Day 30 — (M)orpheus + Grief Facts

Always pleased when this month is over (“April is the cruellest month” indeed). That said, I’ve been planning for this poem for a while — ever since the inspiration for it came. A variation on much of this month’s stuff …

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(M)orpheus 

in the last bliss-filled : moments before dawn : i complete a poem : i’m soul-fizzingly pleased with

after days of starts & snatches abstract : unoriginal images & clunky similes i’ve completed  : one beautiful thing to pay tribute : to orpheus & his life-destroying doubt

single-handed walked a difficult path : ploughed through prose : purpled : pumpkin patched : & guided : something delicate & rare to the light 

just as i am about to read    :        over it       :     in a highly gleeful, cork-popping : champagne-guzzling celebratory way

a cockatoo screech of alarm : curses me : & those lines : of poetic perfection : whisper away into ether 

like eurydice’s half-smile

*****

Day 30 — TIL i learnt 7 Facts About Grief & (may have made up) 1 Myth

7 Facts About Grief & 1 Myth

Fact 
#1: Is normal
#2: Hard work
#3: Unpredictable 
#4: It comes & goes
#5: Always takes longer
#6: The way out is through
#7: Yours is the worst kind

Myth 
#1: People recover 

Day 29 — a light sleep

Today’s poem was quick & easy to write (huzzah!). I’ve had this image saved for weeks. I’ve loved it & known I wanted to use it. About a week ago the title came to me; then the basic content/narrative context/mood/emotion I wanted to explore. The rest, as they say …

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light : at the end of the tunnel 


the light : at the end of the tunnel : has tainted me : taunted me : haunted me : since I first saw it : with her : since I last saw : her : drifting into dust : in striking sunshine : dissolving into darkness : would : I could walk : that path again : have those few seconds ago : take ten more steps : five even : would that I could : have been : would that I was : a better man : a stronger man : the world : would look : so much brighter 

*****

Day 29 — TIL i should be napping more

Nap \Nap\, n. A short sleep; a doze; a siesta.

i.
Definition
A nap is a short period of sleep 
usually occuring during the day.
Already I’m listening …

ii.
Naps can deliver a number of benefits
Brief naps can be restorative & reduce fatigue. 
They may counteract daytime drowsiness.
These both seem self evident, but fair enough

Naps can prevent/improve treatment 
of heart, lung, blood & sleep disorders.
Good-oh. Will take all these

A short daytime snooze may also boost 
workplace performance.
Not as fussed about this but ok

Athletes may experience improved 
endurance, reaction times, & cognitive performance.
Again not overly fussed

iii.
Other health benefits
One study found 
napping 1 or 2 times a week 
was associated with a lower risk 
of cardiovascular problems, 
(heart attack, stroke, heart disease).
Tick tick & tick

Naps may be associated 
with a lowered risk of a 
rupture of aneurysms.
Things stopping things exploding
in my brain are always welcomed

iv.
Tips to Take the Best Nap 
Now we’re talking.

How Long Should a Nap Be? 
The idea adult nap length is
20 minutes but no longer than 30. 
20 minutes’ light sleep boosts
alertness without entering deep
sleep & potential grogginess/

Look to be honest, I think 
I’m gonna take it from here. 
It’s all good. No need to keep 
preaching — we’re singing 
from the same hymn book & what you haven’t 
told me, I think I’ll figure out myself. Infactim 
feelingkinda sleepynowimight\\justgolie
……………………….…………………………………………d
………………………………..………..…………………….. o
……………………………..…………………………………..  w

Day 28 – reducing plagiarism

By this stage of proceedings there are lots of random lines, fragments of poems, copies of poems I’ve read over the past month, research notes, etc. After working on a couple of technically challenging poems that weren’t quite working & feeling decidedly uninspired after several hours successlessness; I decided just to play a game & redact a poem Id read a couple of weeks ago which had a few interesting lines/images, reducing it down to max of three words per line (per original line), often much less than that. Then subbing words from line 2 down into line 8 & vice versa, then occasionally importing whole new words where it seemed useful, then jiggling lines up or down to help them make a bit more sense. The poem is not quite there & feels a little off but I quite like it even if I’m no 100 per cent what it’s saying in every moment. More work post-NaPoWriMo …

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reduction


wing-covered madness
soul halfdrunk
black liquor lures
delirium, hands sound
victory without valour
terrible-eyed sun
won’t allow respite
beseeched, prayer-pestered
manything torn away 
suffering like rocks
the coming storm
hours of prison
cool hands, sweet
light distant shadows
alien phosphorescent uproar 
comfortless last words

