I have two poems to post tonight.
One is absolute ass but working within the prompt given by NaPoWriMo. The other does not follow the prompt at all & came to me on a whim before I even checked the site. But I’m counting it because I’m desperate & also quite comfortable believing that it’s not something I can edit into a sub.
Because I have two poems, I will also share two selections. Let’s go.
Day eight read
Ok, I already did Blake, so let’s do Coleridge. “Kubla Khan” is my favorite poem of the English romantics. Why? Because it does the thing, the art thing I wrote a long ass essay about. Read the whole thing on The Poetry Foundation.
That with music loud and long,“Kubla Khan” Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
This concluding stanza of the poem is a particular gut punch because it’s a beautiful description of that connection between poet & muse or creativity or whatever you want to call it. A vivid visual representation of the veil between the intangible and the tangible being yanked back & forth in the creative process.
& if you’re a greasy prog nerd (lol, hi friend!), this poem may seem familiar to you even if you’ve never cracked a book. Rush’s “Xanadu” is based on this poem: “For I will dine on honey-dew and drink the milk of paradise.”
Day nine read
Since I’m rolling with the romantics. I may as well do Wordsworth next. Read the whole poem at The Poetry Foundation.
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be“The World is Too Much With Us” William Wordsworth
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
I ended up memorizing & reading this sonnet for a creative writing class trying to teach us how to read poetry. A sonnet has a solid music inherent to the form, so in that respect it was a good choice. I will say that the “wreathèd” at the end fucked me up a bit, I’m not going to lie.
I instantly gravitated toward this piece because it was celebrating the lost connection between humans & nature. This is again that tug of war between the black & white thinking of the modern world & the infiniteness of nature. Because in that infinity is the feeling of magic that is lost in the fray of ordered society, especially with the machine-time routine that was ushered in during the industrial revolution.
Day eight poem
I don’t know why I picked the Vogon bot for my prompt but I fucking did. I’m super dumb & also not sorry.
If you’ve ever read or perhaps watched “Hitchhiker’s Guide…” you may know well enough to give this one a pass.
Also, my art for the day is a fucked looking Cthulhu monster, also fitting.
The worst dinosaur is the thesaurus
Clanging speech, pathologist schooling
— Vogon Poetry Bot (@VogonB)
Toss another on the fire, & count
the beats in the lost beast’s
laughter — echo it with dead letter
ghosts screaming in signal, read
& laid out end to end in threads
of red & blue & purple & tell
the world as it turns & knots,
cog over cog, laughing & screaming,
with a song in the wires as the jaw
hangs open like a gate wrenched
from its rusted hinges.
Day nine poem
The poem came from a line that came to me in the shower. I have a lot of other in process poems & I’m not sure I can edit this one into something I’d ever sub.
I did not look at the prompt because I figured brain vomit was good enough since I’m so far behind.
Don’t pretend to speak
with my voice — heartshaped,
& young as the spring sun
at daybreak. Neither of us
know any songbirds willing
to slip a tune like a love
letter, into a waiting palm.
& who are we to pretend
that we know the weight
of our words. The both of us
soaked in currents until
we were as heavy as planets,
couldn’t hold another ounce,
believe that a soul is too heavy
to bear, an eternity as a stripe
of rust on a tyrant’s cheek. Can’t
imagine why anyone would wish
to be anything other than seafoam
pearls on the waves for awhile
before dissolving in the swell.