Subject & Verb had a disagreement,
for Dynamic Verb believed it was superior
to Static Subject,
until Verb realized that without a vessel,
his work could not be done.
Colon was feeling plugged up,
They walked into a bar,
where they ran into a few Grammar Nazis,
joining their party.
That night, they conceived the Semicolon,
who kept them merry with her many winks.
Haiku was reflective—
a woman of few syllables,
a mindful minimalist,
a practitioner of Zentangle;
Limerick was a jolly sort—
the intellectual equivalent
of Knock-Knock jokes—
& was full of puns & fun.
Between the 2,
realizing even though they were
from different cultures,
they were both still poetry.
She grew up on Mother Goose,
coming of age with Dylan Thomas.
She still saw the worth in the former,
for it fostered her love of poetry—
a love that would lead her to the latter.
He was a 52-story anthology,
she, a full-length novella.
Each had something to offer the reader:
he, short-term gratification,
& she, total immersion.
“Out of a very small thing you can create a whole world…it can be as modest as a book of matches.”
–Anne Waldman, 21 April 2017, Pensacola State College
Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a poetry workshop given by renowned poet, Anne Waldman. My poetry class, taught by local Pensacola Poet Laureate, Jamey Jones, is studying “Fast Speaking Woman.”
I must admit, my initial reaction of Woman was one of bewilderment. It was like a book of spells or chants. However, upon recursive reading, and especially after reading it aloud in class, I grew to appreciate this pocket book of list poems (and essays) in the same way I appreciated Shakespeare.
I see Woman as performance poetry—something to be shared, not read in solitude. It is a litany of the “everywoman.”
I think the problem with poetry is that only other poets (or faculty from English Departments) read it or listen to it, unlike novels, which even the worst non-writers will read.
Perhaps it’s because one can speed through a book and “get it,” but with poetry, one must slow down (even if the poet is a “fast-speaking woman”). After all, we live in a world where captions and headlines are the most read items in the newspapers.
I’ve never been interested in being part of a book club, but there is something about poetry that brings people together—perhaps because of the very personal nature of the art form. Books are inside me, but I am inside my poems.
Even though I am majoring in Health Information Technology, I need writing in my life to help me stay awake enough to do the work that will help me support my family, even as the arts support me.
We are living in an exciting time. “We’re all feeling the interconnectedness of our world,” Anne said. She went on to talk about multiverses and exoplanets and all the information and knowledge (or access to knowledge) available to us. Even just learning a new word has inspired me to write an entire work, such as this one: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/jolie-laide
Furthermore, she said it was an exciting time to be an investigative, or field, poet; as for me, I will stick to writing about “the verities”—the things that transcend time.
Though my primary focus is a career in one of the STEM fields, art is (almost) as essential to me as breathing, for can you imagine a life without art or music or poetry? These things are like that last moment of twilight.
Anne said, “I want to live in a reality where I can create another world.” This resonated with me. Perhaps growing up in near poverty, I, like Francie Nolan (from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), created multiple universes I could slip into at will. I could be anywhere at any time. This was my way of “having it all” (and all at once).
Anne had us write a genealogy poem (how many times have I had to tell people I am NOT named after the cake and pie lady?). It is not spelled the same (Sarah Lea, not Sara Lee). The fun was in the sharing.
She also taught us of the three “poieias” (which I had never heard of because I am not an egghead, though I wish I were):
She explained the philosophy (rather than the structure, which I’ve always found to be a bit of a drag) of a haiku:
Heaven (5 syllables)
Earth (7 syllables)
Man (5 syllables; man connects the first two lines)
I appreciate this form now (though my Irish heart will always have a fondness for the limerick).
I also learned about different poetic art forms, where it isn’t just about content but the way the words look on a page (think concrete poems). She mentioned a Guillaume Apollinaire who wrote a poem about rain, the words written like rain dripping down the page.
One of the scribblings produced from this workshop came to me in the form of a mere “thought poem,” which I call, “A New Era.”
I like the idea of “creating something beyond your own lifetime,” as Anne said. That’s one of the many reasons I love technology, for I like to think of my blog as a portal to earthly immortality. Long after I pass away and my soul has been perfected in one of God’s many mansions, I pray that my stories will live on in this alternate universe we call cyberspace.
“The purpose of art is to help the world wake up to itself,” Anne said.
My art has awakened me to myself. I am not quite the same person I was when I went back to school more than two years ago at the age of thirty-two, as a newlywed and new mom. I’ve gained some self-confidence that was lacking, for I didn’t have enough to feel confident about. I’ve conquered, for the most part, my fear of public speaking (sans the extemporaneous kind), and my motto has become, “Aw, what the hell?”
It is a motto that has served me well.
She wrote a book, writing what she knew.
What she didn’t know, she created,
but it was the truths,
prettied up as lies,
that led the ones
whose sins she confessed,
to stone her with tweets.
Newscasters=news analysts, not news readers
Endless spin cycle
Who, what, where, when, why, how, & what if?
Sensationalized for ratings
Nature enables us to see as far
as our eyes can see,
books beyond even that,
but books read out in nature,
bridges both worlds.
Haiku—if a person, not the most attractive proportions
Acrostic—a narcissist, horizontally & vertically
Limerick—witty when drunk
Sonnet—iambic pentameter hell
When Period met Dash,
it was a string of stops & starts,
until they learned to work together,
creating the Morse Code.
Love the Creator,
for He gave us a gift,
called the Creation.
Sunshine and rainwater, creating luscious, sweet curves of
Undulating pleasures of the flesh—the flesh of summer fruit.
Early rising to the beach, late sun setting,
Reaching for another sensual sangria.
A cavalcade of freaks and weirdos;
meth-heads and potholes populate,
homeless and screaming preachers
stand on every corner.
City of bad news,
Hell on Earth.
Strange smells waft from the sugar beet plant,
as snowflakes blanket the grey town.
An isolated enclave—
a moose in every shop.
Meat and potatoes,
using group-think, mass hypnosis,
created temples of doom
in this mountainous place
of happy faces.