I’ve fallen quite behind & the month is almost over, but I’m not done. So, I’m going to post them as I get them.
My in process art is part of the reason why I was falling behind — I’ve started working on some projects that require more than an hour of me sipping tea & watching The Serfs to get through.
I will try to post photography or other stuff as I can.
So let’s go…
Day sixteen read
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –“After great pain, a formal feeling comes” Emily Dickinson
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?
This is such a delightfully emo poem & I feel it entirely. This is indeed the hour of lead & I can say nothing else right now for that reason.
Day seventeen read
By God, the old man could handle a spade.“Digging” Seamus Heaney
Just like his old man.
This poem is a lot like the poems I talked about in my creative wank essay — hitting on the connectivity of the creative process.
There are a barrage of hits in the imagery tying the pen/poetry to the shovel/gardening — the generational connection between himself & his father, the natural coming to the work, & also the dirt itself as a symbol of death. The permanence is in the son continuing the craft, the digging, not in the bodies that function manipulating the matter that will later cover/bury them.
Reading & connecting with this poem feels like getting hit in the gut several times & that’s why I love it.
Day eighteen read
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall“No worst, there is none” Gerard Manley Hopkins
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind…
When I first came across Hopkins I wanted to not like him. The Victorians were stuffy & he was a Jesuit with a faith I could not relate to.
But this sonnet got its hooks in me & later I ended up reading & connecting with several of his sonnets.
Hopkins is unique in that while he lives in that whole black-white, good-bad, binary worldview he has not just an awareness but an acute ability to feel & occupy the gray spaces. He channels his faith through nature with stunning results that don’t read preachy.
Day sixteen poem
The prompt called for being cheesy & overblowing figurative language for something you loved but that was too on the nose for me. So I decided to use it to describe something that was kind of unpleasant — being inadvertently spit on by a musician at a show.
You are unavoidable; all the right
light catches in the waves of your hair
& oceans pour through your fingers, echoes
through the hollows of your breath & breaks
free, shot like an harpoon over the crowd
to splatter against my arm. Smeared by
empty fingers quick to wipe away & dip
back into my pocket; I will forget until
the sun comes back, until a prompt raises
this shipwreck from the trenches & torrents
pour through the memory of a thing that was
kind of gross, actually.
Day seventeen poem
Pieces of this came to me while I was walking. It’s a mess of longing as most of my poems tend to be. But while the two images could be repurposed, I don’t think it stands much chance of being edited into anything useable.
It used to be that there were mechanisms to stop
such things, notes too uncomplimentary became tangled,
unable to be plucked — wish it was that simple. Pine
for some fail-safe to keep me from pining & imagining
the sky is fuller than it is. Your light bearing
centuries already told from stars that already died.
Day eighteen poem
The prompt for this day was “Saturday.” Since days are pretty much indistinguishable at this point, I wrote a quick bit about Saturday morning when I was a kid.
No day like this, lost between the pages
of comic strips & coloring books, lost
in the haze of bacon-smoke, howling
through the window at the TV, running
figures that could have been cowboys
or football players as dad told us
to be quiet, “don’t wake your mom,”
we never did. Out the door before
the fire alarm went off to find
the afternoon, bluer than any grown
up sky & thick with the smells
of the river & sun & dirt.