Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Bird Cage Music
On the lines of a page the composer
transposes the collected melody.
Revenants sounded together from daily life.
Horizontal bars track on, right across
the white, peppered with black bodied birds,
sitting tight on the wires. When they take flight
from the hands of the musician, his breath
shapes their timbre and shadow. He wreathes
sunlight, wind and rain within their soaring,
beyond that shielding white.
And at the close,
those sleek bodies alight again, gripping
to the lines, in their twig-like claws, eye beads
shining within the confines of the page.
Roosting with the breves until the next time.
This has been hanging around for a while. Rob Mac and C.E. Chaffin regularly do Sonnet Sundays and I had thought of giving it a go, but I'm crap at working out whether these lines are making a potential sonnet or not and not very good at sustaining anything for a long time these days!
I can hear it oh so well when it comes to Shakespeare or any other's work for that matter but I can't see it in my own! Try, try and try again, I guess, and keep on trying until it comes without trying was the advice I remember from PFFA, once upon a time. To me it always feels as though I'm trying to fit the words to the form, instead of the form fitting the words. Or have I that arse about face too?
C.E. Chaffin has moved onto villanelles now, which I'm quite interested in. I like the way the repetitiveness piles up an extra meaning within the form, adding another layer to the whole.
But time, time, time, is the problem and when was there ever enough?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Filling out the form in the waiting room, I thought it best to mention that I tend to faint after the injections for fillings or extractions.
'Hmm,' said the Dentist, 'Is that because you are a bit scared of the process. 'Hmm,' I said, 'It could well be.'
So the Lady Dentist proceeded to x-ray and count the teeth, in that lovely acronymic manner that they have, and I lay on the chair trying not to squirm too much.
'Hmm,' she said again, 'I think you could do with a good clean here, it's been a while hasn't it?'
So my teeth got the clean of their life and I was dead chuffed with the result, I could feel again the little gaps between them at the bottom.
'What about the nagging pain,' I said.
'Oh, that'll likely settle down now,' she replied, 'Give it a week or so.'
Three weeks later and I'm chewing painkillers like smarties. I had a chance last week to go in and get it looked out, but the old coward that I am, I chickened out. I rang again today, to be told that it's going to be next week before they'll see me. In the meantime, anything hard in the eating line is off the menu and I just have to hope that I stop waking myself up at night with the tooth-grinding, which isn't helping.
I just know it's going to be another extraction. They say that you lose one for every child you bear. Some price to pay for having six kids, eh?
And don't mention oil of cloves!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
You were an old flame guttering,
sputtering with the lie of life.
Closer to extinction you lived,
armchair convictions condensed to
badge the sleeve of your hair shirt.
You imagined me a mirror
fit for moulding to your image.
But I proved more enigmatic
than Leonardo's lady, my length
cramping, hampered by your frame.
What saw you last when the rattle
stuck fast, final, in your black craw
and then fluttered from your mute mouth?
A gilded moth trapped, flickering
in swirling wake of summer skirt.
I was good and angry when I wrote this one - it's about an ex who has died, and I suppose a bit of me being angry for the person that he used to be.
Don't get me wrong, I was very sorry to hear when he died, and am sure that he had changed into someone else as we all do as we grow older. This is more of a revisiting of the time before, when I knew him and an outpouring of all things I wanted to say but hadn't the wit for at the time.
Who'd be 21 again? *sigh*
Monday, November 06, 2006
1. Always entails a fight over whose side of the bed you're meant to be on - this ensures a raising of blood pressure which is essential for later on.
2. It's also a good idea to empty your bladder beforehand (in the bathroom!) - there's nothing more annoying than having to get up in the cold and run for the bathroom. But at least he keeps the bed warm for you!
3. Squelching sounds should be completely inaudible - if you can hear them, you're not breathing loudly enough.
4. If he asks if it's big enough - lie. Imagination is a wonderful thing.
5. If he has to ask if you're enjoying it, something has gone wrong!
6. A bed with a good stiff footboard gives him something to brace/push off against.
7. Small children can and will march into your room and ask for biscuits/drink/toys/stories. Try to anticipate these needs beforehand, and if you haven't got a lock for the bedroom door, try a chair wedged under the handle!
8. Make sure said small children are not running around the back garden in earshot - it is offputting when they start to argue. Loudly.
9. When it's all over bags the shower first - he really will appreciate you for the few minutes post-coital sleep it affords him.
10. A nice cup of tea never goes amiss afterwards.
11. Likewise a nice argument afterwards - just in case they were taking you for granted.
12. The above gives you a good excuse to do it all over again.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
There's an introduction to, history and links to the poem itself here in an ezine called Blackbird.
When I read it I thought straight away of T.S. Eliot's 'Portrait of a Lady', from his first collection Prufrock and other Observations, which according to our course work, had some basis in the Henry James' novel of the same name, and a basis in Eliot's former US life.
The intro on Blackbird links the poem to Plath's reading of The Great Gatsby and explains the other allusions as well. What I find quite amazing, is the density of imagistic compression, with flashes of what becomes her later trademark voice.