Saturday, March 10, 2012

Unappeased

Unappeased



Appeasement is not immortal;
any stomach will tell you that
there are wastes where shame
never shows her face.
Hurricanes don’t build
however many bricks they pile
one on another as easily as 
on a tree, dog or tomato
or inject into a snarl of wrecked
timbers, limbs and broken glass.

But age is soft snow yes
I know it is
bitter cold, blurring, preserving
as it dances down, and silences
everything except the hunger that
can only be appeased by returning
empty and calling, 
bubbling from the base, the
melted voodoo doll of self, 
suddenly become many

lumpish revolving homunculi, 
misshapen cells
oozing up through the thick blue
boiling lava lamp abyss
in improbable, million-pieced
egg shapes and rhomboidal failures
all eventually defined, potent,
inexpressible, fused or refused 
revealing, merging, 
unappeased;

it's only movement that 
endlessly
draws the eye,
the wax is stiff at first
but still the same.

March 2012


Lava Lamp

Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
Shawna of rosemary mint is hosting today, and asks us to revisit the year 1999 in our lives; I've skipped on a few years, and found a journal entry from the closest date I could and worked from that, but the essence of what was going on, and the feeling are the same, I think.





Header Image: August 2002, Journal, © Joy Ann Jones, 2002, 2012
Footer Image: Lava Lamp, by forbidden snowflake, on flick'r 
Shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 Generic license



Optional Musical Accompaniment, Playing when Journal entry was written



28 comments:

  1. lifes lessons fall like bricks in a hurricane...was really interesting to read your journal entry...and the second stanza really grabbed me in this...your description there and then just rolled on to the end....i used to have a lava lamp too so i appreciate that imagery...

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  2. what a dance of images and emotions..and kinda magical how the journal entry and the poem play together..i've been writing journals for a long time but have stopped now...not sure why..maybe because i try to capture fragments of my life with poetry now..

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  3. I enjoyed this. There is so much to be gained by looking back at our history, isn't there? Either in poetry or in any other written form. I like thinking about 'age is soft snow' and agree. And I know that even when you were very young you were a deep person. I see the signs clearly wherever you tread.

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  4. What a treat to get to look in your journal of yesteryear! Like Brian, the bricks caught my attention. I love the last stanza of your poem. Somehow I identify with your lava lamp.

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  5. These are my favorite lines:

    "Appeasement is not immortal"

    "bubbling from the base, the
    melted voodoo doll of self"

    "the wax is stiff at first
    but still the same"

    I love lava lamps; when you stare into their depths, all kinds of worlds bubble forth into your imagination. Truth and understanding are born, if only for mere fleeting seconds. Great comparison between the lava lamp ooze and our identity pieces breaking apart and re-fusing, the same but different.

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  6. I love this quote from your journal: "I am undoubtedly being egregious in all my follies." Reminds me of Sylvia Plath.

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  7. I lost all my journals and for the longest time I didn't write. So I appreciate your sharing us a page of your life. I like the images of age is a soft snow and lava lamp ~

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  8. You work with such dark images, and call up emotions and thoughts so deep from the psyche that I am often left shuddering, wondering what new reality will appear from reading your words. This was actually quite ingenious on your part for this prompt, didn't think myself to consult a diary. The following line really hit a nerve, if that's what you call it:

    empty and calling,
    bubbling from the base, the
    melted voodoo doll of self,

    Melted voodoo of self... that's an ominous sounding phrase, though it also points to the malleability of who we are and how can change according to circumstances, choices, and events.

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    1. And here I thought this was one of my more hopeful poems. ;_) If you have a bad past, then you make a lot of voodoo dolls, I think, and stick all the pins in yourself. Still, I did melt them down here, hopefully to renew out of the same wax something more and better.Thanks for your inout, Charles--yours was harrowing as well.

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  9. The melted voodoo doll of self...how cool a phrase is that? And, any poem that includes the word "homunculi" is okay with me.

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  10. "The melted voodoo doll of self." Damn.

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  11. The journal entry could've carried the post alone, but the poem rolled right along with it. Great writing.

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  12. you've got some amazing images here, especially the lava lamp

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  13. What a journal.

    I found the beginning and end most compelling--the lodged but unbuilt bricks, the wastes, the wax. But I'm left not so much with the importance of movement but intention. It's very good intense writing--you are a master of words and movement--k.

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    1. Thanks K. I never feel I do my best writing this fast, impromptu. Intention, will, grace, the other things that come to us, do make all the difference, and that isn't too clear here. Thanks for reading.

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  14. I also love that line "the melted voodoo doll of self." Wonderful!

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  15. Joy, I really enjoyed this read. It's layers wrapped me up like a warm, familiar blanket. The journal entry - intriguing, and has me wondering about that east St. Louis reference because I grew up on the other side of the river from there. I took from this that we must keep moving (hopefully, forward), melting our old selves down, reshaping who we are/were, and just keep moving.

