The Hard Work of PoetryPoets are constantly crippled, creatively. It's the way it works. You write a line and, just now, right now, it seems like it's the best line in the world to date. It's a shiny, beautiful line, a thought, an image so remarkably profound that you are in awe of yourself, or (if you are a seasoned poet) in awe of that angelic being which sits on high in your mind and occasionally drops little scraps of poetic manna into your head. Now, you only need to write a poem around it.The Hard Work of Poetry by salshep
Because the poem takes over, sprouts a million legs and scurries in directions you had no real intention of it going and now the Wondrous Line of Glory and Poetic Win doesn't fit. You have to either change it or take it out and save it for another poem. Or make it a haiku-like short poem on its own, so all those other words don't assault it again. If you're an experienced poet, you'll probably just store it in a .txt file or on a post-it note somewhere and lament it until you're old and nothing matte
Pain PAINPain by salshep
Hangs from your pelvis
like an incomplete, conjoined sibling
with no mind of its own
but enough of yours to make you fear it.
Comes when you are sleeping
to perch on your face and dip its beak
redly into your dreams.
Shucks its claws
on the upholstery of your flesh.
Is a fog-eyed poet, reading aloud to you
endless reams of his own passionate,
Squats in the waste it has made of you,
you dare not look in the eye.
Remembers the body when it moved
with the ease of light across a lakes delicate skin.
Watches your babies grow
skins so thick they cant feel you.
Is an illusion
overcome by mastery of the mind,
an ascetic life, a clean colon, eighteen
valium and a quart of Scotch, a bullet
or all of the above.
MammothYou're on the lawn, pickledMammoth by salshep
as a paper-bag philosopher, mouth full
of copper and oxidised vinegar
eyes oystering ant-sand and your cheeks wet
as the tracks of unhappy snails.
It's almost dawn, it's cold. The bastard
left you, and you've fallen over
in the garden coming up the path to home.
By morning, frost crackles
across the black hump of your back -
soon you'll be glaciered to the grass,
face iced to your coat-sleeve,
and the great, frozen spectacle
of you will grind its way, ten inches a year,
toward the porch. Some day
they'll discover you, the remains
of dandelions stuck in your teeth, fresh
as ten thousand years ago.
HomesickDo not let them see you blink,Homesick by salshep
Mother said, so I am careful to turn
away when my eyes dry out. My grip
on the brush is clumsy. Colours speck
and dazzle, slop like foam on rocks;
the teacher dabs their brilliance
from my flaking arms. Children whisper
behind starfish hands; they go to play
in the bright, hot yard but I stay in,
as Mother told me. Below the window
theres a tank of golden fish that circle,
circle, following their own reflections.
I dip my fingers in to scoop one up,
watch it flip and shine, cool in my palm,
and press my face deep into the water.
Membranes slide across my thirsty eyes.
I breathe, and breathe, and breathe.
|-WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING LATELY-|
Avoiding sinkholes, mostly.
-WHAT I'VE BEEN READING LATELY-
Only Forward - Michael Marshall Smith
I love a book in which you cannot guess the next twist. And love better the book wherein you shouldn't, but do, and then the narrator calls you a 'smartarse' for having done so. Best narrator ever. Genre-defying, exciting, freaky, esoteric, brutal, horrifying, true, fantastical - loved this to bits.
Ring - Koji Suzuki
Compared (unjustly) to Murakami, the book makes the film look better (the Japanese version, I mean; the USA film isn't nearly as good). Still, a decently creepy read if you can get past the appalling translation (or wooden writing, I'm not really sure which it is.)
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Chick lit for morbid people. Beautiful, strange, uplifting. I also find myself suddenly obsessed with sinkholes.
The Riders - Tim Winton
This book gutted me. Gorgeous. Sad. Funny. Read it.
The Invisibles - Grant Morrison
Makes Gaiman look like kindergarten.
Focault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
Dan Brown, for people who don't breathe through their mouths.
Some Poetry-Related Journals:
Derek Walcott Walt McDonald
Lord George Gordon Byron William Blake
Christopher Smart Maya Angelou
Richard Wilbur Robert Frost
I'll cut the hearts from pharaohs
I pull the road off of the rise
Tear the memories from my eyes
I drink a thousand shipwrecks
Tonight I'll steal your paychecks
I paint the sheets across my bed
The birds will all fly from my head
Take every dream that's breathing
Find every boot that's leaving
Shoot all the lights in the cafe
And in the morning I'll be gone