Day 30 – April Thirty: two, for the price of one

NaPoWriMo is over for me for 2014.  There’s no need for an introduction cos I say it all in the poem.

NaPoWriMo 2014 meta-poem

i.
this last, a self-referential postmodern effort
where i talk about writing the poem itself
& how even finding the title proved elusive
vacillations between the technoesque
“rebuild”, “reboot”, even “re-de-construct”
to the cliched “fresh start” & “new day”
& the punning “imperfect storm”
it’s been a challenging month on a life front
wherein i survived easter (always a dark time)
dealt with banal bureaucracies who
(simply because they weren’t paid for several months)
disconnected power & phone
was unable to use an expired credit card
risked not being able to drive as my car
was 3 hours away from being unregistered
being cancelled from my artist payment grant
because i hadn’t attended a meeting
searched for long lost medicare & healthcare cards
(finding one out of two) almost missed out
on participating in my new course of study
owing to a clerical error…

… but all that changed today
when my long awaited tax refund
magically appeared in my bank account
& the clouds parted & the sun shone down
& life almost did, literally, start again

ii.
yet despite enduring
all that Real World guff
i’ve scribed & posted
30 poems in 30 days
played a few word games
some less successful than others
received some moving feedback
gone from 0 to 50 followers
(thank you all) & been viewed
over 470 times in 11 countries
all of which helps make my first
NaPoWriMo a true blast

i feel exhausted
sad
drained
strangely addicted
wishing for a few more days
wishing Day 16
had a bigger response
& i could reveal the punchline

i’m gonna miss it like mad
because while i published 30 poems
there’s at least another 30
in various solid draft stages
& 30 more abandoned ideas
that might warrant revisiting
when i have more time & energy
so all in all, a profitable month

it’s good
to be
a poet

 

BONUS POEM:  I began this month with a poem about stars. I want to end it the same way, except this is just about one star. My favourite one.

 

latecomers to the sunset

people continue to stop    suddenly
iPhonestruck    fumbling in awe
to snapcapture    the wild gold
firestorm    our universe is  flaring

it’s glorious  admittedly   but i keep
thinking    half-smugly  half-sadly
you should have been here 
15 minutes ago

*****

 2014-04-30 23.49.30

 

Day 29 – April Twenty Nine: a kind of love poem

Had a number of poems I could choose from today. Went with this cos it’s unlike most of the ones I’ve posted this month.

Almost sad to realise there’s only one day left …

deliberations made since you stood me up one time too many

admittedly, unequivocally, & without question
the house is calmer
since you’ve stopped coming over
but is peace, tranquility, contentment,
balance, harmony, solace & serenity
worth losing your special brand of insanity

sadly, the jury is still out on that

*****

 Heart_by_HEandRO copy

 

Image: Heart by HEandRo.

Day 28 – April Twenty Eight: over the top obits

Some months ago, one of the finest actors of our/any generation died after an incident with drugs went wrong.  At the time there was much speculation about what caused it. There was also an abundance of slightly sickly, sentimentalising of “the soul of the tortured artist”.  

Back then, I PDFed a few of the finer examples I read. Today I tweaked & played with some of the more sick & sycophantic phrases, shaping them into a homage to suffering. (I have not acknowledged my sources, for fear of embarrassing them.)

I ran out of time to finish it, but there’s something there I like.

Beautiful Helplessness

addiction haunts every artist
barely disciplined helplessness
we’re all familiar with darknesses force
if we keep the poison away, the elixir is lost
if we had everything there would be love, no desire
art mends what life shatters, so escape into our creations
torment & talent are inseparable

all the d words appear
drugs, done in a dark places in despair?
artists who’ve done deals with their demons
or rather rock star hubris, deliberately courting death
an arrogant doubtlessness they’re above the rules, above odds

the Faustian pact where only utter self-annihilation suffices

hostage possession obsession carnage

the price of prodigious creative vitality is premature & public mortality
fleeing from pain, transfigurance enables endurance of suffering
solitude & uncertainty are part & parcel of artistic expression.

banal
romantic
hyperbolic
tosh

not all great artists suffer

*****

 2014-04-28 23.51.50

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)

I
falling fruit
journey towards oblivion.

drops of dew
exit from themselves.

bid farewell
exit
the fallen self.

II
you
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.

III
quietus make
a bare bodkin?

man can make
exit for his life
is it quietus?

even self-murder
make?

IV
we know,
deep and lovely quiet
heart at peace!

quietus, make?

V
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
oblivion.

VI
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.

VII
all we can do
build the ship
the longest journey.

with oars and food
accoutrements
for the departing soul.

as the body dies
out, the fragile soul
the ark of faith
pans
clothes,
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.
Nowhere!

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

end, it is oblivion.

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

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

the little ship
the deathly ashy grey
flood-dawn.

a flush of yellow
a flush of rose.

whole thing starts again.

X
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

Day 26 – April Twenty Six: I’ll be caaaaalllllllllllllling you!

I actually had a pretty good draft of this poem completed by midday.  Then I drank some wine.  Red wine.  Very rich plummy chocolaty tasting red wine.  It’s now just after 11pm.  (There’s a lesson in there somewhere!)

It’s based on a few notes I made a couple of days ago while dealing with my electricity provider.

powerless

thank you for calling Genesis Energy
please listen carefully as the following options may have changed

to feel frustrated, please press #1
to wish to kill yourself painlessly, please press #2
to be treated like a nameless shleck, please press #3
to be shunted back & forth between a variety of different Customer Assistant Consultants, none of whom will actually assist you, please press #4
to slowly go crazy as you are tag-teamed by a duet of equally perky but highly irritating male & female announcers who banter delightfully as they tell you 28 different versions of — “for other ways you can make a positive difference with Genesis Energy including Solar Heating, please talk to one of our Customer Assistant Consultants … today“, please press #5
to be utterly infuriated by the repeated-every-7-seconds burst of bland but groovy funky elevator jazz music, please press #6
to have your query answered quickly & efficiently, please press #9
(we’re just kidding of course, there is no option #9)

you have selected #5
{click}
thanks for holding
{click}
we apologise for the delay, your call will be answered as soon as possible
{click}
your call is in the queue, and will be answered in approximately < 8 > minutes

*****

 Online-channel-powered-by-call-centres

Image: Call centre hell

~interlude~

Despite mum’s interwebs being downgraded to dialup speed thanks to too many sons, daughters, granddaughters & Words With Friends addicts all being in the one wifi zone for the Easter Long Weekend, I have finally managed to catch up. Thanks for your patience. Hope the wait was worth it. Only five days to go. Can hardly believe it.

Day 25 – April Twenty Five: “national identity day”

As I get older I understand Anzacs, Anzac Day & war more. I also understand it less. Hopefully this poem written at the Dawn Service my Papa used to attend when alive & which we go to in memory of him captures some of those understandings.

keeping the peace

bagpipes fight
the magpies
for supremacy
in cool April air
chilling autumn
leaves & evergreen
eucalypt alike
church bells bless
try to reconcile
that age old
oxymoronic misnomer
fighting for peace

aware what Anzac is
but still shocks
to see the guns
of the catafalque
party so close
reminds it’s more
than just speeches
stirring words
holidays
it’s also old men
getting under
standably drunk

*****

soldier

Image: moi