Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In The Prism



In The Prism

 
In the prism,
quivering in liquid replication,
spangles each wrinkle, wart, 
linear placement of the face’s edge.
Each gleam 
and freshening wink of the replenished eye, 
each refracting facet, each dimpled moment 
bears back another face 
nebulous, repeated.

We meet with yet
another show of force 
striking in plosive shatters 
where face contradicts face,
making soundless endless
divided duplications redivide,
beaming outward
as we enter ourselves like light
into the expanding prism.

This is how it goes here;
units replace and contradict the spirit numbers.
The soul-eyed stag ghosts inside the glacier
but the hunter no longer eats of that meat
though he craves and hunts it 
down the fractured paths both night and day.
Jaws grinding, he peers but only sees
glamoured in the prism
the dolls of his insignificant whims.

But what do we know of these?
We know only the feel
of tight knuckles on the wheel,
the flickering kiss of the pipe,
the unrobing black way 
before us where two lights are one
piercing the night road
into the prism


September 1986
 
substantially revised 
February 2011




Posted for OneShotWednesday at the inimitable OneStopPoetry 



35 comments:

  1. I thought the feeling of strength helplessness and ultimately chasing your own tail went really well here Joy, prisms scattering the light we work so hard to keep uniform. Great write from your notebooks ;)

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  2. shivers...because it's so good..as we enter ourselves like light
    into the expanding prism..wow!

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  3. a dark and dizzling place that prism is

    *where face contradicts face,
    making soundless endless
    divided duplications redivide*


    Brilliant

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  4. ghost eyed stag...i like...dont go into the light hedge...not just yet...dont go into the light...too much left unsaid...

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  5. And I'll see you on the Darkside of the Moon!
    This was Top Notch

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  6. That last stanza is pure Hedgewitch brilliance.

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  7. Wowzers, Hedgewitch, so good I am speechless. Such fantastic writing! I, too, especially loved "as we enter ourselves like light into the expanding prism."

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  8. This is simply wonderful, hedgewitch.

    "Jaws grinding, he peers but only sees
    glamoured in the prism
    the dolls of his insignificant whims." - purely brilliant.

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  9. My, my - some dark images, but vivid, all. And unique. "Soul-eyed stag ghosts" and "dolls of his insignificant whims" - powerful, eerily beautiful. Depths stalks the lines and sets the current to which all flows, a potent and witty write - but I'm not sure the "but" should have its own line. I don't feel it's strong enough to stand on its own. I understand the desire for emphasis on it, but I still feel it should join with something...more, with the next line, or something else. But that's just me. Food for thought. Lovely, lovely write.

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  10. Thanks all. Your comments and input as always, much appreciated.

    @Chris Yes, that placement is part of the rewrite, as the flow of the poem has changed for me since 1986--that is, it solidified one way at the time and now I think it's changed. Plus over half the poem is new writing, or so altered that it might as well be new.

    Originally it was the first word of the second line, but now I like to have all my free verse stanzas the same number of lines unless there is urgent interior cause to argue against it. Still, that isn't worth a forced or artificial construction, so I am changing it back and living with the odd line number. Thanks for your input Chris. An outside eye is often helpful.

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  11. The prism really sets the tone - fragments of light and thought careening into different sectors - pulling the reader along

    your words always manage so well to pull and tug us along

    Thanks for the One Shot

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  12. I agree with Shay, that the last stanza is wonderful...you feel like you are driving straight into the prism....Thank you for sharing this piece...bkm

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  13. Such a contrast of dark and light - I had to read this a couple of times - there is just so much rich imagery here

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  14. I love hypnotic quality of this poem. Who would have thought driving down the night road would take me on a journey through a prism! Enjoyed the poem.
    Cheers
    Padmavani

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  15. The sounds, intellection and image, so amazing. The poem itself like facets of the prism, refracting meaning-- "The soul-eyed stag ghosts inside the glacier
    but the hunter no longer eats of that meat
    though he craves and hunts it
    down the fractured paths both night and day.
    Jaws grinding, he peers but only sees
    glamoured in the prism
    the dolls of his insignificant whims ".fabulous.

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  16. '...ghosts...inside...the...glacier...', it's super!

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  17. Maybe we, the common, need to start driving in the same direction and begin to illuminate the hag faces of them who oppress us.

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  18. Dear HedgeWitch... I loved this one.. its so beautifully brings out the image...and your words were so powerful and evocative..
    'We know only the feel
    of tight knuckles on the wheel,
    the flickering kiss of the snake,
    the unrobing black way '
    Thanks for a beautiful verse..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/02/whispers-tanka-and-search-for-being.html
    Connect with me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay

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  19. Wow, Hedgewitch.

    Where to begin? Your poetry is always so complete, so complex in the good stuff, that it takes a couple of readings to glean most of it, and time to settle.

    But this is true: It's haunting, memorable and you don't forget your stanzas, words, fast. They stick...rattle around this cotton-wool brain here and come back to tease.

