Sunday, June 29, 2014

Persistence of Notion


Persistence of Notion






It's a long walk
away from yourself
from your carefully assembled
hands and feet
from your chalkboard smile
into the heat
where things form and break
in the suncradle crucible
rocking, melting
joining of grains, of drops
shifting towards
then away
from themselves.

It's a long trip
away from the past
walking shapeless sand
with sacked shell-shatter to carry.
When it's finally laid down
spilled out, you can't stop
looking back at the pieces
pulling together,
pulsing, alive,
waiting
to regrow smile
and feet
and follow you.


~May/June 2014





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Sunday Challenge: Avant-edge

Kerry O'Connor gives us the ultimate avant-garde challenge--to write as if there were no challenge at all. So, I've fished this one, written on a whim, out of the cauldron and revised it today.







Image: Shell and Rocks Arrangement, 1931, by Edward Weston (photo)
May be protected by copyright. Posted under fair use guidelines via wikiart.org


25 comments:

  1. A new favorite. A very vivid wise poem. I know I've mentioned this passage from Rilke that I like so much about his surprising a young woman weeping on a park bench and how she leaves her face in her hands. This is very different from that--so methodical and vivid and really"executed" but I read it with that same wonder at how someone has gotten something so right. The self wants those hands and feet and even sometimes the cardboard smile. The image of the sand walk and the sacked shell-shatter-- and its urge to reform--the whole second stanza is especially compelling, I thought. Shell-shatter a particularly good word choice here--(I think of Julian Schnabel with all those broken crockery paintings, and probably sea shell ones too, but of course, you've got that other shell going on.) And the closing line very wonderful, though I'm afraid that my "you" is all too closely tied to my sore feet to troop very far ahead. Wonderful. (This was what I meant in saying mine was rather uncreative--ha! ) (Not complaining, just laughing--i'm a prose writer.) k.

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  2. I admire the words (suncradle crucible and shapeless sands) & the changing perspective of movement & time ~ Intriguing imagery of walking away & following back ~ Really well done HW ~

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  3. Oh! so long, so long the walk, the trip, the crucible, even the assembly--each wave's in and out is an eternity and way too fast--breaking, shedding, reassembling. I believe crossing over into death will ease the reassembling somewhat, as we take nothing and each one remaining keeps only the pieces they want.

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  4. First the words roll so sweet of the tongue, with alliterations and rhymes.. riding on a melody that make this poem something. I feel like a nomad's urge to move on and grow in regrowth... this is simply amazing and I have read and re-read it several times...

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  5. Oh forget you! Just, you know, stop showing off for two seconds and let the rest of us collect our hats that blew off and try to catch up. My gosh!

    That opening is wonderfully poetic and arresting, and the line about the chalkboard smile is my favorite. I didn't think the rest of the poem could match that stellar beginning, but d'oh, shows why I'm not paid to think. That ending just blew me right out of the room. This is instantly one of my favorites you have ever written, Joy.

    *feels like an ant, trying to jump up and grab the bar that you have placed on top of the Sears Tower*

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  6. ps--forgot to say, what a perfect title.

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  7. It's a long trip
    away from the past
    walking shapeless sand
    with sacked shell-shatter to carry.
    When it's finally laid down
    spilled out, you can't stop
    looking back at the pieces'

    I shall remember these lines.

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  8. the trip there and back again...submitting yourself to the breaking / giving up your own sense of self...then watching as the pieces reshape themselves behind it..what a visual in that...fascinating piece joy....

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  9. This made me think, we take that walk every time we create something. Beautiful hike here.

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  10. So many thoughts spring to mind on the first read of this poem. I very much like the way the two stanzas reflect one another, with subtle differences to take the theme itself forward.
    I was especially struck by the chalkboard smile and the sack of shell-shatter - that compound word is innovation in itself.

    Thank you for always being a source of inspiration.

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  11. I always admire the unusual word combinations in your poetry - this time, love the "suncradle crucible." Wonderful writing.

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  12. This moves so beautifully, Hedge, like smoke; before you know it you're choking on the truth.

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  13. It's almost like you're walking around inside my head. I swear, I'm reading this after I posted my poem and its messy "note". But I must resist the rookie mistake (along with its unintended rudeness) of hijacking your poem to talk about myself. On top of it all it's so hot here right now, and I'm waiting for my partner to get home so we can go to the beach....

    You have lived, and not in vain, for your experience comes out in your poems, and I love this one. I wish I'd written it. Still all about me, I know!

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    1. If you can find something of your amazing creative self in my stuff, Mark, I am nothing but flattered. Hot here too--the heat is like a hammer and no beach to cool what gets pounded on the anvil--envy you the ocean, and thanks for the very generous assessment of this little mind fuck..

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  14. Your composition and flow here gives the "walk" and the "trip" a sense of effortlessness that belies the complexity of the many artifacts that we create and dispose of as we become what we finally are. It flows so easily here, at least to my eye and ear, while life itself is so hard. This is a recent favorite of yours.
    Steve K.

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  15. I can still see the chalkboard smile~ You made the path an intriguing one~ I love the thoughts of hope in regrowing a smile~ Lovely, to read

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  16. Mind fuckingly good and straight out of my fuckingly mind but better because of your witch ooooooooooossssshhhhhhhhhhhh! It is freezing here because it is June and Wimbledon is on, so my comment is a little attempt at dispersing the 6am grey of another washed out summer Monday.

    It's a long trip
    away from the past
    walking shapeless sand
    with sacked shell-shatter to carry.

    is actually enough to break the dullest day anyway: sheer class
    and enough to make me feel like I am walking with a sister somehow
    into colour.

    TY Hedge - best

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    1. Thank you, Arron. I like to think those of us with the marks of our pasts we struggle to heal do walk together, in some way that brings a little light into the journey. May the English summer turn on the sun for you soon, A. I mean, wet balls have got to inhibit the whole tennis thing.

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  17. I started doing tongue-twisters on the phrase "sacked shell-shatter" and got side-tracked for a while. Had to begin again to read the pen.

    What they said.

    Me, I can't keep the ones I want, meanwhile I keep hitting 'delete' on the rest. ~

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    1. You know I know the feeling. I have triple copies of everything I write, because I am a compulsive paranoid Capricorn. My files are full of scribbles I can do absolutely nothing with, too--I like to flatter myself this leaves me free to produce the occasional good one, since it gets all my attention when it does pop up. Anyway, hope things ease up for you, M. Thanks for reading.

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  18. Well since we're all bubbling away in the summertime summertime vat, at least there are some fun chunks to gnaw on ... Loved this fantasia that cooks away the dross of history only to find that whatever we run from back there is waiting for us up ahead. Like one's shadow, which tends to get pretty long at the end of cloudless days. The passage of time is inexorable, as our will to keep reconstituting and reshaping it. Whose brow isn't growing feverish in this heat?

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    1. Thanks, B. Yes, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Stay cool in your blue cathedral nights, where waterspouts dance with oil rigs above the selkies' bedrooms---maybe their ceiling fans?

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  19. Great poem! Love the assemblage imagery - by the end, I pictured a paper doll, splayed unnaturally and forgotten on the ground.

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