a eusuchian head

lost 22: an eusuchian head http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Batrachotomus_kupferzellensis_2.JPG

tiara patrol on high; outward forms satisfy them successful marriages faithful spouses indulgent parents peppermint thicket western ring-tailed possum he shook my hand like it was a rag doll land deeply folded into mountains new forest: new bird calls, new ground covers spreading, new plants spring up, new droppings of different sizes and shapes, new burrowings, je suis en paix avec le monde je suis en paix avec l’amour waiting…. for snailpress.com to come up shall i be the hero of my own life, copperfield? the dog’s grey eusuchian head, miss usa suspected of bathroom scales too, standing abandoned. no one now will be consulting the age-fogged dial for its little fibs or trembles of error with precisely that peering downward frown. today my wife calls me a ‘pompous old fart’. her words were deliberate and struck at my heart. don’t know whose poem this is and don’t know whose poem this is, not mine, worth repeating a mystical liquid city not in b.c. no not lilac at all its uncertain horizon. night wind’s smoke wildfires city smells petrochemicals carbon sulphur dogshit balsamic nightsweats you see i do not enjoy computer jokes not one bit but i like to know things like how moses made his tea have been told hebrews it lilac butts bagged trash dogbreath seriously now changed my i-pod name to titanic it’s syncing now the cooking oils burnt rubber sewers hot tar little gasps of a million beer openings a hundred trillion sour human breaths lilac lilac lilac how did the dinosaurs die i’ll keep reading my book about anti-gravity cuz i just can’t put it down they cannot must not quote dr. seuss not (lilacs) in the school. not in the hall. not one bit

references: je suis en paix avec le monde je suis en paix avec l’amour, Raphaël Herrerias, songwriter/singer (I am at peace with the world, I am at peace with love)
They cannot, they must not … play on Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle, in The National Post.

The conversation:

From Carol A. Stephen: Posted in comments, (on shrewbots) worth reposting…

I don’t think that poems always have to make sense in the usual way of sense. If a phrase or an image pops and sparkles, I love it. I don’t always have to understand everything in a poem, nor what the writer means. Often I can take my own meaning. It’s when I can’t find the hook that takes me inside the writing, that’s when I have a problem. If the reader finds their own interpretation in a poem, even when unintended by the writer, the poem lives and evolves. to me, that’s part of the poem never being finished. It’s why the poem is no longer the writer’s but now the reader’s. (I suppose I am talking about the common idea of leaving room in the poem for the reader.)
So the discussion referred to above was about emotion in poems at the beginning I think. I believe I had said that perhaps that is a direct result of the tendency for a lot of poets today to play with language and words, riffing off sounds, stringing them together, but they don’t together actually mean something. Without meaning, I the writer will not have emotion in the poem, nor will the reader have an emotional reaction to the poem. The words just stay flat on the page. Not fully 3D if you will.
If the writer hasn’t given a hint of what he/she is trying to achieve, I’m probably lost in my own faulty opinions about it.
So then the question becomes, who is the writer writing for? Him/herself or for the reader? I think the answer to that question evolves over a poet’s life. (If it doesn’t it probably should!) I think we start out writing for ourselves and slowly come to the idea of writing for “audience” because we think we have something to share.
Strings of odd words (they are words, except maybe loodle…) are there for the simple sound of them. The fun, and the sound. Change of pace, change of thinking. I love the odd words. I agree, they can set back a reader. Love that. There’s no responsibility.  These are my drafts, my playing. Now I’ll crawl into my playpen and sleep.  Roo Borson said a wonderful thing: Understanding means different things to different people, which gives a writer a lot of licence. Good comments Carol, and thank you. Response anyone?

who took the stepladder


i see myself pale and delicate as a chicken sucked clean of meat
the steps to where i might want to go, missing, and too the genes
to make it easy to exercise. why did my sister get the long lean legs.

still this need to go there, climb somewhere, use any ladder nearby
but my own, built mainly out of air and dream is gone. is it a
psychopath’s trait then, along with lack of conscience about stealing

a certain poet’s line, and having (at the moment) no sense of humour
and zero human empathy as far as ladder thieves are concerned. why
have I come to look at the world as if it had an unhealthy

whiff of concrete and polyester about it, nothing more, no center.

(The above lines are from an exercise set by Barry Dempster in a Tree workshop. We were to write a poem based on his prompts and include the Rothko painting he specifically chose for each of us. He could not have known my favorite colour was blue, nor that ‘light blue, dark blue, rah, rah, rah! was my high school cheer. And only today, coming across the painting again, do I see that I didn’t think then, of the high school connection. It probably would have been a completely different poem…)

lost 11, scilla liberally

opening a new bar of soap for a hot bath I don’t know let’s start with this. by the hoarfrosted bridge feeling as good about life as as a dodo as a suitcase as the snowdrops and the scilla; liberally though the gap between slats, a cracked shell gazing at infinity. some critters are much much, ever so much much, so muchly much much more unlucky than you. not the right toilet paper. he buys it because it looks like… do you have enough stars do you have enough feathers. why didn’t you say you came out of a suitcase. scilla liberally over the graves. crash of falling wave/their long withdrawing. choose to be rich by making your wants few. sprinkled black as raven’s shadow, rain-mottled petals bearing the sky in a suitcase.

With thanks to Dr. Seuss!

Yesterday two poetry events, both absorbing. George Murray and Roo Borson captivated at The Manx, and Pearl Pirie led readings at the last Slowest evening (Bridgehead Coffee House) a funder for The Guatemala Stove Project, at which Sandra Stephenson, Shai, Grant Savage and Monty Reid made it a worthy celebration of the Slowest series. Earlier Sandra, her partner Brendan, and I had gone to the Poet’s Walk at Beechwood Cemetery (a poetry month project of Sandra’s) and she and Brendan spoke some random acts of poetry there.  We spent a couple of enjoyable hours looking for poets’ graves and found none… but it was a perfect thing to do yesterday.