27 – Waving to the Big Day

Well, the reading went today & it went pretty well. Though I really am exhausted now.

Today’s entry is really a series of very fast games. Because it was my last day, I wanted to choose a book in a different way to usual … so, to the irritation of a librarian who didn’t like me looking at books in the reserved collection, I found a book waiting for someone that I myself have been wanting to read for ages. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy.

I selected it because of its great last line. Then again because I liked it’s opening line. Again because of its chapter titles. & finally, just to make me day complete, I wrote out the first & last sentence of each chapter (or at least a bitesized phrase thereof). Then I played a number of games — that number, of course, was predetermined before I began!

five waves

i — first & last lines of every chapter (in order they appear)

aliens are stupid …
… i am the battlefield
call me zombie …
… you will be my battlefield
it should have been easy …
… and ran
as ways to go …
… you saved me
through the smudged window …
… if you want to see, i can show you
Ben Parsh is dead …
… in the spirit of vengeance
you saved me …
… you have to find something you’re willing to die for
the world is screaming …
… we’re plugging you into wonderland
we fell asleep last night …… the siren goes off
two hours …
… flash flash flash blinkblinkblink
the siren’s blare is so loud …
… his smell, sayings, my brothers
the green eye looked at me
… & yes, he’s toast
i want to drink in …
… obliterating the dark in a burst of golden light

ii — first lines of every chapter
aliens are stupid …
call me zombie …
it should have been easy …
as ways to go …
through the smudged window …
Ben Parsh is dead …
you saved me …
the world is screaming …
we fell asleep last night …
two hours …
the siren’s blare is so loud …
the green eye looked at me
i want to drink in …

iii — last lines of every chapter
… i am the battlefield
… you will be my battlefield
… and ran
… you saved me
… if you want to see, i can show you
… in the spirit of vengeance
… you have to find something you’re willing to die for
… we’re plugging you into wonderland
… the siren goes off
… flash flash flash blinkblinkblink
… his smell, sayings, my brothers
… & yes, he’s toast
… obliterating the dark in a burst of golden light

iv — chapter titles (in reverse order, both in name & chronology, with some licence)
the hole is dark & black — because of kismet or chance, i don’t know — the sea infinite in its ways — thousands of raindrops go into the flower — with a vengeance of spirit — that would kill a lesser heart — the day humans know they are winning — is the day the fly may fall into — silence — land — wonder at our last intrusion — i do not want to be, earth’s final historian

v — first & last line (put together as the first line) followed by chapter mashup
there will be no burst of golden light
through your window
reminding you of the world’s wonder
there will only be a winnowing
a thousand ways of silence
a loss of wonderland, mayfly days
black holes of human hearts
vengeance spirits flowering
rain in infinite seas
intrusions, last histories
because …

invasion wavesCROP.jpg

The Poem That Stops A Nation (*Cough)

We have a horse race in Australia which, allegedly, “stops the nation”. For the past three years, it certainly stops me. Because since 2013 I have played a wee linguistic game (potentially only of interest to me) involving the names of the horses that compete — kind of a found poem with benefits.

Normally, the race runs at 2.30 (my time), I wait for 30-45 minutes or so till the full order listing is posted on the internet, I then furiously try & craft 24 unrelated phrases into some sort of logic … before racing into the city & reading the result (at around this time or earlier) at a monthly poetry gig to the confusion & consternation of many, haha. (Coincidentally, this reading always occurs on the first Tuesday of the month, & the big race is always the first Tuesday of November, which is how the game first started.)

However, last night, owing to an incident of unnecessary & alarmingly over-the-top pettiness (not involving me I hasten to clarify), I chose not to stay at that reading. So only my friend Sarah got to appreciate/was forced to endure me reading it to her as we scoffed our respective dumplings.

I subjected her to a personal reading, because, of the three poems I have created in this fashion, this is the one I feel works best (with the caveat being — ‘works best’ is a very loose description in a situation where one tries to wrangle 24 horses names into a poem … in the order they finished the race … taking a few creative liberties where necessary) & was disappointed not to get the chance to share it last night.

