The poetry volume I read today had several Mirror Cinquains in it. This is a mix of a standard Cinquain & a Reverse Cinquain. So, using the usual syllable counting convention, a mirror cinquain = 2,4,6,8,2 blank line 2,8,6,4,2 syllables. I’m not usually a big fan of form poems, they feel too forced unless you’ve got a lot of time to tweak them (which you don’t get in a NaPoWriMo when you’re working). Nonetheless I thought I’d give it a bash. There are lines I wish I could alter (ignore the scansion) which might happen in a future version.
Day 17 – TIR my gran
It’s the anniversary of my gran’s birthday today. To remember her, I looked for some Facts About Grandmothers & found a variety of sites ranging from dry statistics “78% read the newspaper” type thing to wildly subjective. However the one I have chosen appeared on several pages & is without doubt, true. (I have not chosen the most obvious fact: No love is as special as grandmother’s: it truly is unconditional.)
Grandmother Fact #1: they cook the best food
christmas lunches tuna mournays corned beef swimming in white sauce thick pea & ham soup egg sandwiches, taken from the freezer, then toasted even just Continental Hearty Beef soup straight outta the packet tasted ambrosial from her kitchen
what would this vego grandson give for the chance of one more meal with his gran
Just playing round with a passage from Book IV of Virgil’s The Georgics where he describes an incident surrounding the Big O following his failed attempt to restore Eurydice to life (he claims he that O lamented for seven whole months).
Day 16 – TIL a lot of flamingo related fun facts. (In point of fact I have lots & lots of bird facts, that I almost put a dozen of them into one megapoem, but this flamingo triptych seems to work quite well…)
i. there are more fake flamingos on Earth than real ones
ii. flamingos pair for life some stay mated for 50 years or more
nice that flamingos are 12.5x better at partnering than i am
iii. you probably know a crowd of crows is called a murder
& an assembly of owls is a parliament (or wisdom, or study)
but life gets really joyful the day you discover a flock of flamingoes is a flamboyance
With Big O & Eurydice being the theme this year, it feels a little like every day/poem explores the issue of grief so at times I’m not sure whose writing what about whom or when. The only thing I am sure of is why.
Day 15 – NTBLAILabout more than a forgotten letter of the alphabet
In Celebration of &
the ampersand’s formed from the ligature of the letters ET — the Latin word for “and”
… & the term “ampersand” is a corruption of and (&) per se and which literally means “(the character) & by itself (is the word) and”
… & this small odd looking character was actually once (kind of) the 27th member of the English alphabet*
… & when reciting the alphabet in the 1800s long-suffering schoolchildren would sing-song-say, “X, Y, Z, and per se and” so the students were essentially chanting “X, Y, Z, and by itself and”
… & being lazy children this was routinely slurred to the mondegreen ampersand & thus entered common usage
… & there’s a graffiti & in Pompeii from 79 CE
… & when it appears as &c where it means etc. (the ampersand time travels back into its E & T bones)
… & in screenplays, an & denotes a writing team [the word and designates the writers wrote separately, read: someone rewrote, & if there’s more than three ands on a credit, it’s a good sign you should probably stay the hell away from that movie]
… & when creating new type faces the & character allows designers to inject a little joie de vivre & artistic flair into proceedings
… not to mention some quite nice poets really love it & if that’s not a cause for celebration — then there isn’t one
*the thorn and the wynn are also membersof the Former Members Of The Alphabet Club but sadly we don’t have time (in this pome)to learn what led to their demises
2 Bob’s worth: a bonus poem
i. Jerk Bob that old bundle of chuckles the joy-killing chump Robert Hartwell Fiske in his dreary, dull AND utterly unreadable Dictionary of Unendurable English: A Compendium of Mistakes in Grammar, Usage, and Spelling with Commentary on Lexicographers and Linguists believes ampersands should only exist in proper names, business names, book titles, and the like never in place of the word and
he further opines: aside from the hurried, the only people inclined to use & in place of and are those who have scant sense of self and scant sense of style, and believe using & somehow swells them both.
ii. Lovely Bob Robert Nares in his far more charming highly erudite & intellectual work A Glossary; or, Collection of words, phrases, names, and allusions to customs, proverbs, etc., which have been thought to require illustration in the works of English authors, particularly Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Vol. I. A new ed., with considerable additions both of words and examples believes the ampersand’s calligraphic qualities make it a compelling design element that can add visual appeal & personality to any page.
For someone who loves this myth, I’m really struggling for quality content. Wondering if I should abandon it for something different for last half of the month. The Poetic Factoids, however, remain a treat to create.
Day 14 – TIL how deeply brain & body are connected
when your “inner voice” whispers wisdom deep within the wetness of your brain tiny muscle motions trigger in your larynx
no wonder i suffer so many sore throats after my multiple personalities have had their say on every conceivable topic
the muscular cacophony leaves my chords, exhausted
I wrote this (well the first draft of it) dictating it into my phone as I lay in bed about 3am this morning, unable to sleep. I was just trying to record some ideas that have been roiling round in me for much of the past fortnight (possibly longer). Sure, I’ll be glad when April is over, but I gotta say it’s been hella good therapy.
When I looked at it again around 7am, I realised it made a dreamy kind of poetic sense so instead of ripping phrases out & assembling them, I thought I’d try a different poetic technique & go with the flow. This consisted mainly of tidying up the times I had to repeat myself cos it didn’t understand what I was saying & deciphering some of the VRS’s quirkier interpretations. Adding a phrase or two here & there, but really very little.
When I read it again at 11pm in preparation to post it, I cried. (But then I always have been a bit of a sook!)
dream of consciousness
we spoke with such softness and hope … of a life we might live together … we felt like everything was coming together the way it was meant … the way it should’ve done years ago … years and years ago … where all those missed opportunities finally reached fruition … like flowers being born … after long years in dry ground … waiting for the rains … of being fully awake … fully alive … at last … we discussed living together … we discussed weddings … we discussed babies … we discussed beliefs … talk of souls and eternities … re-discussed lives together … loves together … lives passed … lives present … we really did wonder if we’d known each other before … been together before … as if some web connected us through time … and space … the dark matter mattered … and for a few months it felt like everything we did … tapped into that magic stream … we appreciated everything … it was all wondrous and wonder full … the connection … the constant need to be in contact … the thousands and thousands of text messages … over 7000 last time you counted … sure about 6500 were from me to you … but still … along with hundreds of photos and videos … little snippets of where we were … what we were doing … random thoughts … random things … tiny silly things … things that made us smile … made us happy … things we thought we’d do together one-day … road trips that we go on … places we’d visit … things we’d write … plays we’d be remembered for … play time
the hardest thing is … you took away the fear in my heart … filled it with joy and laughter and hope … and now going back to what it was … is worse than it never filling in the first place … but I think I get it … seems now you only were ever half-present half-engaged half-involved half-accepting half-believing half-wanting … half of where I was … I know that’s a lot of halves
you say you don’t believe in fairytales … that life isn’t a fairytale … but it could’ve been … and more … could’ve been better than that … we had all the ingredients … we had the potential the promise the prospect … the energy of fire … the connection (again with that word) … the buzz … the celestial bees buzzed right through us … through me anyhow … when I’m brave enough … to look back through some of the photos … or god forbid … read some of the messages … we sent to each other … I still can’t understand why … why you didn’t want this