poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Arse Poetica

True Colors Revealed

Higgledy-piggledy

Speaker John Boehner now

Bows to his masters, his

Pants at his knees—

 

Tea Party hooligans,

Corporate money men,

Bankers and plutocrats

Do as they please.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

September 28, 2013   No Comments

My Sonnet and a Danish Science Fiction Club

SFC, a Danish science fiction club and independent publisher which also hosts Stig Jørgensen’s sci-fi blog Ekkorummet (Echo Chamber), is publishing a book of the same name, consisting of selected entries from that blog.

I’m extremely pleased that the book contains an essay, “Teaching Breakfast How to Love You,” the title of which comes from a line in my poem “This Morning’s Man”, and that my poem is quoted in full in that essay.

If you read Danish, or if you’d just like to see the poem, the book is available here. Below is the English translation of the book’s blurb:

“Atoms in love

We humans are a fleeting substance, an ever-changing configuration of atoms that we absorb from cucumbers and pork chops. And this arrangement of matter can feel great affection – and a deep sense of wonder at the universe. This is a mystery. How do we connect the scientific description of the nature of time, matter, and our brains, with our experience of the world as conscious beings feeling hunger and ambition and grief and infatuation? – from the essay ‘Teaching Breakfast How to Love You’

The starting point for this book is the meeting of science and aesthetics and the ‘softer’ aspects of human existence. This meeting unfolds in science fiction – a branch of literature that ideally deals with the significance of technology and the scientific picture of the world to human life – but also in many other places: in the visual arts, poetry and music, in philosophy and scientific thought experiments. Consequently, the essays and articles in the book cover a wide range of topics from the theory of evolution to the Danish painter Otto Frello, from mathematical logic to erotic fantasy, from the philosophy of language to the mutual references between the comic-book writer Neil Gaiman and the singer/songwriter Tori Amos, from artificial intelligence to the poetry of Henrik Nordbrandt – for the inspiration of the intellectually curious reader.”

The book is based on pieces from the blog Ekkorummet [Echo Chamber/ Echo Space], which Stig W. Jørgensen, a science-fiction expert, translator and linguist, wrote until 2012. Jørgensen’s echo chamber is “an open space, a place characterized by resonance where various scientific and cultural topics are given room to resound and reverberate.”

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

June 23, 2013   No Comments

What else have I been missing?

via the always thought-provoking and entertaining Arts & Letters Daily, I just read “‘An Imp with brains': The forgotten genius of Charlotte Mew”, written by Julia Copus, at The New Statesman.

I’d forgotten Charlotte Mew myself, though after reading a bit I did recall some of her work, and before finishing the article I was off to Amazon to buy a used library edition of her Collected Poetry and Prose. I got the only one, so there’s no useful link, but there are available copies (including a Kindle edition) of her Selected Poems and print only editions of her Collected Poems and Selected Prose. But it wasn’t just the generous quotes from Mew’s poetry that brought out my debit card—Ms Copus writes wonderful, insightful prose, so I looked her up as well, and after finding this poem and discovering she’s been short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize, I ordered the Kindle edition of The World’s Two Smallest Humans, her latest book.

Maybe I should stop reading Arts & Letters Daily before I go broke.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

June 14, 2013   No Comments

Slippery Burke

In an interesting article at The Financial Times, John McDermott reviews two new biographies of Edmund Burke. He begins by noting that both Wordsworth and Yeats wrote poetry in praise of Burke, and then writes “It is difficult to imagine Karl Marx, Jeremy Bentham or John Rawls inspiring such poetic effervescence. Notions of the superstructure, utilitarianism and the difference principle would pose issues for cadence. Burke wrote gorgeous prose. But his attraction for poets hints at another aspect of his legacy: his slipperiness.”

Whether Burke is slippery or not—it’s been decades since I read him—I am not at all surprised to see poets, as a class, described as being drawn to slipperiness. But I do think that’s wrong.

More later, maybe …

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

June 3, 2013   No Comments

I Blame Goodreads

It’s a long story, but here are two limericks—

The truth of those tales of old Sodom
Is nothing is there at the bottom
Of infinite space,
Of faith or of grace—
So light ‘em up boys, if you got ‘em.

