The Arts section of Orient Lodge

#NaPoWriMo 9: The Rainbow

Off to the east, the sky is still grey,
and it is probably raining
in the next town over.

The road is still wet
and I’ve set the wipers
to intermittent.

The storm has passed
and in the west
the sun is breaking through.

It is too easy to think in binaries;
rain or shine,
black and white,

but in doing so
we sometimes miss
the beauty of the rainbow.

(Categories: )

#NaPoWriMo 8: Road Poem 2

Careening down the interstate
I pass the spirits
of drivers long past
who in their rush
listening to NPR, Springsteen, or Rap
have left their souls behind.

The spirits pause
to drink from the glistening dew
beside the road
carrying their dreams
in handkerchiefs
tied to long sticks
like hobos
of yesteryear.

On my way
to soul crushing work
I wonder
where I’ve left
my spirit
and what I can do
to protect it.

The travel guide of souls
is hidden
in the white washed graffiti
of bridge abutments
where the homeless sleep
and the Gospel of the travelers
once easier to find
in the eyes of waitresses
at the Mom and Pop diners
along the way
are still there
in the bright plastic light
of fast food joints.

I look for hints in the differing
groves of trees
along the way,
in the sunlight
reflecting off the reservoir
and the giant fluffy clouds
which seem to be
in no rush.

(Categories: )

A Pre-Modern Brotherhood of Post Structuralists

The latest class in the Poetry in America series has started, Modernism, and the first poem being explored is In a Station of the Metro.

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

The discussion forum starts off with

“his first attempt to write the poem resulted in a thirty-line draft; his second, six months later, was half that length; the next year, Pound produce the haiku-sized final draft.”

We are then asked, “How does Pound's poem accomplish so much with so few words?”

Pound’s poem’s power comes from compressed comparison. The comparison is implied and a verb isn’t even needed.

Pound kept whittling away at the poem until he was down to just fourteen words (not counting the title). Why stop there? Why not keep going until you get down to just two words to compare and contrast, “Faces : Petals”? Down to one word, “Apparition”? Or no words, like John Cage’s 4’33?

What is it that makes poetry poetry? Especially if we abandon the subject, structure, and sonance of earlier poetry? Are we reduced to just comparison?

It makes me think of Billy Collins’ poem, “The Trouble with Poetry: A Poem of Explanation”

In Collin’ poem, we find:

And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,

As we think about what it is that makes poetry poetry, I think about my own writing. Why do I write like I do? How does this relate to modernity, capitalism, and the industrial revolution? Is it time for the next phase in poetry? Post Modern? Post Structural? Or, perhaps like our Pre-Raphaelite predecessors, a return to some of the beauty of previous art, perhaps a Pre-Modern Brotherhood of Post Structuralists?

Subsequent thoughts: As I go through the comments in the course, one person writes:

the poem first invoked memories of Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"

I respond:

I like comparing the Pound's crowd to Whitman's crowd. The apparition of these faces in the crowd; how curious you are to me!

Many of the other comments focus on apparition, particularly the ghostly aspect, and it makes me think of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem Wraith

#NaPoWriMo 7: A Digital Aborigine

At times I feel like a digital aborigine
showing the digital immigrants
and their offspring,
the new digital natives,
the paths of cyberspace.

At times we come across a fence
one of the digital immigrants has built
obstructing the way
or a new bridge
over a difficult stream
that one of the new digital natives
has put up.

The digital immigrants
long for their analog homeland
distrustful of the ways
of this new world
and their digital offspring
are puzzled
by the nostalgia
for the old
analog ways
of their parents.

I cherish my digital world
as I lovingly show
my newbie friends
the beauties of this place.
I show the digital colonialists
the ways of my world
knowing full well
what happens
to aborigines.

(Categories: )

#NaPoWriMo 6: Digital Diabetes

She had developed a case of digital diabetes;
too many sweets online
and not enough meet, not enough substance.
Sure, there a little spice in her diet
the occasional political disagreement,
but she had already unfriended
most of the people who disagreed with her
except for those relatives she couldn’t unfriend
and had to just ignore.

Her digital footprint was virtually indistinguishable,
for any twenty first century teen popstar,
like the characters in sitcom
about teenage life
aimed at preteens
or in the carefully constructed
of teen aged music idols.

It was hard to differentiate between her
and everyone else
like her
who was suffering
from digital diabetes.

(Categories: )
Syndicate content