Monday, October 17, 2011

City of the Mind

Bruxelles Musée Magritte

City of the Mind

Give me
a  page of night's
black stardazzle,  splash
across some buttermilk moon, and
you win.

physical, imaginary;
so messy carving off
parts so people 
will fit.

October 2011

Posted for    Sunday Mini-Challenge     at with Real Toads

This is my attempt at a mirror cinquain. (one cinquain of lines of 2,4,6,8 and 2 syllables  and its reverse.) Kerry O'Connor will explain it all to you at the link above.

Image: Photo of The Museum Magritte, Brussels, By Michel wal 
(Own work) via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Texas chainsaw cinquain? Carving off parts? Arms? Legs? Ohhhhhhhh, you meant carving off parts of the surroundings, the view, the--

    Heads? Noses?

  2. Maybe I've gone the wrong direction with this but I found it affecting and kind; an inner admonishment to ward off insisting that others fit our idea of them. Then again it could be a surrender to the monster who is devouring your bits of self to carve you into its creation. Apparently these real toads posts have stumped me two weeks in a row :).

  3. @FB True, but mostly I was thinking people parts. This is the month of Halloween, after all.

    @Anna--I think you understood it quite well, both times,as I recall anyway. No monsters in this one, except for the ones who insist on all those boxes.

    It's amazing how writing so few words opens up a thought like a scalpel. Now I'm seeing the whole piece differently.

  4. i hate it when you have to carve them to fit...move the family a couple times and we left body parts....then you have to go back and get them on....

  5. I like what you did with the form. For me, we fit people into boxes or categories in our minds. Carving off some parts.. messy ~

  6. Oh I love this one, Hedge! "night's black stardazzle" and "buttermilk moon" wowed me. Interesting format and the image is perfect to accompany it.

  7. Love these...."night's black stardazzle and buttermilk moon" There are times I would like to carve someone..mainly from my life and not body parts.. :)

  8. Thought-provoking... symbolic, I think, of the judgements passed upon people in the mind. I really enjoyed reading it many times!

  9. Like how you put it, the bit about the box --instead of having people bend or fold or squeeze, the expression here is more severe and harsh, literally cut off parts so they'll fit, that suggests an irreversible change and loss.

  10. I love this mirror cinquain!

    I like how the second stanza feels like it should be the first, somehow mirrored and in reverse.

  11. N'erer a clearer mirror sinkane, or whatever. It's obvious the City is far, far in your rearview mirror. I've never seen a photo more perfectly match the sentiment (so which came first, huh?) I like the FB chainsaw approach to shitty, er city, living. Hey, it's only a flesh wound, said the armless legless Black Knight ... how else are we gonna fit such a square peg at a round table? - Brendan

  12. Thanks all. I've previously read about Crapsey's cinquain, rather harshly judged, which could be due to its blatant Americanism, not to mention the author's unfortunate appellation--I think if this were given a pseudo-oriental name like the tanka it somewhat resembles it would be all the rage. It's a fun form to write--it feels to me very balanced, very specific, yet unobtrusive.

    @Ruth: I thought about switching but they wouldn't co-operate--the Boxes stanza was actually written first--but it does seem to work out this way better.Thanks for reading, as always.

    @B: Thanks. Yes-almost called this City v Country like a wrestling match, and just as obvious who's the good guy for me. The picture came after the poem--was looking for some semi-surreal cityscape thing by magritte or chopped up people by klimt or chagall and ran across that photo which seemed perfect the minute I saw it.Pure serendipity.

  13. glad to see you have converted!
    signed, The Cinquain Queen

  14. I love the whole package: pic and stanzas. There is a definite change of mood between them, which suits the mirror idea perfectly. Sad that the buttermilk moon so often disappears behind concrete constructs - I'm so lucky to be able to greet it every night.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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