Welcome to the 3:15 homepage for Linda Crosfield
Read from the following days:
Writ(h)ing at 3:15
I could never do the 3:15 Experiment in winter. Cold makes me write…actually, it makes me curl into a shivering ball while I wait for the duvet to work its magic. Interesting typo there: I meant to say “Cold makes me writhe…” That’s just the sort of thing I would expect to have happen when trying to write about the 3:15 Experiment.
August brought wave after wave of family and friends to the Kootenays. Barbecues and meet-you-for-a-beer occasions were rampant. August was hot, at the beginning, but it cooled down at night. Writ(h)ing at 3:15 in the morning meant getting to enjoy the coolest, quietest time of day. It was pleasant to roam about the yawning house, locating my writing pad and pencil before settling down to see what sort of words I was going to manage to corral this time. Or were going to corral me. Some nights the words began easily and ran off the pencil for a page or two. Other nights it was like trying to scratch words onto granite with a straw .
What I liked best about the process was the way I could attack something, in a bleary-eyed fashion, that I’d been thinking about for days, only to have it take off in a direction I never could have imagined. The month before the 3:15 poetry frenzy, as I’ve come to think of it, I spent five days with a bunch of like-minded poets working with the inimitable George Bowering. Later, we all decided to write poems about him. Mine, started at 3:15, suddenly morphed into one that was also about an old Doukhabor spoon-carver I know named George Hadikin.
Now, with August 2005 receding into memory, I’m finding writing about the process is a little like trying to describe an acid trip. Yes, it was amazing, and at the time I thought of all kinds of ways to let others enjoy the experience vicariously, but now it’s over and there’s that old familiar curtain between my conscious memory and my sense of what really happened.
Special thanks to Paul Nelson for telling me about the 3:15 Experiment. I’m very grateful to Danika Dinsmore for spearheading this event one more time, and for inviting new people to participate. Thanks, also, to Tod McCoy, for taking on the momentous job of sorting out all these words for the website.
Linda Lee Crosfield
Testing...testing...here it is, July 2007, and I'm FINALLY getting ready to spill some of last year's 3:15 poems into the swirls of cyberspace. Reminder to me that it's good to at least type the poems out soon after writing them...I had to guess at a couple of words, assuming that's what they were, scratched upon the page. One I gave up on completely; it will appear as ***. Don't look for a footnote. There won't be one.
August 2007 was a bitch, speaking personally. I was back and forth to Kelowna, a four hour drive away, twice, taking my mother to have a melanoma excised from her cheek. And the end of the month saw my next-door neighbor and friend, Kim, go into hospice where she died September 4, same day as George Faludy, the Hungarian poet, same day as Steve Irwin, of reptilian wrestling fame. (He should have stuck to reptiles, come to think of it). I relish a mental picture of what Heaven must have been like when those three showed up! All this to explain why I didn't write every day.
I'm thinking I'll try again next month.
Linda Lee Crosfield
Linda's poetry has appeared in Room of One’s Own, Horsefly, The New Orphic Review, Ascent Aspirations, The Minnesota Review, and in various chapbooks and anthologies, including Between Sleeps. She serves on the editorial committee of WordWorks, the journal of the Federation of BC Writers. She lives in the Kootenays. She's participated in the 3:15 Experiment since 2005.
Notes on Process, 2007
Well well well, who'd have thought? This is the third year I've disrupted my August sleep patterns by writing at 3:15 in the morning, or thereabouts. As I get older it seems I require less sleep. Consequently, I sometimes come at 3:15 because that's when I'm going to bed! I do notice that this changes the tone of the poems...when I do write immediately upon waking I definitely have the sense that the words are coming from somewhere other than the usual source.
As is usually the case when I write, what is going on in my life tends to bleed out into the poems. Forest fires in the area were a large focus for everyone around here this year, at least at the beginning of the month, so references to fires appear frequently. So do musings on the deaths, real and expected, of friends. And then there was the day near the end of the month when then fourteen year old Steven Truscott was finally acquitted of the 1959 murder of twelve year old Lynne Harper in Ontario. When I heard the news, I cried, and couldn’t understand why it affected me so. My 3:15 poem that night solved the mystery for me. Apparently, Steven wasn’t the only kid whose innocence was compromised back then.
And peaches. For the third year running, there were peach poems.
I only missed, I think, 6 days this year, and now I've got a little pile of poems to tweak and twirl and toss out into the world as I see fit.
Thank you Gwendolyn, Tod, Danika, and everyone else involved for keeping this going. Peaches, freestone and juicy, to all of you!
Didn't do 3:15 in 2008. Was far too desperate for sleep.
Only made it through half the month this year. After that my husband and I were preparing for and then on the road to Newfoundland (from British Columbia), and waking us up in the middle of the night when we were traveling just didn't seem like such a great idea. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
Still, it was fun doing the 3:15 Experiment again, for however long. I missed last year completely, and I still find it to be an interesting source of material to play with later. Which is what I'll probably do with some of the poems recorded here.
Once again, for me, real life interjected itself into my poems. Items in the news. Local weather—and bug—conditions. Day-to-day life, reappearing in a somewhat convoluted form at 3:15AM.
Thanks again to Danika and Tod for the gentle prompts and reminders that keep this going!
Oh, the strange, fantastic world of the hypnogogic mind! It's the third week of October and I have just read my poems from this year. They feel...different, somehow. Maybe it's the lack of reference to peaches; the old tree that was responsible for the ones that appeared in previous years' 3:15 poems had to be put down this year and the heir-apparent isn't producing yet. The waking up and going back to sleep was easier this year.
Thanks, again, to all who make this happen.
Night makes noises
Such a poor showing this year. I had two friends die on me and I was left without any desire to write, any ability to write, any reason to write. I went on a big "what's it all about" bender and didn't bring a pen. So be it.
Same time next year.
Copyright 2005 by the individual poets