Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The New Prometheus


The New Prometheus


(a sonnet of sorts)






Into my waking dream you sometimes come
to take the thing I no longer thought I had.
Your staccato rhythms on my flesh-tuned drum
give me the soaring solace of the mad.
So full of the gods' unbanked Promethean fire,
you make theft a gift and violation a desire
so warm with love there can only be surrender--
my cold inertia to what will melt and render.

This fantasy lightning-bought, hot-wired to life,
flash-frankensteined to fit my hid ambitions,
like an army drilled in invisible munitions
I name imagination's blurred-blade knife,
yet I have no surgeon's intimacy with death's bite;
I can't claim this illumination as my own light.





~November 2015












Process Note: The subtitle of Mary Shelley's iconic Frankenstein was The Modern Prometheus, a reference to the cost, perhaps, of bringing things to life. Also, I call this a sonnet, but I'm afraid I have not paid much attention to the proper meter or rhyme scheme.








Images:
Top:The Beethoven Frieze: The Longing For Happiness Finds Repose In Poetry, Right Wall, detail. 1902 by Gustav Klimt. Public Domain, manipulated.
 Public domain, manipulated.


9 comments:

  1. Flash-frankensteined is some wonderful compound verb as is the flesh-tuned drum. This feels to me like the struggle one has sometimes for intensity, for something that feels real--the artist especially--for all the talk of imagination, what one wants is vividness--something gripping--here a kind of exchange is made--the flesh-tuned drum is beaten and makes rhythms and a tune, but the rhythm maker seems to feel bereft--that it wasn't really theirs--that it may not even make complete sense--this is what i feel anyway--yet, I think it's a worthwhile bargain--a lot to be struck by here, Joy--an original and view with very compelling word play--that's not really the right description--compelling analysis. Thanks. k.

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    1. Yes, imagination is all fine and good, but sometimes one wants what is real--and sometimes, one gets it-and then what? Is it ever as much one's own as the mind's own gift? But maybe all the better for that...anyway--thanks so much k, for your time and input.

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  2. The soaring solace of the mad.

    I prefer your sonnet to those too enamored with form.

    Could use some of that solace these days... ~

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  3. What's the old alchemical, nothing can be truly joined that is not first properly separated? So the alembic here is contrariness, of so many things: time (first two lines, all over the place -- the paradox of a waking / dream, the revenant who "sometimes" comes to take what the dreamer thought she'd lost long ago); desire and violation; love and death, outrage and sanctity. And is the phantom any more true than the real "flesh-frankenstein" deal?Mercy. Imagination's knife do doth cut blurred through our butter, and sometimes I have to, um, thank if for sharing, I really needed that vicious swipe. Poets steal from dreams, and burn this way. The penance is pentameter, the sonnet's loving axe. Loved the lead pic.

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    1. Appearance versus reality is an old steed to ride as a writer, yet she is sometimes capable of quite a gallop. ;_) This one fell into my lap in a formish kind of way, and so I used that particular scalpel on it--I think there is a sort of ravishment in any possession, even a willing surrender--I suppose that is the payoff for opening the gate--many tropes here, like the Swiss Army knife poetry is, and every blade blurred. Well, in my hand, anyway. Thanks, B--this really was supposed to be a love poem. ;_)

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  4. I have read many a sonnet over the years, and this takes its place, for me, amongst the best. I do not believe that strict adherence to meter is necessary in our post-post modern era of writing, and you have more than fulfilled the premise of a traditional sonnet in the division and argument presented. I also admire the rhyme scheme you have chosen, especially the addition of rhyming couplets. The sestet is particularly brilliant, in phrasing and diction. In all, a most satisfying read.

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    1. Thank you so much Kerry. I now feel much more validated, sonnet-wise, as you are one of the best composers of them out there that I know.

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  5. This is so full of seeming--and arresting--contradictions! Taking what the speaker thought she no longer had. A gift of theft and mad solace. This is some roller-coaster ride of incredible images, Joy, but somehow the whole thing remains cohesive. Please stop showing off. (Please don't!!!)

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  6. Love this struggle between what is, what is believed should be, and what happens in between... "you make theft a gift and violation a desire" makes me think of extremely complicated relationships... those that can only be fully understood by the people directly involved. Such intimacy...

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