Love After Dawn—Minute poetry

You have found love zombie fighting

Gray beasts dropping

Just before dawn

Litter the lawn.

.

Then, she tells you your foreplay stinks

Damned to hell like

Browning needles

Inside haybales

.

Because you haven’t showered

The brains and blood

Out of your hair

Leaving love there.

***

Minute poetry is a rhymed poem with three stanzas. Each stanza had four lined with a syllable count of 8-4-4-4 for each respective line. Rhyme scheme is aabb ccdd eeff. If you want to read more about minute poetry or any other poetry concept, you can check out the Shadow Poetry site here: http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/minute.html

Predictions of Futures Passed

And I am sure I will blog a blog

Newspaper style

Stippled and styled

As people and paper predict.

.

I will report my reporting

From time to time

Breaking time broken time

As people and practice permit.

.

I am blogging my blog,

A way of wasting and waiting

While my broken time

Peeks through pepper backed piles

Of job listings I want to submit.

.

Trying and tasting

The experience of waiting

Weighing experience

Over fresh graduates.

***

I decided to revisit the first post I ever wrote on WordPress in order to exploit it for any possible poetic possibilities. I have taken out some of the sentences with interesting sonic possibilities and added a little spice to get this poem. If you are interested to see what I thought I was going to do with this page, you can check it out here: https://therichardbraxton.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/hello-world/

That Magical Mushroom Moment–Rhyming Flarf

We had known fungi had a basic knowledge

But it really happened just last week

The day the mushrooms learned how to speak.

They took a course at Texas State Technical College.

Mushrooms drawing the state of Alabama.

Mushrooms driving cars across the lawn.

Mushrooms wearing gramma pajamas.

.

Mushrooms slipping drippy dried drunk

Sauteed in red wine, butter, and soy

Sauced. Soused. And slapping right turns…

.

Through crowds of people.

Is that what you thought you’d see?

‘A small increase in blood alcohol,’

You gotta be kidding me!

.

And Officer I got a good look:

Drunk driver killed a family of killer whales

And telling tales of crapping pants on haybales.

The fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body

That is the motherfucker right there.

With the shirt with the knitting

That said, “You better ask somebody!”

.

And what really made me choke

Is the cop let the mushroom speak,

And he spoke.

.

He said, “I believe in expressing gratitude

To all my addict’s but not all of you.”

He said, “I’d like to thank irritable bowel syndrome

For hitting Adam Bullard and leaving me alone.”

He said, “I chose this nonprofit for their mission

It really means a lot to me as a mushroom.”

He said, “The mushroom of doom.

The mushroom on a mission.

Got me wishin you’d be catchin

My lonely transmission.”

.

And that’s how all the mushrooms

Got all of their street cred

Because the reporters reported

All the things that he said.

***

I was inspired to write this poem after I read an absurd internet news article where scientists had discovered the mushrooms have the ability to communicate. The article claims that mushrooms have a language. Here is one of the many articles reporting this: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/apr/06/fungi-electrical-impulses-human-language-study

FLARF is a wild style of poetry that started as a joke. People noticed that no matter how bad your poems were Poetry.com would tell you that you had won their poetry prize. Then, they would try to scam you out of your money. So devious poets started sending the crappiest poetry they could write to Poetry.com. Even that would win the poetry prize. These poets began sending each other their crappy poems, and eventually it became a legitimate poetry style. If you want to read more about the FLARF or any of the other poetry terms, check out the glossary of poetic terms from the Poetry Foundation at: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms

Google painting is a type of collaging that primarily uses internet search results and Google’s search prediction capabilities to generate quasi-random phrases. The technique helps jumpstart creativity with strange juxtapositions, broken syntax, and internet speak.

Everyone Loves to Pretend

Everyone loves to pretend that they know

Five minutes from now from five minutes ago.

Was it just last week, when all that we thought

Was where we could get a stiff Stoli shot?

Russian countryside was hard to explain.

When we thought your neck was the thing that Ukraine.

Now that so many poets are throwing their hats in,

Does anything rhyme with Vladimir Putin?

Limber it up Some, Son

When it comes to rhyme like many a thought

If it were a crime, we’d all get caught.

The problem with it like we often see

Our thoughts like to quit where rhymes would be.

It is the conceit that sticks in your head

And your rhyme receipt is only bread

Instead of the crunch of lettuce right here

A prisoner’s lunch, bread and water.

Now you could have beer if this were a brunch

And then cause a stir also a punch.

But you had to stick with a silly word

Now your rhyme’s a slick meaningless turd.

But I mean, goddamn, look how bad this sounds.

You’d think that you could loosen up, right?

What is a Poem?

A poem is a short, well considered piece of writing

Not written as if it is set down on the page

A poem mustn’t necessarily be written

But written as if a change of any one word

Would irrevocably alter its meaning

A poem has rhythm

When it has rhythm

A poem has meter

When it has meter

A poem has rhyme

When it has rhyme

In short, a poem is whatever you want your poem to be

And… If you recite it in a douchey tone

That tends to help too

October Poem 44: Two Revisions of a Poem From Last Month

In these two revisions I tried to work with rhyme. In version #1, I added rhymes to the end of the lines, and in version #2, I added rhymes inside of the lines. Both versions follow the ABABCDCDEFEFGG rhyme scheme.