    The imagery is so complex on the surface, that it takes another reading to swipe at it. And still, I find it's not easy, not cheap, not surface...ever.

    You take it from an abstract to the concrete and this is part of its power.

    Brillant on all levels.

    Lady Nyo

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  20. Joy Ann, a brilliant piece of writing.
    That last stanza is so powerful. The imagery
    sticks with you, so much truth there.

    btw I know I left a comment earlier,huh?

    Pamela

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  21. A lot of wonderful surreal imagery, great turns of phrase!

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  22. I'm so awed or stunned that no word other than what others have said comes through the brilliance of light that your poem has me enthralled--the prism I stepped into? I love how you alternate a 'presentation or statement' with a 'reflection', the objective and the subjective and how both reflects or is reflected in the prism--how it is entered into and refracted. So perfect in structure.

    One small thing though--in the last stanza, the toning down feels good but a small dose of power would feel better. I know that on the level of reality aka mundane, depth dissipates but always lurking behind it could be some deep shadow.

    Joy, to read you never fails to deeply satisfy and answer a 'plea'. Thank you as always!

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  23. Many many thanks all. Lots of excellent one shots this week.

    @Alegria: Glad you enjoyed it. AFA the ending, I only have what there was there at the time, and that was it.

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  24. Your language both inspires and intimidates me. (A compliment in its highest form!) Beautiful presentation, fantastic read aloud. I'm pretty sure it has all been said at least once before above. Speechless...enough said! :)

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  25. I know I commented on this already, but it must have been spat out like a celestial watermelon seed somewhere ... Difficult to take an abstraction and flesh it this way, but you do, adroitly and with calm ease. I would have maybe a bass note more of the human in here, a tangible face which doesn't lift so readily into aether. But then the speaker's voice is for that, isn't it? Reading with angelic eyes .... - Brendan

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  26. Yes, apparently blogger is eating comments--thanks to all who have persevered and left duplicates--it's always hard to rewrite your first impressions and I thank you for making the effort. Just so you know, I have deleted no comments from this thread and seldom do except for spam or privacy issues--it's some sort of glitch.

    @Brendan--yes, this poem in many ways is distant from me now, and the theme is one I might not even write anymore. But when I dredged it out of the notebooks, it seemed to have a great desire to live, so I've done my poor best for something that was rather half-formed at the time of conception. I've rewritten some of the dangling and roughness out of it, but afa pushing it into a new shape, I haven't tried for that, just more of a minor patch job and a glaze of preservative. Glad you enjoyed the alive parts.

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  27. Wow, Hedgewitch! I love the tension between science and mysticism in this poem--reflection, refraction, duality. And I love the third stanza with the hunter and the stag. But the ending is what totally rocks as it seems to suggest the prismatic blindness of death/near-death. Fantastic as usual!

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  28. You really do have a way with words. I like this a whole lot. Felt it could have perhaps been slightly condensed, but nice piece indeed Joy. Incidentally, every time I visit your blog I'm astounded by that visual piece on your sidebar "Know" ----->

    wow! Who wrote that?

    Luke x

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  29. Thanks Mattison. Your comments always are meaningful and relevant.

    @Luke: Thanks--afa "Know" It's amazing, I agree. I have no idea of the author's real name, he or she goes by the screen name of 9000. If you click the actual picture it will take you to his/her Flickr page--there are many more there, all equally amazing. But I like the flow chart best.

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  30. I LOVE your writing, have I said that already, this feels like a deep exploration of the psyche, the heart, the soul from the outside in and back again. Your use of words is spectacular, like a "prism" too, and the rougher points made remind me of rocks surrounding precious gems. You have such a unique style!! Wonderful image also used for this! Great work! ~April

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  31. The intensity of this poem was as high as the light exuded from the prism.. what an image you've created with your words, Joy!! A marvel, I say!

    To me, this poem spoke of a human life caught in fractals, with dots scattered in space which we try to connect all the time...

    The third stanza was deep and delicious food for thought... really, to me, it was like the darker side of human existence...

    A superb piece, my friend.. With every poem of yours that I read, I am always more stunned than before...

    Oh.. and AS SOON as I saw that photo you have you put here, I was reminded of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" -- LOVE IT!!! :)

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  32. Thank you April. I'm so glad you came by, and got something from the piece.

    @Kavita: Far be it from me to say I haven't been influenced by the immortal Pink Floyd, visually or otherwise. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  33. I wandered into that prism, and everything seemed changed, which is what you'd expect when the view becomes refracted and reflected. Good poem.

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  34. This weren't no pollyanna poem. Seeing your own face blown up in a rear view mirror as you check the cracks in the world, in the road, in your mind, in the glare of the way the light streaks breaking up the perceptions of your driving brain. Exquisite fracturing here, Joy. Loved it.

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  35. Wow-worthy work, had to read it twice.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg