swan darkness

lost 23: swan darkness

beak to beak the chairs shrouded and clouded imagination in stars and striped hearts. possibly things, high-fructose swans, axles without wheels, cooks who cannot substitute one ingredient in a pink peppercorn macaroon with touches of lemongrass and meyer lemons; (see how a hand in front of your eyes can hide a mountain) those who gather salt from great salt beds know that jokes about german sausage are the wurst, startle with new mechanical robots, seven downtown skips in the narrow streets and skip to m’lou my darling change fittings baths sinks shower stalls please put a plug in the bathroom heaters embossed and purple wallpaper. a boulder decides to tumble down. a hill fire stimulates visions. branches kill. codswallop collop collywobbles comeuppance – roots of trees trip. she didn’t like her beard at first but it grew on her. ask the earth’s permission to slip through the throng no more remarkably than a shadow; ponder shape. you want to read more about the swans, corn syrup cantankerous catercornered cockalorum cockamamie; crap, that row of raindrops waiting, waiting to fall from a thin branch.

Writing is a struggle against silence. Carlos Fuentes

From a blog called Wordplay: Helping writers become authors, which is more about writing story than poem: The post is 10 Habits of Successful Authors. most of which we know already as KM Weiland’s Wordplay seems to be for beginning writers, but still, from her list the following will always be pertinent:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(photo: from Wordplay website)

http://wordplay-kmweiland.blogspot.ca/2009/12/10-habits-of-successful-authors.html

3. Learn the rules. Read voraciously: fiction, books on writing (check out my list of recommend books), blogs, workshops, and anything else you can find. Never stop learning.

4. Break the rules. Once you have a solid understanding of the principles of fiction, don’t be afraid to step beyond their confines. Experiment. Think outside the box… but art is an evolution. If it stagnates, it dies.

5. Create your own inspiration. Pinpoint what inspires you and surround yourself with stimuli. Discipline, creativity, and persistence are a cure-all for writer’s block.

6. Don’t slack on the hard stuff. Don’t cut corners on research, outlining, or editing.

7. Follow your heart, not the market. Art is a deeply personal expression. Write (what) your heart has to tell.

8. Develop a thick skin. Criticism of our work can seem like a personal attack. But criticism—especially when coming from critique partners, agents, and editors—is a vital part of the process. Accept constructive criticism, learn from it, and use it to make your writing better.

10. Love what you do. The writing road has its own set of speed bumps—isolation, loneliness, rejection—but the benefits of spinning these webs of color and fantasy are more than just compensation!

From the Poem-A-day site (Academy of American Poets), these lines from Jack Gilbert’s poem:
Horses at Midnight Without a Moon

Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods./Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.

The Poetry Conversation:

just spent an enjoyable two hours perusing your new blog Claudia. thanks for that! Lise M. Rochefort

Thanks Lise!

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shrewbots


lost 20: shrewbots

this tool has no options. fartlek fatuous filibuster firkin quarter barrel small cask; get hold of a skull; describe the tongue of a woodpecker and the jaw of a crocodile the flying fish so popular it knocked principia mathematica off the production line inspiration no laws of motion or gravity. fagotto bassoon the reed chorus, extremely soft stop delicate, airy tone single, or double-rank aéoline celeste string, and the salicional future celibate salacious gelatinous ocean and cretaceous of 600 million years ago wind chests enter stage right no, left, you little etruscan shrew divisions back to 1425 – 1430 there’s more to nothing than we know why is there something rather than nothing at all? 68-year-old patricia tabram- the cannabis grandma – charged with intent, viewers shocked by rhoda morgenstern’s abrasive tongue, oh morning star, who why ironically buys vintage star wars figurines, or i’m the type of person who appreciates homemade lamps made from mason jars, william and kate go plastic will and kate go wax the duke and the duchess go all in the family, a catalogue of mary tyler moore abdomens, extremely rare albino ruby-throated limited edition barbie collection in white feathers, pink bills and legs. the red eyes. there’s just no accounting for happiness or the way it turns up like a prodigal ghost ants translucent shrewbot those synthetic whiskers work in the dark like the real thing, catch the moon drifting darkly, city chicken. as billy wilder called it (in the closet) magniloquently, van gogh’s ear for music. those armoured catfish wreaking havoc in the south – we were once published in an anthology together. i’m the type of person who. and american nuns chastised chastitized charitized shafticized satirized listen to the rattle of old bones the colour of the food you eat their fusiform gyrus and inferior emporial appeal.

there’s just no accounting… from ‘happiness’, by Jane Kenyon, Poetry Foundation blog
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/28400

Also, this week on the BBC you can listen to Jane Kenyon, from Scotland, talk about a trip to the Arctic: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01gf5sk Thank you Ray Battams for the tip. It was a good listen.