Only today did I realise I could post it on my blog … (well der, just cos I haven’t posted anything since June — doesn’t mean the blog has disappeared. My excuse: The 24 Poetry Marathon obviously took it out of me 🙂 )

So, for those of you interested in such indulgences, I present …

[24 names in order]

the evil Ivan Prince of Penzance
used the Max Dynamite allowed
according to the Criterion
on his terrorist Trip To Paris
& so — the Eiffel Tower disappears
in a Big Orange Gust Of Wind

the CIA agrees it was Excess Knowledge
& a Quest For More that ruined Our Ivan—howe
he got the dynamite & Who Shot Thebarman
Sertorius & whether the two events
are connected, remains a mystery

needless to say, everyone understands
it’s a Fame Game in The United States
but when Agent Hartnell runs along Bondi Beach
chasing Hokko (Brave whistleblower)
while that bastard Senator Almoonqith Kingfisher
(Republican, Texas) through some secret
Preferment is proclaimed Grand Marshal
we know the 1% are winning comfortably

meanwhile, the rogue spy, codenamed
Sky Hunter, drifts through a Snow Sky
searching for the Red gifts
that sadly, failed to arrive



NB for those who wish to check I didn’t cheat. Here’s a link the final results 🙂

Day 27 – April Twenty Seven: “Sunday Sillies” (sort of) Part 3 – poetry reincarnations

Played around with a series of things today, but most of them serious. Remembered (after forgetting last week) that I was going to use Sundays as a play day for silly experiments & games.  The first two weeks were attempts at humour (limericks & a caricature poem). This one is a crossbreeding of the poet’s game Golden Shovel invented by Terrance Hayes where the last word of each line of your poem is a word from another poem & a “found poem” I made by abridging one of my absolute favourite poems of all time: D.H. Lawrence’s “The Ship of Death”.

I allowed myself up to four words from each of his lines. They appear in the same verse structure as his poem.

There is precedent for this as Lawrence himself edited the poem before his death so there are two versions: a longer one which I believe is the superior & the one I used for this game, & a second shorter version, which lacks much of the longer poem’s emotive power.  My version is midway in length between the two, & apart from one or two clunky lines, still works pretty well I think.

The Ship of Death (Reader’s Digest abridged version)

falling fruit
journey towards oblivion.

drops of dew
exit from themselves.

bid farewell
the fallen self.

will need it.
apples will fall
on the hardened earth.

a smell of ashes!
smell it?

the frightened soul
wincing from the cold
through the orifices.

quietus make
a bare bodkin?

man can make
exit for his life
is it quietus?

even self-murder

we know,
deep and lovely quiet
heart at peace!

quietus, make?

you must take
journey, to oblivion.

painful death
the new.

bruised, badly bruised,
oozing through the exit
the cruel bruise.

ocean of the end
of our wounds,
flood is upon us.

your little ark
little cakes, and wine

the timid soul
the dark flood rises.

all of us dying
death-flood rising within us
on the outside world.

our bodies are dying
our strength leaves us,
rain over the flood,
our life.

all we can do
build the ship
the longest journey.

with oars and food
for the departing soul.

as the body dies
out, the fragile soul
the ark of faith
black waste
waters of the end
where still we sail
and have no port.

nowhere to go
deepening black darkening still
the soundless, ungurgling flood
darkness, up and down
no direction any more
she is gone.
see her by.
gone! gone! and yet
somewhere she is there.

the body is gone
gone, entirely gone.
heavy as the lower,
the little ship
is gone

end, it is oblivion.

of eternity a thread
on the blackness,
a horizontal thread
pallor upon the dark.

does the pallor fume
there’s the dawn,
coming back to life
out of oblivion.

the little ship
the deathly ashy grey

a flush of yellow
a flush of rose.

whole thing starts again.

like a worn sea-shell
emerges strange and lovely.
home, faltering and lapsing
on the pink flood,
into the house again
with peace.

heart renewed with peace
even of oblivion.

build it!
you will need it.
oblivion awaits you.


 2014-04-27 14.18.17