*****

Day 28 — TIL goldfish are more musically inclined than me

On Thinking It Out, Let’s Get Loud

goldfish can distinguish 
the music of one 
composer from another 
ooh, let’s get it on

just thinking out loud
perhaps they should use them 
to see if Ed Sheeren really
did rip off Marvin Gaye

Day 27 — euphoria + % H2O

Today was back-the-front because the Poetic Factoid pome came first, which then gave me time to stop & think what I should write for the Big O sequence. It was an easy choice. Somewhere along the way, I started (perhaps subconsciously) pairing the two thematically or otherwise; now it’s become intentional.

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euphoria


it should ache / hurt more / than it does / this wrenching / these many hands / hot hands / wet slippery hands / angry hands / clawing / scratching / screeching / hooting / as they pull me / a / part / like a cloud / i can / only / feel one thing / the buzz / of a billion bees / as my soul / is systemically / set free / as the notes i was / float high / & begin / piece/meal / the long journey / back down below / down / that cold clay / path / i know backwards / but have not / trod / in many years / at last / now / a home / coming / a / re/union / with / she / who was lost / to me / twice before / but soon / no more

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Day 27 — TIL a bit about biology

% H2O

i’ve long known
the human body 
is largely water
(60% on average)
however TIL 
the percentage
changes slightly 
with age, sex, & hydration 
ranging from 45 to 75%

i’d like to posit it
also varies depending
on the time of night
because at 3am
doonasnuggled 
nearing zero
outside then i feel 
close to 98-99% aqua
before the suddenly 
urgent dunnydash 
— yet strangely 
only about 12 or 13%
upon my safe if 
shivering return
to 4-poster perfection 

some folks argue
sex with your true 
love is about 
as wonderful 
a sensation this 
gourd offers 
but the zen of empty
bladder after holding on
too long surely comes 
                           close 

Day 26 — predicting the end of monopolies

Monday’s volume of poetry read was a recent purchase & one I’ve been saving for the end of the month: Brian Bilston’s Alexa, what is there to know about love? I was saving Bilston for the end because he’s so fun & playful & cheeky & clever in his word game poems — & I suspected/knew I’d need an energising pick me up (this month more than usual; or perhaps not, perhaps it always feels this way by the end. I suspect it does, we just choose to blank it out).

“Love in the Age of Google” is a poem made up of single lines from google’s predictive text. I’ve seen a couple of other attempts at this type of poem & thought today is a good day to test it out (for reasons which will hopefilly become clearer in Poem 2). Curation of results has taken place. I wish I made more time to make both poems shorter, tighter, but I don’t …

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Predicting Orpheus


1. DuckDuckGo
(yes other search engines are available)

did orpheus save eurydice
did orpheus look back
did orpheus die
did orpheus have children
did orpheus see eurydice in the underworld

— think most of these are pretty easy to answer, though the children one pulls me up short

why did orpheus look back
why did orpheus look back at eurydice
why did orpheus decide to rescue his wife
why did orpheus go to the underworld
why did orpheus die

— hmmm, feel like these are questions i should’ve asked at the start of the month. life mightabeen easier.

why was orpheus
why was orpheus killed
why was orpheus adored in thrace
why was ephesus abandoned
why was ephesus an important city
why was morpheus recast

— sometimes the algorithm breaks down, yes, even before i do


2. Google

i. did orpheus
what instrument did orpheus play 
…..oh good, an easy one. the lute. ah, harp. the lyre, the lyre…
what did orpheus do
…..wandered round the place singing. after that, things get ugly
how did orpheus get into the underworld 
…..excellent question, one which took me considerable
…..time in my books & online to answer
how did orpheus die 
…..not pleasantly. will that suffice?

ii. why did orpheus
why did orpheus go to the underworld 
…..even not knowing the tale, surely this is work-outable
why did orpheus look back
…..which is, of course, the crux
why did eurydice run away from orpheus 
…..run away? really? that’s the verb you’ve chosen.
why did orpheus look back at eurydice
…..it really all comes back to this, doesn’t it?
why did the maenads kill orpheus 
…..is “it’s complicated” a good enough reply?

iii. outtakes & bloopers
(in the interest of balance, google had its share of quirky predictions too)

~why did roman kill orpheus wife 
~why did hades give orpheus a condition 
~why did the gods gave condition to orpheus 
~why did thanatos come out of orpheus 
~why did morpheus kill orpheus

