Posts Tagged ‘ready set go’

Dying/in love with Komunyakaa

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Okay, so if there is one thing to always remember about me, it is that Eliot and Ginsberg are in an eternal war over my poem-lovin’ heart… only they’re both dead and neither one of them will ever know it. Which is why I don’t feel so bad about cheating on them with Komunyakaa… because I’m definitely falling in love with his poetry, too.

I’m actually embarrassingly emotional about this right now, so I won’t go into too much detail about it, except to say that piece after piece, I keep noticing his line breaks more than anything else… in a very good way! I think “Jasmine” in particular provides an excellent example of this: if you get a chance, go back and check out the line breaks of “I thought my body had forgotten the Deep/South…” (4-5); “My mind is lost among November/cotton flowers…” (12-13); and “The trumpet’s almost kissed/by enough pain…” (23-24). They’re really exceptional, in my humble opinion.

While you’re still messing with “Jasmine,” by the way, you should totally check out “Duke” and “Basie,” a.k.a. the famous jazzers Komunyakaa is referencing in this particular piece. Duke Ellington and Count Basie were two super-influential jazz pianists, and if you don’t know what they sound like, you should seriously look ’em up. 🙂 Additionally, “Clifford’s/shadow” refers to Clifford Brown (I’m guessing), who was a brilliant up-and-coming jazz trumpeter who died way too early as a passenger in a car accident, shocking and devastating the jazz world. He was incredible, too, and would have definitely had a stunning career if not for his death, hence the “shadow” and “ghosts” in the poem. Just fun jazz facts for your musical edification. 🙂

Also, “Returning the Borrowed Road” totally killed me, if not for the sole reason that my dad is spending a lot of time in Missoula, Montana, nowadays. It just really hit home.

I can’t WAIT to talk about him/all of this tomorrow.

Vollmer essay prompt is posted

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Joy Comes in the Morning Sun

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Before explaining “Morning Sun” the best I can. I want to start at the beginning of class Monday when Professor gave us the two perspectives of confessional poetry. (1)Confession-expiation of sins, self accusation non-conformism, suicide, in contestable, self surveillance. (2)poverty of the ideology, actual pain given and taken, politic repressive, socialism.  Being one who is very decisive, I have decided that I can not decide between the two for this poem and will strive to incorporate both perspectives within this “statue” of a poem, “Morning Song.”
Hearing a lot of “be carefuls” in class about our interpretations of pronouns like, “I” and “You” and who they might be, tells me to not be careful at all because the people who warn “us”, whoever they might be are not Sylvia Plath and are merely giving opinions.  Interpretations are merely that, ones own opinion of a given work. I give my opinion this fine evening. 
The pronouns to focus on in this poem are “Love/One”, “Our”, “I”, “Your”, and “We.” I know some begin to perspire when religion is brought into the conversation but it will be ok, I promise.  One may suggest “Love” is God and God is Love. “Our”, being society. or the “peanut-crunching crowd” that Plath would call them Or Nature birds chirping etc. “I”, is the speaker whoever you may be please take the mic when you have the chance, we can be the speaker box. “Your” or “you” is the most fun because it can be interchanged with the speaker or God. “We” isn’t as fun but it is synonymous with “Our.” Read along if you would like to overstand as Bob Marley would say:
God set you going like a fat gold watch.(wake up) “midwife”- at birth, slapped your footsoles(walk perhaps), Bald cry( first cry at birth) the elements(society or Nature)
Our voices(chattering in the peanut gallery, or birds chirping) New statue(Man or Women)
drafty Muse( Muse is good, drafty bad). We stand round blankly like walls(trying to capture you with their stares).
The third stanza is very tough but, you know how Jesus was created in the likeness of man? cloud (pure soul, Jesus) that distill a mirror to reflect its own slow Effacement at the wind’s hand, lots of natural stuff would tell me that God is present.
We as strong statue humans are cut down to the size of “flat pink roses” in the fourth stanza. pink roses(innocent babies)I wake to listen( I’ve heard of people not getting out of bed unless they “hear” that it is time, from something if it be an alarm, birds, a crash etc.)
God’s cry( to us), Victorian(champion to see another day). Your mouth( yawn perhaps or we haven’t cursed yet like a clean slate, or God’s cry is clear in the form of an alarm, birds chirping, or crash). The window square( my favorite part, regular old window or the sky).
and now you try( you little star you). Your handful of notes(what we know, our lexicon of knowledge, some suggest God speaks through us). clear vowels like the heavenly soul or cloud or wind, translucent and sacred and just like in Bishop’s “Armadillo”,”fire balloons”, regular balloons can be used to represent those souls that rise after death, we did it at my church during vacation bible school.
This poem is essentially saying every morning is a new beginning or a birth into the day.

Brooks essay

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Prompt posted.  Due date moved back to March 15.

Lunatic Fringe

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

In a dark shaded realm be a healthy neurotic.

Control your levels don’t be a lunatic.

