31 May 2007

the ebb and the flow

My aunts' cat died. She was a feral cat they had adopted and was a pretttty cat. a loner, but not skittish. Being in a poetry zone of late, I sat down to write a haiku for her & them.

The hangup persisted. I couldn't write while planning to write. That's one of the reasons I like online journals. I open a post, spit something out and I'm done. 'Good' isn't the point, getting something out, expressing something is. I may come back, like I did with ٲلمغرب and rewrite into something that is, relatively, subjectively, good. And that's all I need!

Anyway, what I wanted to say didn't fit cleanly into the haiku I was trying to write. I gave up and lit upon the idea of a cinquain. Very similar to haiku in ideas of syllabic constraint (though I don't adhere to that in writing haiku) and brevity, there are rules and you follow them. And if you don't, who cares, but still. It's nice to have a boundary sometime, right?

Here then, is my second ever cinquain. For the record, it just sort of flowed out. I like that.


Our own wild fur
Free to follow the wind
You won’t leave us, you will remain

21 May 2007

Thinking in Turkish

We are not meant to dream.
We should slip into night,
Floating, sinking, falling,
--like pearls in the water--
to rest at the bottom,
We were ever anywhere else.

I wanted to write a ghazal (I want to write a lot of Turkish styles, save for being in the Turkish language as I don't know that yet.) and have for a long time. Rather than starting fresh (and being in that state of mind that is painfully aware of what I'm trying not to be aware of) I thought I'd cheat and take something already written and see if I could turn it into a ghazal.

A first attempt yield this, from the above.

You are not meant to dream, pearl in the water,
You sink, slipping into night, unaware.

We should not dream, pearls dancing in water,
floating, in the dark, falling, unaware.

I do not dream, pearls at my neck,
pulled apart by gravity, snapping, unaware.

I wake with pearls in my hands, never having dreamt,
my dreams do not rise, but I do, and I wear pearls, unaware.

I'm not sold on it at first take. I'll continue playing with it. I have a horrible headache today and can only think about that really. I also have a mango waiting for me to dine on its flesh.

salted mango
sticks to my fingers
tasting of bright sunlight


salted mango
tasting of bright sunlight
sticks to my fingers

18 May 2007

Rearranging on Fridays

I got to thinking about my closing haiku yesterday and I think a better arrangement is:

cut grass falls
on the side of the road
buildings grow

I don't write poetry like I used to and I miss that spontaneous loquaciousness that I used to have. I mean, maybe it wasn't great, but I felt much more accomplished. And I sat down and wrote. Now it seems that when I have the time to sit down and write poetry (versus prose, which is completely different) I have this feeling that I'm sitting down 'to write poetry'. The mindset is completely different and I stall before I engage.

It's hard to let go of that concept, to quite those monkeys, to slip just beneath that line of demarcation that isn't a line at all, because once you point at it, you see. And the point, the goal, is not to see it, let alone look for it.

Thus, writing poetry becomes meditation and, following on yesterday's theme: is the appreciation of others always important? I know it is for some. A certain crowd out in the world needs praise, needs to be told how good they are, and how much talent they have. I would posit that poetry was 'written to be poetry' versus those who write. They write for themselves, and let those who appreciate, do. That is poetry that is written.

Of course I could just be philoso-meta-ing something that needn't be done so. I just get bored with attitudes of 'I know better than you and I don't like what you've created and obviously I don't like you either if that's what you come up with.' Especially when it isn't followed up with at least a modicum of 'perhaps you could try x, y, z to help with the a, b, c.'

Ultimately, the question is, can I write a set of haiku (three sets of three) that aren't in the strict 5/7/5 syllabic structure, that are less than 20 syllables and that has a chance rhyme in the last lines? We shall see.

a dancer moves
to winding flutes

17 May 2007

How to and what to do when someone says you 'how to'd' wrong

I'm now in a poetry group (yes, I know it's been decades) and said poetry group is comprised of mostly older adults and, ehem, professionals. Looking younger than I am is not a benefit amongst this group I think, and looking, ehem, as subversive as I guess I appear, is just one more knock.

My friend that I attend with is far more upstanding than I, but she's also ::gasp:: young. And she writes simple, sweet poetry that moves with a gentle rhythm.

Goodness, what we must represent to these hallowed bastions of What Poetry Is and We Will Also Tell You What It Is Not. The women (the men are polite and encouraging when they aren't silent, hobbled by FEMININE POE-OUTRAGE) tend to be quite... well, let's just say they go for the critique without doing much in the way of constructing. Unless, apparently, they like you, or you are 'old enough' to pass their test.

When I heard 'it's good to want to be different, but' I knew I was swimming in suspicious waters.

Sadly, I missed the last meeting and wasn't there when my friend's poem got bludgeoned, along with her sense of self. Perhaps I'm too polite to say 'that's juvenile shite, right?' to anyone's creation, but maybe that will garner me some points?

Next week is the next meeting and I'm doing haiku. (Someone just brought me a free turkey sandwich!) See, my friend told me she once read a villanelle and they didn't know what it was and harangued her for her attempt. O_O So, I figure they'll know exactly what haiku is and will no doubt tell me exactly How Wrong I am Doing It. Because they would know.

Cut grass falls
Buildings grow
on the side of the road