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 …
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
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 …
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
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 I’d 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 …
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
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.
Day 27 — TIL a bit about biology
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
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 …
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
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
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
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…
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
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 …
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!
Over the course of a month lots of ideas get tested & abandoned. Several lines in this poem were previously homeless yet coagulated into this one. As for the Poetic Factoid Poem — Warning. There’s a big *BIG* TRIGGER WARNING on this one for people who don’t feel/think they’re as old as they really are.
Day 22 — TIL something deeply disturbing about the Lord of the Rings films
the Lord of the Wrinkles
i. meme read a brutal meme today which said Viggo Mortensen is the same age Ian McKellen was when he played Gandalf.
NO, I AM NOT OKAY I CANNOT POET ANY MORE TODAY SORRY! GOODBYE!!
ii. data naturally, being a fool i had to check the veracity of cursed meme — turns out it’s even worse Aragorn’s older than Gandalf was at the end of Return of the King!
time for a cuppa & a lie down
Principal photography 11 October 1999 — 22 December 2000 with pick-up shots done from 2001 to 27 June 2003.
Viggo born October 20, 1958 (current age 64) 45 when started filming, 49 when finished
Ian born 25 May 1939 (current age 83) 60 when started filming, 64 when finished
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…
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