Version #2 has much more subtle rhymes because they are not where you expect them, but version #1 makes use of some slant rhymes (words that almost rhyme), so its rhymes are not all that blatant either.  I am not sure which of the two versions I like better.

Which one do you like better?

If you want to compare these two versions to the original, you can follow this link:  https://therichardbraxton.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/september-poem-25-the-words-spoken-rocking-on-the-water/

 

#1: Words Spoken Rocking on the Water

 

Two fishermen anchored deep and boating

Surrounded by silty beaches, scrub land,

Thick brick walls in dollar bills, and smoking

New dams. And eddies. And dead rivers. And

Great many anglers. Allies puffing through

Just lit one idea and lit another.

The light edges to end one subject. To

Start another. To find no one other

Extreme at study from search and use of

The poles and hooks and tackle and what all.

Of drifting fish, dreaming in among the

Floating ice that keeps them. Bumping the walls

And breathing in the liquid air they rend

Pulling through their gills numbing to their end.

 

#2: Words Spoken Rocking on the Water

 

Two fishermen anchored in a tin boat

Surrounded by silty beaches, scrub brush,

Thick brick walls in dollar bills, and smoking

New dams. And eddies. And dead rivers. And

Great many anglers. Allies puffing herbs

Just lit one idea and lit another.

The light replies to end one subject. To

Start another. To find no in-between.

Extreme at study from search of catfish.

The poles and hooks and tackle and bucket

Of drifting fish. And dream in among the

Tickle of ice floating. Bumping the walls

And breathing in the liquid air like smoke

Pulling through their gills numbing to their end.

Are You Afraid of Poetry?

It wasn’t long ago that I was afraid to write a poem. I wrote fiction, and I was not afraid to write a poetic line here and there. But the prospect of going out of my way to actually write a standalone poem was daunting. I had tried my hand at writing poems when I was younger, but I was always too constrained by trying to get eight perfect syllables in the line and a rhyme at the end of every line that my poetry felt stagnant. I tried again a time or two once I understood a little more about how to create a coherent thought, but the constraints of a strict form still forced me to write to fit the form rather than to write to get my point across.

I knew that poetic forms existed that allowed the poet to deviate from regular rhythm, meter, and rhyme, but I still did not quite understand what made a free-verse poem any more than prose written in verse form. And my English teachers did not help to alleviate my confusion about this point. I was told the proper way to read a poem was to read from punctuation to punctuation ignoring the line breaks. Since I was taught to ignore the line breaks they seemed arbitrary. I could not get my mind around this sticking point because for me nothing about writing is arbitrary. So I gave up on trying any more poetry because it made no sense to me.

But at the same time my fiction writing became more poetic. I began to use dense imagery coupled with alliteration to bring out emotions in my fiction. The wind through the leaves in the trees was no longer just a small detail to add to the realism of the story I was creating. It was a clue to the emotion of the character strolling below those trees. The long moaning breeze shifted the branches of the willow if the character was sad, or the quick shifting blasts of wind whistled and rattled a jaunty tune through the branches overhead if the character was elated. But for some reason I did not know how to translate this type of writing into verse, or at least I was afraid to try. But I got over my fear by forcing a confrontation. I signed up for a poetry writing class. Instead of trying to explain exactly what constitutes a poem, my instructor gave specific instructions for creating our first poem that allowed me to create a short and concise poem that would not be too daunting for a beginning poet. And I will list the instructions for anyone who may need that extra nudge to begin down the path to becoming a poet:

This is a subject poem. Think about someone who you have seen from afar or have met in passing and come up with a purely fictional history for him or her. Choose someone who you don’t fully relate to like the homeless man in town or the mean old lady from church that no one talks to and write their story as you imagine it.

Make the poem between eight and fifteen lines in length. This length allows you to start with a short poem of less than one page in length, but you have enough space to let yourself explore the working of your poem. In this initial drafting of the poem, you want to free yourself to write anything that comes to mind.

Don’t worry about trying to rhyme.Try to focus the language you use as much as possible. Try to use the most specific descriptive words possible. Use sensory and action words as much as possible. Use words that invoke the senses. Use sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell words to describe your chosen character’s short history. Use active verbs whenever possible.

When drafting the poem, remember to read the lines out loud to hear the natural rhythm of the language you chose. Remember that the beginnings and endings of each line are accentuated and beginning or ending lines at different spots can change both the rhythm of the poem and the meanings of the lines themselves.

Once you are finished with the first draft, read it out loud to friends and family and ask them to discuss their most and least favorite parts of the poem. When you have their perspectives on your poem, you can begin the revision process. At this point you can begin to second guess every single word choice you made or not. And during this revision process you can disregard the eight to fifteen line limit and make your poem as long or as short as the poem requires. Just don’t get too caught up on perfecting this first poem just yet. I know there are plenty more poems you are just itching to try out now that you are no longer afraid.

Feel free to link your poems back to this post so I can see what you have come up with.

What do you think? Was this post helpful? What advice would you have for first time poets?