Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jack of Storms







'Lily called another bet/and drew up the Jack of Hearts...'


Jack of Storms



We played our game of chance
on a table slick
 with wagers of wind
winnings of clouds
for lovers turned cheaters.
You'd already palmed the Queen of Night
to deal me the Jack of Storms.

You pulled in the chips
carried bent coins and paper
off in your pockets.
I can't say I even counted
just how much I'd lost
to that flickering face
seen for only a moment,

that smiling Janus-queen
who took my jack
for want of the king
left
up your sleeve.



~April 2015






posted for      real toads

Challenge: Words and Art
I chose music rather than visual art. This is a dashed-off poem I wrote from a phrase that came in a dream-- jack of storms---which immediately reminded me of this rather silly, longwinded Bob Dylan song/ballad, (which I do love  but for which there's no need to listen to all nine of its gymnastic minutes) and I offer it very unseriously to this prompt in the spirit of April spontaneity.


Process note: Janus is the god, who, like a playing card, shows two faces.


Image: The Fool, from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. Public domain.

22 comments:

  1. Something about that first stanza captivates me, but I can't put my finger on it... This is beautiful, and I liked the way you actually looked outside the conformity of art as paintings... Great write!

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  2. Nice, Hedge! I enjoyed this post...song, poem and art of the Tarot...great combo! Your closing stanza...love that, too. :)

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  3. Intriguing...!! Love the nice even flow of the verses... you've chosen a very nice piece for this prompt! :D

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  4. I think your dream phrase - Jack of Storms - is a toothsome combination of association and psychology (incredibly realized in a dream). Your poem very cleverly brings some of those connections to light.

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  5. It has a light feel this game of love so hopefully no harm done.

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  6. I'm so glad your still writing and posting, it's a comfort to me =)

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    1. Miss your poetry, Woodrow. Thanks for coming by.

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  7. Both Dylan and Cohen are masters of using phrases that evoke emotional associations from our culture and our own experiences. I think your poem does so too.

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  8. I love that you chose music ~~ your poem sings ....

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  9. What dreams you have. Love is definitely a card game. Some win, but more lose." We played our game of chance on a table slick with wagers of wind" Love that line.

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  10. This has such frothy cleverness at the beginning, and then gets more bite. I especially like the table slick, the wager of wind and the winnnings of cloud--I had three ns there, sorry--this feeling from the start that this lover plays with marked cards is very strong--and yet the queen seems tp be the worst cheater--(though I knew plenty of Jacks!) I'm sorry to be a bit incoherent here--it is a fun poem is what I am really trying to say--k.

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    1. Thanks, k. Your comment was saved just fine, so am deleting the duplicate--thanks for dealing yourself in to this little friendly game of chance that seems to go a bit awry--ah well--someone's got to play the Fool. ;_)

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    2. Ha. I was so very tired last night--I wanted to say that I think there's a lot of fun word play--the "want of" so clever at the end, and following through on the Queen of Night--I didn't follow her as Janus at the first reads--my own fatigue I think--not a fault of the poem--perhaps not the hand the writer wanted to play! ha. k. (I can't help but think of Mozart here as much as Dylan--and the writer seems a little Pamina.) k.

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  11. In Gamblers Anonymous, the plight and salvation of the suffering all-in fool is the same: it's not about knowing when to hold 'em, fold 'em, walk away or run (sorry Kenny), its about the power of surrender before the first cards are dealt. Try to win, you always lose. Easy for poker, maybe, but love? Go figure. Great rollick of gaming metaphors here. Leave it to the demon lover to palm that queen of night to trump the jack of storms. We lose! Oh well.

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  12. Zackly. The next game I try will be pin the tail on the donkey. ;_) Thanks, B.

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  13. I smirked the moment I saw The Queen (in all her royal darkness) slip into the shadows to wait for the Queen of Storms. It made me happy and I'm not even sure why... Perhaps, at a cellular level, I enjoy the sight of a lady with a plan.

    Love the last stanza. It reminds me that first impressions aren't ever what they seem; especially amongst gamblers.

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  14. Haha, love! Something bandit-like is going on here, a source of ballad and what all of Dylan hints at ( for me ) as he seems a romantic outsider.

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  15. Dashed-off? Please. This is full up with images and angles that are arresting and sharp. Playing for clouds, hidden cards that aren't found in any ordinary deck, and the twist at the end that's worthy of any 40s noir movie/ Jack Nicholson western. If you're going to "dash off" stuff this good, please deal me in.

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  16. I seem to fall further and further behind every day; the red queen at my heels. but I must have time for tea with you, dear Hedge, no matter what the clock says. must be the jack of fools in me... ~

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    1. An occupational hazard of poets, I believe. ;_) Thanks for making the effort, M--I too struggle to keep up--I had to take a day off from commenting, and it has taken me three to break back even--and some days I find it almost impossible---but the bright spot is that you are writing so many poems, after a lot of silence, and it really helps keep me going to see each new one come out.

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  17. I love the "jack of storms" and the metaphor you've woven around it. Yeah, deal me in too.

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  18. This made me smile, even more so after reading your description of Dylan's song. :)

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