The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Abandoned Poems pt.5

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As a poet, it’s good to be in the habits or both playing with sound devices and subverting expectations.  As for the latter, Charles Simic provides an excellent example in his amusing imagist poem that appeared in last spring’s Paris Review:


Children’s fingerprints
On a frozen window

Of a small schoolhouse.
An empire, I read somewhere,

Maintains itself through
The cruelty of its prisons.

(I just pasted that from The Paris Review website; oddly, those weren’t the stanza breaks that appeared in the print version of the poem.)

I’m no Simic, but I do know the value of poetic practice.  Sometimes that’s all you get with certain prompts from the Poem-a-Day Challenge.  That’s all I got from “Write an explanation poem” last November 16, but I was grateful to bring myself to the experience of playing with both sound and subverted expectations at the same time.  This one went through quite a few drafts.

Beyond Explanation
Things should be as plain as
the nose in your pants,
or the nose of a plane.
You should hear this
clear as a beluga.
It should be as clear as
a static transmission.
Do I need to draw
you a pickaninny?
You’ll get it, Event Shirley.
This above all else:
To thine own self be truculent.
That’s probably the quinteenth
time you’ve heard that.
Don’t worry–pretty soon
you’ll get itch.


Written by seeker70

November 20, 2015 at 1:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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