast option, for I kept thinking to myself this is better than TV this is better than TV this is better than TV. I want to go to every book launch there is, ever, if they are like this.
Later on in the fluid poetry reading slash interview, Dawn Lundy Martin asked Nicole about being a “daily poet.” This descriptor of Nicole was brought up a few times throughout the launch. In her response to this prompt, she talked about how journalling felt boring to her. She was more articulate than this, of course, but the word “boring” was important for me to hear.
I’ve engaged in Morning Pages for a while—since 2020, I think. Of course it was 2020. Occupying one’s time with intention was top of mind that year for me. For you, too? And I know the exercise of Morning Pages is not to be interesting, or any other “antidote” for boring-ness, but yeah.
Yeah! Journaling feels boring!
I picked up Anaïs Nin’s diaries (the last volume, I believe it was), and I felt utterly shamed by the potency of her daily writing, to herself, about herself, for herself. But I’m with Camp Nicole now!
Nicole elucidated what she meant about the boring-ness of a journal: It’s not like she doesn’t record her everyday-ity. Her daily poem-ing feels like a diary. It is a diary, by definition. In these daily poems, she finds her recordings of her inner connections, her inner textures and sense-making. And, yes, her poems have this sense of a devoted closeness to oneself.
I will not abandon my Morning Pages but instead of treating it like I’m “getting my 3 (handwritten pages) in”, I want to have the intention of writing my Morning Poem. I want to collect my daily self in a way that feels more crafted, more attentive. I want my Morning Poems to show my future self what was happening inside of me in only a way a poem can.
On the topic of mornings…
In the first few months of the pandemic (where were you when? comes to mind) I had a morning routine, finally, after years of “just get out the door!” mentality. But the pleasure of a morning routine was so great that I kept adding components to the routine where, eventually, I was so exhausted after all the steps and activities of this “routine” that I had to take a nap to recover from it, many hours later.
Like, I’m talking this routine was 5 hours long.
I’m pleased with some of the results of this—like, writing a novel that I’ll never show anyone but maybe I’ll fold it into a short poem someday because I like some of it—but I lost sight of what a morning routine was meant to be.
I enjoy daily dedications. I love how it feels to “show up” and see slow progress over weeks or months because of a small daily motion. I love seeing writing projects accumulate in mass because I decided on a “non-negotiable.”
I enjoy the daily dedications so much that the original intention of setting up a pleasurable day is completely lost in the o shit i have to shower and do work now uh ohhhhhhh urgency — the hyper heart flutter and I don’t want that for me or for you
So when does daily dedication just become another block from experiencing the unknown variables of a life, of living a life? I’m sensing it may be time to strip away the plaque build-up of my daily routines again. I might make it fun and burn it down with some cackling. The cackling supports the “starting fresh” energy.
What I do know is that writing must be daily for me. The pathway doesn’t seem to matter yet, or it might not matter ever. I just feel like a cranky butthole when I haven’t collected myself with text. When I haven’t used my body in some way to make text.
So, what brought me to the work? What brought me to writing?
Maybe I’ll have a good answer for when someone poses the question.
But today, I’m just happy to have a friend whose written and verbal lucidity inspired me to choose Substack as a daily (hahhahahahahah weekly?) dedication. I write to know what is happening inside me. And it’s usually a shock and awe experience.
What happens when I write where someone might be reading? Might this be another way to access what is happening inside me? Outside of me?
Writing Prompt #1
I expect to offer writing prompts or writing inspiration with each post. Here’s our Number One:
What do you think about the phrase “reading is writing”?
What would you read if you were to write yourself?
What words would you read if you read your own body?
What does “writing for breakfast” make you think of?
We didn’t actually go through this scary ass tunnel but we could have and maybe there’d be a ghost to tell us a ghost story (???)
Hiya! Message me if you want to join the private writing Discord group where we share writings and also sometimes do monthly writing “challenges” but it’s more like a silly way to phrase “let’s hang out virtually by reading each other’s words!”
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