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November 20, 2007

A curse and a blessing

Right, so - here are the curse and the blessing for last week's assignment. Unchanged following the feed-back. The basic mission (for anyone interested) was to curse someone, and then translate the poem so produced by the antonymic method, that is to say by replacing each word with its opposite (or the nearest equivalent). We were then allowed to jigger the antonym around, and hopefully construct a decent enough blessing.

The curse was not well received. I can see why - the curse was supposed to be a "hammer of language", and this is very effette. I had another idea I didn't go with - the Curse of an A-Bomb (basically, what if an A-bomb effected its powers by magic?) but I got tied down talking about the bomb itself, so I went for this.

The blessing however got a good reception. I do enjoy the imagery it through up - the strange accumulations of language that the antonymic method produced really did create some beautiful images. I'm concerned that the poem doesn't have a coherent narrative or a consistent voice, though. Still, it's certainly something worth returning to.

The heartbreaker's curse

For you who have broken hearts,
or unthinkingly put yourself before others
in your every moment,
I curse you.
I curse you as you curse others –
With your choices, with your affections, and with your life.
Three times I curse you.


When you must choose,
you will be crushed with indecision
stifled either side of a choice:
although both paths are clear,
you will be choked by the big bad "if".

Your life will be lived in no place.
- your heart pulls this way
- your heart pulls that way
- your heart splits open and blood floats out
- it floats as if there is no gravity and it floats away from you
- you cannot clutch this fine spray of blood

It will take your love with it.
It will take your tenderness.
It will take your caring, and you will never have them back.
Without them, you are a husk.

You will never cry again;
your pains will be shallow and cheap.
- you watch at your window as the last people leave
- now you live alone
- your house is large and the corners are dark
- it is cold and grey
- it is very cold in here
- no-one is with you

No-body will warm you in the night,
and you will never feel a human touch.
You will be beautiful and unwanted,
and you will live like this until you kill yourself.

A lover’s blessing – direct antonymic translation

To me, when you’ve fixed bodies
and thoughtfully taken us away from ourselves
outside none of our eternities,
you bless me.
You bless me and I bless us –
Against our obligations, against our enemies, or against our death.
Three times you bless me.

If I cannot live freely,
I have been floated without choice,
promoted within by no indecision:
because neither forest cannot be dark,
I have been breathed into with a good little “despite”.

Our death has been died outside every place.
-        our bodies push that end
-        our bodies push this end
-        our bodies seal closed or veins shrivel in
-        this sinks unlike lacking weightlessness, or it sinks towards us
-        we can release it coarse cloak unmade of veins

This won’t leave our hate without this
This won’t leave our coarseness
This won’t leave our aloofness, or we won’t ever give this away.
With this, we aren’t the kernel.

We won’t ever roar before
Our pleasures have been deep or expensive
-        we’re blind from our walls before a first animal comes
-        then we died together
-        our ruin isn’t small or the vertices aren’t light
-        this isn’t hot and bright
-        this isn’t a little hot out there
-        every-one isn’t without us

Every soul has cooled us outside the day
Or we have always seen the animal sights.
We weren’t ugly or needed,
Or we died unlike it since we lived each other.

A lover’s blessing

To me, when you’ve mended my body,
taken me away from myself, with care,
though never damaging my own little world –
you’ve been a blessing.
You bless me, and I bless you as recompense.
Against my obligations, against my enemies, and against my death,
three times you’ve blessed me, so
I’ll repay the favour.

If we don’t seem to live free,
we’re moving without choice.
Pushed that way not by indecision but
because no path through life is light and carefree.
When bad futures loom,
We’ll take what good air there is –
and I’ll breathe bad air, so you can have the good.
But you shouldn’t fear the dark ways:

Our death has been died for us already,
outside any place we could walk:
-        our bodies strive at this end of life
-        our minds strive at the other
-        our bodies seal up, our veins shrivel in
-        the world closes down and sinks
but we are released; the cloak of veins cannot catch us.
We’ll be free, because we should be free.
I’ll come with you to make sure.

This spell won’t treat our hate;
this spell won’t treat our coarseness
this spell won’t treat our aloofness, won’t ever send them away.
But this spell will keep us from the core:
we weren’t the kernel of the bad things;
and now they can barely touch us.

I never roared before,
though our pleasure was deep and costly
-        I lived blind, behind walls, before we died together.
-        Our wreck wasn’t small:
-        it wasn’t hot and bright
-        but the universe was in it
I am sorry. I will take the universe out of the wreck,
and put it into us.

Every soul washed us, when we were outside time and life-
Or were these animal sights always with us?
No, they came then. I remember, then,
we weren’t ugly or needed. We had each other,
and I left that.
But since we died, you’ve lived just for me,
when we should live for each other.
Forgive me, and let me bless you.

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