I’m officially a week behind in posting & I’m switching over to 100% NaPoWriMo posts to staunch the bleed.
Thing is, there is a lot to do now. All the busyness of spring has been met with needing to somehow find a way to adapt a myriad of different little routines to account for staying home & keeping it in order.
Additionally, I have days where all I do is paint or practice an instrument.
I’m trying to come to my desk daily to deal with poetry as I also have active subs that need to be kept up. I have four poems forthcoming (Crepe & Penn, Mineral Lit, & Little Death) on top of the first draft prompt-based stuff I’m posting here. & I’m also managing a seeking publication pile at least 20-deep that requires undue fiddling & sending out to mags.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up on the 30 poems challenge. I’ve fallen behind & am obviously not following the rules to a T, but I’m going to keep rolling.
Day seven read
I recently wrote about how William Blake’s work affected the way I thought about & approached art. So, I got out my copy of “Poems and Prophecies” for today’s selection.
I had a pressed leaf I was using for a bookmark the last time I read through “The Book of Urizen” & found a passage near it that felt worthy of sharing.
“And a roof vast, petrific, aroundThe Book of Urizen, William Blake
On all sides he fram’d, like a womb,
Where thousands of rivers in veins
Of blood pour down the mountains to cool
The eternal fires beating without
From Eternals; & like a black globe
Viewed by sons of Eternity, standing
On the shore of the infinite ocean,
Like a human heart struggling & beating
The vast world of Urizen appear’d.”
This passage describes Urizen’s isolation from the Eternals. The demonic character has been cast into exile after demanding that the Eternals follow a strict set of laws. Without going into a long summary of the poem — it is largely criticizing the binary choices accounted for in religious dogma & the black & white way that many view a universe of infinite possibilities.
I personally enjoy the ways he alludes to the human body behaving as pieces of Urizen’s world. It ties the mythic, cosmic feel of the poem into the concrete issues of human existence and consciousness in a clever way.
Day seven poem
I used NaPoWriMo’s day seven prompt: write a poem based on a headline.
The headline I found quoted the old Steam song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss him Goodbye.” People have been using the song for fucking ever to be snarky about x or y ending. I believe this one was about a politician but I didn’t actually read the article because I just needed the headline.
I feel that the context I needed was that it was the only such headline among a wealth of COVID-19 death tolls & shut downs.
Na Hey Goodbye
Obvious that there are better songs
to say goodbye, & songs that make
leaving feel like crushing the air
out of your lungs, but you have to read
the room, consider the state of the world —
wonder if we can possibly share anything
but our horror as the minutes stretch
& relax with all the grace of a stiff-backed
bow as you try to find your second wind,
try to find enough stillness to search
for a sign that you’re still moving forward,
think you cannot stand another moment
as the sun bears down on your back,
brush collapsed on an imagined wave
wondering if you remembered it right
frothing with all the fury of living,
fast breath because you’re afraid to die
with your body underwater, unable to feel
as good as you did when you ran dizzy from
his eyes, the night burning in your chest
whole & unmistakable, limbs tingling
from drink, as you sang a better song
to say goodbye & tilted your head back
to squint in awe at the light that burned
a thousand years before the glow, caught
the bus in a collapse before having
a dream about whiskey & butterflies
think life can only get better
after saying your goodbyes.