Don’t budge when they nudge you to belittle.

In every scene you decide the caption.

Little bumble bee it’s okay to fly from normalcy.

We all possess a stinger for a moment.


Stand firm; don’t burn in the moment.

Though your body betrays and you are neurotic.

Slow down and recapture sweet normalcy.

Deep breaths are too loud, you lunatic.

Look at yourself, now they control the caption.

They haven’t won, you love to belittle.


Young and naïve façade, pride belittle.

Do not stay low too long, just that moment.

A captured landscape with a false caption.

Now that nature, is surely neurotic.

Waiting for the sun to fall to be lunatic.

A banana green again needs normalcy.


At day break attempt routine normalcy.

Little child single-filed and belittle.

Rambunctious side inside, caged lunatic.

Funny face peaks through for a moment.

Young and dumb, can’t even spell neurotic.

The look of Love, teeth, the caption.


No photographer will choose my caption.

Color the single-filed line of normalcy.

Chaos controlled, a veteran neurotic.

No fear, captioned, “Pride”, Love belittle.

Love on stage steals the moment.

Crazed Love, a lavishing lunatic.


Eyes magnetized by this great lunatic.

Purple Flowers grow from a dirt caption.

Don’t pick me please, let me stand a moment.

Watch me dance in the wind, my normalcy.

Sizeless, girth and height, unless you belittle.

I shake when you blow me, made neurotic.


Lunatic, a word created by sour normalcy.

Caption, words that belittle the landscape.

Moment, so short, nothing but neurotic.





The Naughty List: February 3 Edition

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013








The Verbs of “Howl”

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Since “Howl” itself is a verb, I became curious about the other verbs Ginsberg uses to portray the “best minds” of his generation…

and here they are, in the order in which they appear in “Howl.”

(9) saw. destroyed. dragging. looking. burning. sat. floating. contemplating. bared. saw. staggering. passed. hallucinating. were expelled. publishing.

(10) cowered. burning. listening. got busted. returning. ate. drank. purgatoried. leaping. illuminating. chained. brought.

(11) sank. floated. sat. listening. talked. jumping. screaming. vomiting. whispering. disgorged. vanished. leaving. suffering. wandered. wondered. went. leaving.

(12) lit. racketing. studied. vibrated. loned it. seeking. thought. were. gleamed. jumped. lounged. seeking. followed. converse. took. disappeared. leaving. reappeared. investigating. passing.

(13) burned. protesting. distributed. weeping. undressing. wailed. wailed. wailed. broke down crying. trembling. bit. shrieked. committing. howled. were dragged. waving. let. fucked. screamed. blew. were blown. balled. scattering. come.

(14) hiccuped. trying. wound. came. pierce. lost. winks. does. snip. copulated. fell. continued. ended. fainting. sweetened. trembling. were. sweeten. flashing. went out whoring.

(15) faded. were shifted. woke. picked. stumbled. walked. waiting. open. created. shall be. ate. digested. wept. sat. breathing. rose. build.

(16) coughed. scribbled. rocking. rolling. were. cooked. dreaming. plunged. looking. threw. cast. fell. cut. gave up. were forced. open. thought. were growing. cried. were burned. were run down.

(17) jumped. happened. walked. sang. fell. jumped. leaped. cried. danced. smashed. finished. threw up. groaning. barreled. journeying. drove. find. had. had. had. find. journeyed. died. came back. waited. watched. brooded. loned. went. find. is.

(18) fell. praying. illuminated. crashed. waiting. sang. retired. cultivate. tender. demanded. accusing. were left. threw. presented. demanding. were given. overturned. resting.

(19) returning. bickering. rocking. rolling. turned. *fucked*. flung. closed. slammed. emptied. twisted. are. am. are. ran. obsessed.

(20) dreamt. made. trapped. joined. set. jumping. recreate. stand. shaking. rejected. confessing. conform. beat. putting. say. rose. blew. shivered. butchered. eat.

Of all the verbs that repeat (jump/cry/wail, especially), Ginsberg chose “Howl.” And that means something. But what?

The Bishop Challenge

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Give us a decent sestina.  You must follow the designated word pattern and will impress us if you can also maintain a regularish meter.  A few cheating hints: choose your six words and, on a page, put them in at the ends of the lines where they must appear so you can visualize it.  Choose at least one word that is flexible—e.g., may be used as a noun or a verb or has several definitions (break), or has homophones (to, two, too).

The Rules:

Each end word is represented here by a number.  In six full stanzas, words at ends of lines must follow this order:

Stanza 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Stanza 2: 6, 1, 5, 2, 4, 3

Stanza 3: 3, 6, 4, 1, 2, 5

Stanza 4: 5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4

Stanza 5: 4, 5, 1, 3, 6, 2

Stanza 6: 2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1

Stanza 7 (envoy): 2—5, 4—3, 6—1 (three lines, first word is internal and second at line’s end.  For our purposes, if you get all six words into your envoy, any order is okay.)