Silly Poems with Terry

As part of the A to Z challenge I will be posting a new silly poem each day during the month of April. This was suggested by Cindy at

http://www.meetup.com/Guelph-Write-Now/

Each day will feature a letter of the alphabet. The thought of using the omegabet did cross my mind but I decided against it as it doesn’t, then, match the URL nor does it have 26 letters which is important as you may read later if (you stop reading here then you won’t but you shouldn’t really be reading this bit. I mean it. Stop.) you do carry on.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html

I’m going to do this for several reasons which I’ve thoughtfully provided below in a list:

  • in celebration of a long awaited Spring
  • the first day of the month of April is an exceedingly silly day at any rate
  • there are 26 letters in the alphabet and that will lead, naturally enough, to the 26th of April which is a special day in my life as it will be my 30th Anniversary (shared, coincidentally, with the 30th Anniversary of my wife, wow, small world)
  • because it isn’t there yet (× 26)
  • silly poems are not written enough

Double Agent

Closed to poetry
I come, expectant, to a moment
where prose just won’t work.
So I sit and wait.

Is the muse jealous of my stories?
Is the rhythm lost?
The stream damned?

It’s such a leap
and I tense those muscles
to cross from something like a simile
to a metaphor unbound.

But I learn the lack doesn’t sit elsewhere.
I’m the one who’s out of touch.

The flow is still there.
But what is left to betray?

–2009/6/17–

Poetry is

I started reading Thinking and Singing edited by Tim Lilburn, one of the poets I saw read on Monday. His writing is extremely dense. I really liked the following quote:

Poetry and long talk: oddly, in effect, the two appear equivalent: both are beckoning ways in; both are maieutic, lifting to the tongue latent things, lit things no one planned to say. Neither, it seems, fully trusts its elder brother, systematic though; each will upend it; sometimes, however, poetry or dialectic will use system to draw what needs saying further along. It can seem with such talk that the conversation itself often is doing the thinking, the speakers contributing simply their confusion, their pressing to know, each listening for where the talk wants to go, attempting to “hear” the watercourse it’s found. Many poets say that poetry, too, is largely listening, that what is wanted is a kind of negative attention, an alert emptiness …
–taken from Tim Lilburn’s preface to Thinking and Singing: Poetry and the Practice of Philosophy

“Largely listening” and “alert emptiness”. Wow. Apt.

Poetry in the ebar

I attended the poetry reading in the Bookshelf this past Monday (April 7th, 7pm). Three poets were represented:

Karen Houle
Tim Lilburn
Alison Pick

This is an alphabetical list. They presented in the reverse order.

I really enjoyed Alison Pick‘s reading, side stories and poetry. She read from her latest book: The Dream World which covers a 5 year period where she moved to Newfoundland and back. It was warm, approachable and evoked a strong sense of place with me. My wife and I moved to Nova Scotia for 8 years in the late 80’s and, perhaps because of this, I found I could relate very well.

Tim Lilburn is more of cipher. He read from his new book Orphic Politics. This book devles into what he describes as an undiscovered country: illness. Tim’s rythmic hand gestures reminded me of a beat poet but that’s where the similarity and accessibility ended. The poetry does not lend itself to oral presentation, in fact I found I couldn’t connect with it all in that venue. It’s complex and I would probably need to read his poetry myself with a dictionary to understand it.

Karen Houle’s work was the least enjoyable for me. I found it subjective, pretentious and angry. Her poetry is too one-sided to invoke anything but a reaction to her specifically. She read from During.

I applaud the Bookshelf for hosting this event to kick off Poetry Week. I’ve already put holds on all the works these authors have in the library so I’ll learn more (except Karen who didn’t have any books there).