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    1. Yep pretty much, and that what we think we've lost, in this case the writing, is in that melted wax, remelting into who knows what, but bound to come up somewhere--the East St Louis Toodle-OO is a jazz/pop tune by Duke Ellington I think, but I was listening to the Steely Dan version at the time.It's from their album Pretzel Logic.

      http://youtu.be/0F0OOd_Olwc (<-Duke)

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  16. This is exactly why journals are so precious (especially for the memory challenged like me). Rich imagery and love those closing lines.

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  17. Rilke once advised the Young Poet who wasn't sure he was one to go inside and ask, must I write? And if the answer was "I must!", as if one couldn't live otherwise, then all one can do is humbly proceed with the life-long work of building words in accordance to that knowledge. The journal of '02 that introduces this thought through its own percolation tells us there has been a hiatus, from all writing -- "being through with that whole 'waste of shame' scene"--and a much longer one from the Woodstock summer of big rock n roll. And then picks up the pen by writing the passage, as the poem itself reflects on both the moment and its duration, using the mirror of "the voodoo doll of self" -- something mercilessly dismembered, yes, but also whose gloopy pieces constantly move about in the lava lamp of reflection. In some ways, the song is the same -- same materials, motions, artifacts of change (with the snow of age falling ever harder) -- yet the work is endless since the motion is perpetual and ever irresolute. Hopefully. I don't want my lyric sense to end up like one of Eliot's butterflies pinned to the wall. The sense of "it's" is duple and left me wondering if you're talking about the self's movement or "its" referring to movement itself, (Stevens, It Must Change), or the hippie movement that once flowered at Woodstock and still rises within us and in the culture in strange ways. (Sometimes a poem comes to us the way Carlos Santana, blotto'ed on dope, had to go onstage earlier than expected and pulled off a perfect set while thinking his guitar had turned into an enormous snake). Whichever way, the voices never quite silence, nor are they appeased except, as you stay, in momentary stays of order, fixing the the irresolute movement into a verbal shape for the duration of the next poem. I wrote hurriedly too for the prompt, too much so for percolation I now wished I had lavished on the work. But there's always another poem for that - Brendan (p.s., it's always fascinating to see the handwriting behind these walls of typed text; I can't read handwriting's psyche the way the pros do but I see a strong self-knowledge, assurance with the pen, somewhat flip about its themes, not beyond punning oneself, restless yet poised -- non-verbal cues to a questing personality within the very shape of the words and sentences. Thanks for the peek.)

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    1. Any time. I enjoyed the look at your wildchild/scholarly/newspaperman's handwriting when you did your Hillman piece--there's as much idiosyncratic bits of self in it as in a photograph, perhaps more. Thanks for the in depth reading of this ten minutes of writing. I see you're either up early or cursed with the insomnia imp as well--it does make the wheels revolve. I wasn't writing directly about the hippie fantasy past as a movement, but there's no doubt it's one of those bubblies gobbing around in the lava lamp. Thanks for pointing me at Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction--been way too long since I read it--but also, It Must Please--that's the singing part, I think. Also thanks for getting that part about appeasement--that its temporary, all to be done again, and *that's the point*--you don't eat just once in your life or breathe once a day--neither do you ever solve everything just once--the question, issue, situation instead melts into the next one, and that's as it should be. And the writing, as your Rilke quote implies, it's never finished if it's ever there to begin with. But all the bubbling and rising and falling and shape-changing distracts the eye. Great analogy about Carlos and the snake guitar--what has more fun screwing with us than our minds? (Especially when we help them along with a little shamanic medicine juice)...now I'm back to Stevens and the blue guitar--'you don't play things as they are/things are changed on the blue guitar..' Thanks for reading, B, and responding at decompressed levels unknown to man. One of the things I appreciate most about you is your ability to challenge me in the verbosity sweepstakes. ;-)

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  18. Stunning second stanza. Wow! I'm still silently enthusing over it.

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  19. Love to see your journal image, and the notes that lead to the poem. Age is soft snow . . . bitter cold . . . , I love that stanza and its truth that hunger never stops calling. This is why I write. Wonderful work.

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  20. I leaned forward, to read your journal glimpse, and then I read your poem. Sat way back and read it again. Hurricanes don't build - haunting lines and an amazing write.

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  21. age is soft snow is special. i twirled a pinch of my hair around my finger while i paused and re-read it.

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  22. I loved this peek into your life on a Friday in August 2002, hedgewitch.

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  23. the journal page alone would have been spectacular, Joy, but add your poetry and you provided a really wonderful glimpse of you then/now/evolving ~ thank you for sharing such an intimate time. and, oh, those lava lamps! {smile}

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