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queenfisher Profile
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Summer madness on a blank page


I bow in obeisance –
offer myself:
to this blank page,
hallowed space,
on which I must live
again and again.

I pray for hunger
discontent.
Lose time staring
out of windows:
half an afternoon
gone.

Eyes
burst into flames.
Drops of blood jump,
trees nod in assent,
breeze intoxicates,
leaves whisper:

no future

past is at an end.
Pray for the present,
pray for the present;
pray.

Fevered brain
parched lips,
it is the flaming
air I breathe.
Strike the match
roll out the drums:
the madness has begun.

I bite into the sun
It flows down
my belly,
stains my
shirt.

I strike like flint
against the hot
stone-pavement,
splinter into
a million pieces.

People come and go

under purple umbrellas,
see themselves reflected
in my myriad self
as points of light.

Moths have eyes
on their wings.
Comodo Dragons
can turn them anti -
and clockwise.

Things that I see
suddenly make sense.

In the night I turn
into a snake, shed
my skin, hiss
across your back.

Vampire teeth
sucks the paper
bloodless-white
I write:

with a forked tongue.


Last edited by queenfisher, May/8/2013, 2:12 am
Apr/25/2013, 2:55 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


queenie,

I marked some lines I particularly liked. There are others, too. I marked why I liked them. There is a reality in those lines without having to resort to any artifice. Small parts of the poem approach being hyperbole, if I have a proper understanding of the word "hyperbole." I think the poem would be incrementally improved by leaning more on the lines I like, which contain "flesh" but also are packed with meaning. But that is just my bias on this particular day. Zak

]queenfisher wrote:

I bow in obeisance –
offer myself:
to this blank page,
hallowed space,
on which I must live
again and again.

I pray for hunger
discontent.
Lose time staring
out of windows:
half an afternoon
gone.
I particularly like this sentence. It's both real and realistic. It conveys a feeling without any gymnastics.]

Eyes
burst into flames.
Drops of blood jump,
trees nod in assent,
breeze intoxicates,
leaves whisper:

no future

past is at an end.
Pray for the present,
pray for the present;
pray.

Fevered brain
parched lips,
it is the flaming
air I breathe.
Strike the match
roll out the drums:
the madness has begun.

I bite into the sun
It flows down
my belly,
stains my
shirt.

I strike like flint
against the hot
stone-pavement,
splinter into
a million pieces.

People come and go

under purple umbrellas,
see themselves reflected
[Same comment as above. Nothing artificial here.]][
in my myriad self
as points of light.

Moths have eyes
on their wings.
Commando Dragons
can turn them anti -
and clockwise.

Things that I see
suddenly make sense.

In the night I turn
into a snake, shed
my skin, hiss
across your back.

Vampire teeth
sucks the paper
bloodless-white
I write:

with a forked tongue.
 
Apr/25/2013, 6:33 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
queenfisher Profile
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


dear zak

thanks a lot for reading & the comments & marking the lines.

i guess this is more madness than reality - hence the hyperbole! the heat right here right now is so intense the mind does strange gymnatics - believe me! the heat itself is hyperbole - one hyper ball of fire!

Last edited by queenfisher, May/3/2013, 4:41 am
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


when i say: eyes burst into flames - i mean it literally! outside my window there's a burst of scarlet & lemon yellow flowers - same as i mention in 'Indian Summer'

& really you can strike like flint across the hot stone-pavement & splinter! & the purple umbrellas are the jacranda flowers.

i don't know about the snake though!
but in the night you can shed your hot skin under the cool ac!

& that bite into the sun - is merely eating a fiery orange mango! summer here is the season for the king of all fruits! the hotter it gets the sweeter the mango! & the way we eat it here - we peel the skin with our teeth & bite into eat - so the lovely ripe juices flow down & tends to stain!

in the heat you can get strange visions of commando dragons & such-like!

might be difficult to visualize for those living in cooler climes - but it's all very true - honest!

anyways...for non-believers: i write with a forked tongue!



Last edited by queenfisher, May/3/2013, 5:01 am
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


hi queenfisher,

Thanks for that last post, now I'll read the poem differently; it's been pretty hot here too with some fires fairly close by--but nothing like the intensity you describe. Hope you're managing to find a little shade somewhere,

Chris
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Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


QF---

i was engaged from the start, blazing images.

but i would tend to start here:

discontent I pray.
Lose time staring
out of windows:
half an afternoon
gone.


 
this seemed wordy, lines not doing any work for the poem:
 
I bow in obeisance –
offer myself:
to this blank page,
hallowed space,
on which I must live
again and again.


wish to receive the next verse sans the first two lines---who prays for hunger?

sensational but i dig it:

Eyes
burst into flames.
Drops of blood jump,
trees nod in assent,
(a) breeze intoxicates,
leaves whisper:


doubt the poem needs these somewhat sophomoric meanderings:

no future

past is at an end.
Pray for the present,
pray for the present;
pray.



Depeche Mode says---reach out and touch faith....simple line, soooo effective and made them millions...LOL

Fevered brain
parched lips,
it is the flaming
air I breathe.
Strike the match



hold it, stop....please, from something original the poem strays into the too familiar, the cliche:


roll out the drums:
the madness has begun.


hooray for the next five lines:

I bite into the sun
It flows down
my belly,
stains my
shirt.



the next five lines sound dull, flint, hot stone...too familiar, adds nothing to the visual impact of the poem or the emotional range of earlier lines:


I strike like flint
against the hot
stone-pavement,
splinter into
a million pieces.



noooo, cliche, colloqial-ism, why?

People come and go


well, hard not to remember Purple Rain the rock song:


under purple umbrellas,
see themselves reflected
in my myriad self
as points of light.


adds noting, and Commando Dragons along with cicadas are cliches...nes pass?

Moths have eyes
on their wings.
Commando Dragons
can turn them anti -
and clockwise.



 
personal and action oriented, good:

Things that I see
suddenly make sense.

In the night I turn
into a snake, shed
my skin, hiss
across your back.



just associate Vampires with cheesy TV shows and movies for idiots...LOL

Vampire teeth
sucks the paper


bloodless-white
I write:

with a forked tongue.



this time, i accept that colloquial phrase, but would understand if another reader runs away shrieking...LOL

with a forked tongue...

but nicely linked to the lines coming immediately before...




bernie


commando or comodo dragon?





The Hawk in the Rain


I drown in the drumming ploughland, I drag up
Heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth's mouth,
From clay that clutches my each step to the ankle
With the habit of the dogged grave, but the hawk

Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.
His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet,
Steady as a hallucination in the streaming air.
While banging wind kills these stubborn hedges,

Thumbs my eyes, throws my breath, tackles my heart,
And rain hacks my head to the bone, the hawk hangs,
The diamond point of will that polestars
The sea drowner's endurance: And I,

Bloodily grabbed dazed last-moment-counting
Morsel in the earth's mouth, strain to the master-
Fulcrum of violence where the hawk hangs still.
That maybe in his own time meets the weather

Coming the wrong way, suffers the air, hurled upside-down,
Fall from his eye, the ponderous shires crash on him,
The horizon trap him; the round angelic eye
Smashed, mix his heart's blood with the mire of the land.


Ted Hughes









Last edited by Bernie01, May/4/2013, 10:32 am


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


This is intense. I read a poem like this and, in order to gain perspective, I go in slant-fashion, squinting my eyes for the right angle, to what Rimbaud taught poetry: a deliberate, conscious, intentional "disorganization of all the senses." This kind of poetry, in my view, is heir to Rimbaud's one, perhaps only, aesthetic principle.

From the discussion I get your intended context, your frame of reference(s). I know something in my soma about the kind of heat you are meaning. In the past 10 years down her in the deep south, and forced to work bee yards in the extreme summer heat, I have gone down to heat exhaustion maybe a dozen times. It is no fun. Symptoms not always the same. Precious moments can get lost before I recognize the cause. Hands can tremble like a drunk's. Absolute, complete loss of muscle strength. Worst of all, extreme mental disorientation. Almost always I've been working alone. What strength left to me is needed to get into a truck and turn on the A/C. So I get the context informing the poem. That said, I'm not sure context is needed in order to read the poem responsively. For that matter, at the other extreme, I once suffered from hypo-thermia. Disorientation the same.

So what do I mean by calling the poem heir to Rimbaud? Here is the cardinal paragraph from his famous letter to Paul Demeny written on May 15, 1871, and in which he explains his poetic ambition.

~A Poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorientation of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessences. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed - and the Supreme Scientist! For he attains the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone! He attains the unknown, and if, demented, he finally loses the understanding of his visions, he will at least have seen them! So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic flight through things unheard of, unnamable: other horrible workers will come; they will begin at the horizons where the first one has fallen.~

A little further on he says: "A language must be found; besides, all speech being idea, a time of universal language will come...This language will be of the soul, for the soul, and will include everything: perfumes, sounds, colors, thought grappling with thought." Rimbaud was still shy of 18 when he committed his aesthetic principle to a letter. He wasn't talking about the kind of language you find in a dictionary. Nor was he pointing to some kind of esperanto like universal language. He meant the kind of language found in poetry.

What I'm getting at, trying to, is that all poetry is drawn on experience, the more persoanlly lived through the better. All poetry, true poetry, gets us inside experience. But it does something more. It heads out on its own, free of experience, becomes sui generis. I don't believe it transforms anything, even experience, but it is transformative. Your poem stands on its own. Just let it.

Tere
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


Hi queenfisher,

I have two reactions to your poem: one from before I read the comments here; one after.

Before thoughts:

The S2 reminded me of the Chinese proverb: Pray to live in difficult (some translations say, interesting) times.

"People come and go" is when the poem picked up for me on first reading. The imagery of the purple umbrellas, moths with eyes on their wings all felt immediate and held my attention.

Overall, I read the poem as being about the writing process: how it feels to desperately want to write and what the author sometimes goes through in order to put thoughts and feelings down on paper.

After reading your comments to Zak, I realized I was missing an essential ingredient to understanding what you had written: the experience of living through an intense Indian Summer (I do remember that poem, btw, and the photos of the trees you linked to). I didn't know the purple umbrellas were flowers or that the eaten sun was a mango! With those two clues, the poem reads much more richly to me. Very sensuous/sensual in the same vein as several of your other poems that featue Indian vegetation and landscape.

Queenfisher, your frame of reference is so different from mine, but I value that you've shared it and helped me expand mine.
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


hi chris

thanks for reading - hope the fires have subsided - happens every year does it not?
one can always find shade - but it's only going to get hotter - till the rains arrive - that's why we love the rains in india - only the monsoon brings relief.

bernie - thank you so much for the detailed crit - & the suggestions
yes the first stanza - has nothing to do with the heat but i had to link up the heat of creativity with the hot weather & actually make the whole more disjointed than it is - i don't know why i wrote about the past / present thing - maybe a feverish prayer - wanted to give the impression of being touched in the brain - with the heat. as can be seen with spelling of comodo dragon! thanks for pointing that out!

thanks for the great poem - enjoyed!
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


hi tere

wasn't rimbaud the young french poet who went quite mad? read some long back - pretty intense stuff - perhaps i'm one tenth as mad as him! i will pray for more!

the disorganization / disorientation of the senses would lead to some great creativity!
i'm totally of that school of thought & very encouraged to read what you've sent - it fuels my brain - expands the horizon to regions unknown - i enjoy that freedom!

yes heat stroke can be pretty bad - a few people die every year of heat stroke. we have a local remedy - raw green mangos - boiled / pulped - with a mix of salt & sugar & drunk before stepping out in the heat. & intake of fluids lots of it & to keep the head & body covered.

had read a book on artists that died young - rimbaud being one of them & a host of others from every field - van gogh / james dean / jim morrison / janis joplin etc. who probably went through similar feeling as described in rimbaud's letter - thanks for posting that

& this: all poetry is drawn on experience, the more persoanlly lived through the better. All poetry, true poetry, gets us inside experience. But it does something more. It heads out on its own, free of experience, becomes sui generis. I don't believe it transforms anything, even experience, but it is transformative.

this can bring a dead poet alive!
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


hi katlin

thanks for your comments - yes you're right - it is linked to the creative process

& in a way the forked tongue - tho cliche is a dig at poets - esp poets! they mean what they never say!

pray to live in difficult times - maybe makes sense - that's why the hunger & discontent - all those ingredients required for creativity - like the intensity mentioned in tere's post on rimbaud. the hunger is not literal - but there has to be hunger.

the seasons here are so intense - that it tends to creep into your writing. end june the monsoons will desend with great fanfare thunder / lightning / rain lots of it
& transforms the landscape from browns to greens.

thanks i'm glad to share - just as i learn a lot from all the people here - it's quite invaluable.
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Re: Summer madness on a blank page


No, Queen. Rimbaud didn't die from or of madness. He left the European scene, eventually ended up in the Middle East, became a smuggler and a gun runner. Story of his death convoluted, included a misdiagnosis that brought about an amputated leg, but diagnosis finally was cancer. Rimbaud never meant mad nor did he mean to die. An industrial disease got him.

Tere
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