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36064 Profile
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Windows Emittng Yellow Light


He asked that the walls
of his new flat be painted
dull orange;

an ochre of light brown yellow
that would yield hues slowly
as though compelled by vast
breakers from an imaginary sea.

The kitchen, where he would boil
in grand and bulky caldrons
haunted and unreal tars,
candle wax and flax he painted
an offish white, like a doctor
cool and neutral in a sick ward.

He would avoid the kitchen
and wash away all food smells.

The tub was acrylic, shinny,
glossy and allowing long soaks
where he curled like banana leaf.

He set-out brightly etched jars
of hybrid plants, and large basins
of paraffin fruit. The hardwood
floors slick as a dessert fork.

The French windows admiting
pearls of scattered light
reminded him of a mausoleum at
St. Botolphs.

From a city bathed in purplish
dusk, a Japanese woman emerged
walking toward him with a floret
on her lapel.

On the third day he began to cry
without ceasing, the affect was
that of a man waiting for a taxi
in the rain.
 


Last edited by 36064, Dec/9/2012, 12:13 pm
Dec/8/2012, 2:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Windows Emittng Yellow Light


Bernie,

This is quite a poem. Very impressive indeed. I'm reminded of Vincent Van Gogh, of his paintings. I'm also reminded of the 80's Rock video, the one made of pencil drawings: "Take on Me" by Ah-Ha, a Norweigian band. But it transcends those. The Japanese woman emerging as if from a conch shell, and the man weeping ceaselessly and the taxi and the rain -- it all brings the myths and legends into a modern setting. Modern yet on a tableau, a painting or something. That's my two cents. Zak

quote:

36064 wrote:

He asked that the walls
of his new flat be painted
dull orange;

an ochre of light brown yellow
that would yield hues slowly
as though compelled by vast
breakers from an imaginary sea.

The kitchen, where he would boil
in grand and bulky caldrons
haunted and unreal tars,
candle wax and flax he painted
an offish white, like a doctor
cool and neutral in a sick ward.

He would avoid the kitchen
and wash away all food smells.

The tub was acrylic, shinny,
glossy and allowing long soaks
where he curled like banana leaf.

He set-out brightly etched jars
of hybrid plants, and large basins
of paraffin fruit. The hardwood
floors slick as a dessert fork.

The French windows admiting
pearls of scattered light
reminded him of a mausoleum at
St. Botolphs.

From a city bathed in purplish
dusk, a Japanese woman emerged
walking toward him with a floret
on her lapel.

On the third day he began to cry
without ceasing, the affect was
that of a man waiting for a taxi
in the rain.
 



Dec/9/2012, 5:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Windows Emittng Yellow Light


Hi Bernie,

There is a rare combination of intimacy and distance in this poem. The man's life looked at from both inside and outside his current home. All his careful planning within looks like yellow light without, even to himself if he stands like a stranger, or that cool neutral doctor, looking in.

S3 is the only one that I had to reread to properly follow. I tried tweaking it for clarity, which may or may not work for you:

The kitchen, where he could boil
in grand and bulky caldrons
haunted and unreal tars,
candle wax and flax, he painted
an offish white, like a doctor
cool and neutral in a sick ward.

(I changed "would" to "could" because in the next stanza you write that "He would avoid the kitchen.")

Dec/17/2012, 8:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
36064 Profile
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Re: Windows Emittng Yellow Light


Zak---

I went to the Amsterdam museum that features only Vincent Van Gogh. I went during winter, in a rainstorm, hoping there would be few visitors that day passing in front of me as i stared---i'd even say studied, his work. sweet, moody, heartbreaking.

and yes, in my poem, a certain whisp of myth, that Japanese woman emerging; that cloud, that dream, that vision that often signals the arrival of some pivotal new experience or decision.

this woman steps from the purple city, real or a fantasy? this young man, this narrator may never be able to distinguish fact from fiction, fantasy and reality; a source, perhaps, of growing paranoia in just a few afflicted with mental illness that becomes so overpowering that a glaring headline is produced in Colorado---or Columbine---or Nazi Germany.

and, and...like everyone i'm trying to make sense of these shooters...these young men who kill.

this is my crime scene reconstruction of his personality...my attempt to view a shooter from his own perspective.


thanks again.


K---

your perspective actually helps me understand my own poem---this shooter's poem---your view had a calming, i would even say, healing effect on me.


All his careful planning within looks like yellow light without, even to himself if he stands like a stranger, or that cool neutral doctor, looking in.

of course, not all estranged young men kill, so i also intend this as their case file (a diary) a case file in their own words and that hopefully says to them, i need help. I'm not trying to explain or speak for anyone, just using this format to explore what little i know, to highlight how much more there is to know.

and yes, could is the right choice.


thank you.


bernie









Last edited by 36064, Dec/18/2012, 1:08 pm
Dec/17/2012, 11:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Windows Emittng Yellow Light


Hi Bernie,

I didn't read the poem as being "the shooter's poem" per se. I saw the "he" in the poem as being someone isolated and alone, lonely, most likely suffering from an illness, detail-oriented and cut off from his emotions until they overwhelmed him. A mysterious character, idiosyncratic.
Dec/23/2012, 9:27 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Windows Emittng Yellow Light


After reading your explanatary note I'm confused about intention. This is a poem about a killer, maybe a serial killer, and so is the Japanese woman his prey? If so where are my clues?

You are a fine wordsmith, probably a better wordsmith than I am, at least possessing more facility. All I can say is that the poem reminds me of that claustraphobic thing, this in a good way, A rebours by Husmanns.

Tere
Jan/14/2013, 7:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Windows Emittng Yellow Light


K---

yes, the narrator's world. so different from our own, no doubt, but never the less we recognize the extremis of a human colleague.


Tere---

the japanese woman, i read her as something the narrator in his calmest moments might desire, a small mystery without any threat or danger, a hoped for intervention.

Randall Jarrell captures that moment here:

quote:

The wild beasts, sparrows pecking the llamas' grain,
Pigeons settling on the bears' bread, buzzards
Tearing the meat the flies have clouded. . . .
           Vulture,
When you come for the white rat that the foxes left,
Take off the red helmet of your head, the black
Wings that have shadowed me, and step to me as man:
The wild brother at whose feet the white wolves fawn,
To whose hand of power the great lioness
Stalks, purring. . . .
           You know what I was,
You see what I am: change me, change me!




if only David Foster Wallace, Rothko or several days ago, the brilliant young programmer who killed himself---or the son of Sylvia Plath in alaska busy becoming a world class naturalist.

not to mention the family murderers, the highway killers of strangers.

if only they could say, you see what i am---change me.

thanks for generous remark about wordsmithing.


bernie

---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jan/15/2013, 7:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 


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