October 05, 2007

The first of many

Well, here goes the first of what may one day become many poems. It's been a while since I've written poesy, and although it's the first poem I think I've ever created dealing with human relationship (at least, of the sexual, make-believe-adult kind that people mean when they chain down the word "relationship"), it's also the first I would call entirely fantastic. In that sense I mean that it's a fiction - it isn't derived from experience, except perhaps on some lizard level at the bottom of my animal hind-brain.

My usual topic is science and other such gibberish, spun out to the extent that the subject matter is completely lost. I hope that when it comes to poking through the damp toilet paper of this offering, it'll be a little easier to see what was the object I wished to convey, lurking beneath the surface. The restrictive structure placed upon the poem has squished my brain, hard, and thus forced it to concentrate on exactly what it was I wanted to communicate. You can judge my success.

The hardest part of this particular jaunt was the arbitrary words. Each line of the poem was required to contain one word from a stream of randomly generated text used to inflate internet spam. Taking this into consideration, numerous lines that I had been marvellously happy with crumbled into uselessness. But once replaced, refigured, face-lifted and generally butchered, the new lines were often far more interesting than their forbears, if a little more opaque. I cannot say that there is one change that I resent. It has also had the effect of foreshortening the poem - there is only so much internet spam you can use without changing diction.

For reference, the other rules were –

1. Each line must be 10 syllables long

2. Each line, except for the last, must begin with "I", "You", "He", "She", "We", or "They"

I'd like to thank Jimmy for making me write this little journey through my process. Not because he told me to, but because I felt damn embarrassed looking at his mighty journal entry and not even considering adding anything to mine. 

With that, here's the poem, unnamed (largely because I don't know if the rules apply to the title as well as to the body of the poem).  If you wanted to give it a title, you might call it "English Summer".

We met in combat one English Summer

I lost beyond the iron-hard coastal shelf.

You were destiny under sheets and waves.

I fed you porcupine pork; the blowfish

You dealt me a snowy convulsive spark

I dreamt for. It boiled my soul to coffee.

We pushed off cautious into the salt-sea.

I was lost in your wave-curl dress, hoping

You would find met at your altar, praying

Deep beneath the salt and car crash ocean.


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