Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You know what Wednesday is....

That's right. It's One Shot Wednesday! If you're unfamiliar with what this is, take a tiny detour, and check out the link or my previous post on OSW.

So...I know that I very recently wrote a little something about the intentional poem. Something about having a definite plan for the direction of the poem at the get-go. Something about how that can help us avoid freezing up when we encounter inconvenient poetic conventions, and so forth. Well, I'm about to renege on that a little. Just a little. Because, despite how helpful it can be to have a plan (and I have found that to be helpful at times) I find that sometimes poetry comes when I don't intend anything for the piece at all. It comes when I simply sit down to write, with no real conception of what I will write. Again, this is only sometimes, but it's frequent enough that I find it significant. In these instances, once my fingers type out the first two or three lines, something has materialized, and I can go from there. It's like the poem writes itself to me. I don't superimpose a theme on the poem. The poem simply decides what it will be about, all-powerful in its own potential, totally outside of my mind. (Ha. Am I grossing you out with poetic mysticism yet?) I like to think this kind of writing happens when there's something I need to say that I haven't consciously realized until I sit down and experiment a little. The following poem, in fact, was written in this experimental way.


For once the brandishing of symbols and relics

From my past is forsaken.

This day’s lacerated fingers of first light gently take

The sign from my hands, the sign I have waved

When picketing against the childhood I experienced.

This sky. This cloud of fantastic epiphanies, dispersed over

The ocean, each human-once- a-child

Picking one from the whole, pulling fibrous strands of “ah-ha!”

For their own souls to digest.

For once the soliloquies of my psyche

Descend in pitch and tone, to a soothing,

Calm recital of my blessings.

My ‘nesses and “isms” have quieted in concentric arrangement

Around the present moment, and what is left

Is an “I” freed from yesterdays and the reverse travel

Of the long-pointing hand of the mantle clock.

This actuality is self-renewing.

For once the brandishing of symbols and relics

Has ceased, interrupted in its fluster,  

Its agitation frozen, observable only in single

Frames, as on a reel of film. Then has been usurped by now,

Which has no devices to describe itself.

Alrighty then. Go dredge something up for yourself, and check out the other talented poets contributing to One Shot Wednesday!


  1. this was a fun read...several really great lines like "My ‘nesses and “isms” have quieted in concentric arrangement"...i eaewly have a plan when i write...if anything it is sometimes a vague notion...

  2. Very interesting and thoughtful.. I liked your last lines very much along with your words...
    'My ‘nesses and “isms” have quieted in concentric arrangement'
    Thanks for sharing this one..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya



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