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Day 26 — TACD (Today Another Company Died)

The Online Jungle — worse than the real Amazon

i.
Audiobookstand, Avalon 
Books, Bookpages, BookSurge, 
Telebook, TobyPress, 
& Waldenbooks 

all book-related businesses 
Amazon has bought 
& closed (sometimes 
parts are “merged”)

sadly today Book Depository 
has been added to that list

a UK online book store 
once known for its wild range
affordability, & free worldwide D

launched in 2004 Amazon 
“acquired” the company
in 2011 (it was several years
before i realised 
my protest purchasing
was still lining
bald Jeff’s pockets)

but don’t feel too bad
(Amazon don’t)

they still own: 
Audible, Abebooks, 
GoodReads, ComiXology

none of which they 
developed themselves. 
all bought out to 
prop up/become 
part of the Bezos 
behemoth

& this isn’t all of them

there’s MGM, Twitch, 
IMDb, Kiva, WholeFoods 
& countless others across 
disciplines i’ve not even listed 
at least 115, possibly more

ii.
these “killer acquisitions” 
aren’t limited to the cut
throat world of books

fossil fuel companies do it
buy green startups
shut them down
because they don’t 
want the competition

pharmaceutical companies 
buy rivals to eliminate 
competing therapies 
under development
so theirs is the only
alternative

it’s something we should all care about 
it’s why our antitrust laws need to be given real teeth

Day 25 — the dead & the biscuit

The superimposed theme has made this year’s Anzac Day Poem a trifle harder than previous years. I’m pleased with the angle taken, though I think it might be expanded upon in a future draft…

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the dead down under

long squatting on a rock
observing the ferryman

causes me to note the dead do not
seem to ever cease arriving

lately though it’s easy to tell
some het up petty king up above

must be arguing with some 
other equally belligerent lord

cos the deadstream of bewildered soldiers 
is wider swifter & deeper than Styx itself

*****

Day 25 — TIL about biscuits

The Original Anzac Biscuit

i.
first up: the delicious 
sweet biscuit of childhood
rolled oats & golden syrup 
is not the original Gallipoli treat
(*even if it is best)

ii.
hardtack biscuits are exactly 
as tasty as they sound 
having been a soldier’s staple 
ration for centuries
(& some allegedly were that old)

iii.
a bread substitute whose best attribute  
is it doesn’t go mouldy (well yum)
unlike bread, they’re very, very hard
not to mention pretty well unpalatable

iv.
to make them semi-digestible
they were ground into a kind 
of gruel by grating & adding water
— for something more exotic 
(once soaked) jam was added 
before baking over a fire into “tarts”
not quite like mother used to make

v.
if you didn’t want to eat them
(& why would you) you could 
also to write letters to loved ones
& send them home or use them 
as paint canvases or photo frames
one even transformed to “christmas card” 
with that most christmas of topics
— a tropical scene — painted on it
including the wonderful verse
WE’RE SENDING THIS / (WE’LL RISK IT) 
/ XMAS CARDS ARE VERY / SCARCE 
SO WE / WROTE IT ON A BISCUIT

Day 24 — Another Big O study + a not so big Apple

Another poem just trying to get into the zone/the arc of whatever I’m trying to tell about this story. Still feels like straw-clutching sadly

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Orpheus: study #6


don’t speak for weeks
sit on stones by the river
beneath the mountain rocks
it’s dark water like tearsalt
autumns pass, winters pass, never a spring
no warming nights, no thawing snow

remember walking 
beneath a fragment of moon
sneaking amongst young spruce
laughing, light from the heavens starshine upon your skin
giving you my hands, giving you a ring 
guarding us against love

we must meet again

asking strangers who slide past
are you the one i seek
have sought everywhere
since the earliest days
the strangers always answer 
      no
(if they answer at all)

i have forgotten what i know
let my life begin as it ends

*****

Day 24 — TIL about Another Apple

Worm in the Apple

i.
there was 
a third Apple 
founder

Ronald Wayne 
sold his 10% stake 
for $800 in 1976

Ronald
Who?

Exactly!

ii.
In the early 1990s
Wayne sold the original 
Apple partnership contract paper

signed in 1976 by 
Jobs, Wozniak, 
& himself for US$500

In 2011 the contract sold 
at auction for $1.6 million

— Seriously Ron! Have you learnt nothing!

Ron has stated he regrets the sale
Well, duh!