From Grant Savage: These new poems, well I’ve been enjoying them.

Juxtapositions IX

breasts
sharp/flat

half full
half empty

in or out
of tune

with/in my mouth
throat singing

for my supper/eat
off the fat

of the land
gynacomastia

is it these pills
identification

with my/your
feminine

long hair
curves

of lilies
in the breeze

sucking/squeezing
nostrils

shimmy
the outward

curve of hips
of flowers

sacroiliac/liliums kiss
sex to sex

for the moments’
summer of flesh

in the mind’s …
spring-in-autumn

rain’s decomposition
these lines

young and gleaning
but the sadistic

the astringent
and the favourite vintage

the black bottles of Samos Naxos
vintners to the gods

sweet since
one thousand B.C.

sex of american novels
the libraries

the couplings
on and beneath

the covers
of paperbacks

the whips on
or the corsets containing

either spill
or prevent

any
the jiggled

lands
sharp or flat

or full/round
arias

of milk
and honey

via Zach Wells on facebook (no pun intended, Zack works for ViaRail) here is Kay Ryan, former Poet Laureate of the United States.

Mockingbird

Nothing whole
Is so bold,
we sense. Nothing
not cracked is
so exact and
of a piece. He’s
the distempered
emperor of parts,
the king of patch,
the master of
pastiche, who so
hashes other birds’
laments, so minces
their capriccios, that
the dazzle of dispatch
displaces the originals.
As though brio
really does beat feeling,
the way two aces
beat three hearts
when it’s cards
you’re dealing.

 

The Poetry Conversation:

Continuing the conversation with Shai Ben-Shalom:

Shai: Susan’s words (See ynklings April 22) resonate with me, as my writing is often in an attempt to deliver messages. If I don’t have a message, I don’t usually have a poem. Only on rare occasions I may play with words in order to come up with something that sounds good, or reads well, without including some messages in it.
In this regard, most of my poems are built around narratives and I view them as tiny vehicles of communication. Whatever they carry could also be carried by other vehicles, such as short stories, short films, etc. Perhaps my limited command over the English language does not allow me to truly enjoy poetry that revolves around shapes, sounds, tongue-twists, etc. Perhaps my training as a scientist is reflected in my poems, as if I am on a quest to formulate a new hypothesis and support it with data with each new poem.

I don’t know if poems need to be overly balanced. There should be room for personal variations, in a sense that one may write primarily with his ‘logical tools’ whereas another one may be more attentive to his heart, but the two may still live side by side, even within the same poetry collection or during the same open mic session. I don’t see a problem with a poem that is too clever, or too sentimental, although I may wonder about poems that sound too stupid or too disconnected from emotions…

Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking piece!

In a further email, he adds:

 I looked at ynklings; an interesting site that offers plenty of food for thought! I had a special interest in what Grant wrote about homeostasis in nature and the need to have some imbalance in order to preserve life. How true!

As far as your own thinking goes, well, I have had the opportunity to listen to you on Open Mic sessions, and to read a few of your poems in chapbooks, and my impression is that a lot of thinking goes into your writing! You may avoid the formalities of putting down your thoughts on a paper for all to see, but this is different than avoiding the thinking…

I hope the discussion will continue. I was just starting to get engaged…

From Pearl Pirie’s Pesbo blog:

What’s the use(fulness) of poetry?
At best it may bump and knock loose something else in someone else that dislodges a hidden brick of meaning. Then their chimney falls in and there’s a house fire. Then you get on like a house on fire. No, that’s not it.
A poem is a synthesis of all that’s come before. Copy, combine, transform. It’s remixing and perpetuation of some part of something. It’s the outcome of perceptions.
I like the idea of poem as by-product, like paper scraps cut off after the real product of text is printed. It isn’t useful as by-product, if not used. Unless it existing is a use. Which it is. Is it sufficient leveraging of the gift of living? Poetry is a thankfulness, a paying back, the gift of being alive.

Yeaayyy!!!! Carol A. Stephen and Luminita Suse!!!! Finalists in the 2012 Canadian Authors National Capital Region Poetry Contest!!!!

A last note: Tomorrow’s ynklings will be posted late as I will be in Montreal. My overnight holiday!