Day 23 — a sonnet, sort of + big birthday cakes

Today’s poem is a homage to Bill by way of Henry VIII. It’s a Golden Shovel of “Orpheus with his lute” a 12 line poem/song in Henry VIII. Many/Mosyt scholars believe this play was a collaborative effort between Bill & John Fletcher, & I’m inclined to agree with them because it’s never felt like “Shakespeare” to me.

I’ve chosen it because: well Orpheus … & I have Golden Shoveled the last words of each line, juggled them & turned it into a sonnet. Not a great sonnet, mind you, but one with a passing resemblance to a snout. Unlike the ones from the 19th which were all AI generated That was the big guessing game thing that all two of you played haha). It had been my intention to reinterpret one of those to try & punch it into shape but I just found it too hard/the lines too banal. This definitely needs more work, but time being what it is means you get what you see …

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Luteless, Orpheus
(with Golden Shovelment to William Shakespeare/John Fletcher)


Forlorn Orpheus longed once more to see 
for himself; the unbelievable greenness of trees,
Rather than be buried neckdeep in melancholy
surrounded by deep dirt, soul ready to freeze

He had long since forgotten how to sing
had no desire to take up lute & play,
Forgotten there was a thing called spring.
had no desire to complete his latest lay.

He longed for the cheerful sway of flowers
wished somehow to re-kickstart his sad heart
Longed for the gentlest summer showers
wished sadly to care once more about petty art:

If only he hadn’t glimpsed her in his corner eye
Then neither of them would have needed to re-die.

*****

Day 23 — TIL about Bill’s birthday

old man Bill

If Bill
were alive today 
he’d be 459
which although 
pretty rootin’ tootin’ 
ancient — is still
less than half
as long as Noah 
or Adam.

However, 
he splashes all 
the post-flood crew
out of the water
— over double 
Abraham & Isaac;
almost quadruple 
poor young Moses.

Which is easier to believe:
Methuselah made it to 969
— or the Stratford man
wrote the damn plays!


Day 21 — underground fungi & Gruen undercover

This poem is a sibling to yesterday’s in that it began as a verse in that Frankenpoem which did not fit in with the rest, but was an idea I liked & echoed one I’d been considering: a poem wherein Big O is a fun guy while making his way down to Hades. The title just won’t work though… 

*****

shroom-zoom


took a wrong turn
shimerlight lost
not even shades
wander this way
lick water from walls
but wretched hunger
will claim me first
at least i’ll die here
perhaps my psyche 
will find its way to E
only the sooty fungi
the clang of clay pots
tracking spicy spores
down into the river
at the end of the world
beginning of the universe
stars & souls & gods
all zooming by / the ache
of my internal eyes

*****

Day 21 — TIL about the Gruen Effect

the Gruen Effect

shopping malls (& casinos)
modern pilgrimage sites
fully enclosed  introverted
climate-controlled faux 
town squares skylight-lit food 
court pleasuredomes+parking
are intentionally designed as 
confusing customer traps /
disorienting / losing track 
of time & space / engrossing 
overwhelming experiences /
crammed with colour / bright 
lights / tantalising smells / to 
transport customers in/
to states of emotional
arousal / succumb to countless 
tempting desires / forget their original 
reason for shopping / make impulse purchases
because / they’re / available / & / attractive

\ not because \ they’re needed


Day 20 — Frankenpoem + poetry derived from academic papers

This poem was created using a technique I call Frankenpoeming. It’s where I take a few lines or a phrases or an image from the poems I’ve been reading each day & then crunch them all together — reconfiguring metaphors, smashing words against each other, juxtaposing ideas I wouldn’t have necessary considered, & just generally using them as jumping off points into something of my own. 

Then I leave it for a few hours, before going over it again & editing tweaking polishing, extending weird things into things that more (or less) sense. Sometime extracting the really crazy stuff altogether — or just leaving it.

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darkness treks

for fifteen months 
been unsuccessfully
screaming you home

daily flinging myself 
at the feral ferryman’s feet
heart full of terrorlove

every note forlorn forever
can no longer tell 
bat from man, from moth

seven forgotten stars
stare straight in my eye 
singing swift desolation

endless walks deep down 
permanently passing
leading from nowhere 

to somewhere worse

Day 20 – TIL that in 1974, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis published a paper titled “The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of Writer’s Block.” It contained a total of zero words.

With this in mind, I’d like to write a poem based on the paper.

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The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of Writer’s Block
(a poetic interpretation)