The cruelty of gods is assured,
Though we’ve become somewhat inured.
A moment of mirth
Has infinite worth—
Ask Job after what he endured.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

March 6, 2013   No Comments

Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

I got the idea from this article in The Atlantic a few months ago. I probably won’t keep the title.

Crazy Cats

So here’s the deal – T. gondii needs a cat
To reproduce, but it can live in us
And many other mammals — say, a rat.
Now rats, of course, don’t much like dear Puss.
But we do. And we make a lot of trash
Which rats do like, so what’s a rat to do?
Being small, most are cautious. The rash
Are cat food, and have fewer children, too.

Now what’s a parasite to do? Make male
Rats brave, and sexy to the females, which
Will bear infected kitty chow, and cats
Who eat it share with us, and when we ail,
T. gondii plays with us — guys get the itch
To drive too fast, and gals heat up like cats.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

November 11, 2012   5 Comments

Old Work Newly Revised

We Are A Kind Of Map


A buzzer-beating three-point shot reveals
We’re born to know our truths about this world,
And so is everything: a fly conceals
Itself till it’s grown wings and they’ve unfurled;
A virus has the key for just that cell
Where it can multiply; that cell, dying,
Creates an army ready to repel
The sudden viral horde or die trying.
Of course that’s metaphor, but not a lie,
Not just a way of trying to impose
Some sense on senselessness, a useless “Why?”
We answer till we like what we suppose.
There’s something might be learned when we’re betrayed
Seeing the world with eyes the world has made.

Changes prompted by comments on a mail list – if I broke it, then I’m the one who broke it.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

February 16, 2012   6 Comments

A Ghazanelle

I found the form yesterday, browsing through Lew Turco‘s Book of Forms, and spent my Superbowl Sunday writing one. I’m not at all sure about the title.


No Joke

It used to be I’d wonder at her laughter —
I’d try to tease her secrets from that tone,

From how she’d turn away just moments after —
Or was that when I didn’t join her laughter?

Sometimes she laughed at something she alone
Could see, and something jagged in her tone

Would haunt my waking dreams for days thereafter,
Such a bitter mockery of laughter

That every laugh I heard, even my own,
Became infected by its mordant tone.

Now every night and every day hereafter
Forever will be crowded with her laughter,

My fascination with its broken tone,
The secrets buried in her teasing laughter.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

February 5, 2012   4 Comments

Breaking Lines

The January 30th issue of The New Yorker prints a poem (not available online to non-subscribers) called “Booty,” by Matthew Sweeney, which I rather liked on first reading. But when I listened to the recording of the author’s reading of the poem included in The New Yorker‘s iPad app’s presentation, things began to fall apart.

It’s a short poem, 20 lines averaging a little more than 4 words/line, and 10 of the lines are end-punctuated with either a comma or a period; the other 10 have only internal punctuation. When Sweeney reads, he pauses at each of the 10 line breaks with final punctuation. Of those line breaks without final punctuation, there are 6 which he doesn’t mark vocally at all, and 4 which he does mark with pauses every bit as long as those accompanying punctuated line breaks.

As it happens, those 4 all precede a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the next line. But so does one of the 6 unpunctuated line breaks without a pause, and there is one prepositional phrase internal to a line which does not receive a pause, so that’s not what’s happening.

On the page of The New Yorker, only 2 lines extend as much as 6 characters past any adjacent line, and those long lines have lots of the letter ‘i’. The right edge of the poem is genteelly ragged, with only line 2 having a whole word (“T-shirt”) beyond the lengths of its neighbors. Late in the poem, Sweeney breaks a line after “the”

so I slunk on, to the
market, where I half-lived,

and avoids a visually very short line, either “so I slunk on,” or “where I half-lived,” but he doesn’t read his line-breaks anyway, and, by the way, what’s with that comma after “on”? He’s also not concerned with syllables per line, which range from 4 to 7; he’s not counting words, which range from 2 to 6 per line; he certainly isn’t counting stresses, which range from 1 to 3 per line in his reading — just what is he doing?

It seems to me Sweeney wants his poem to sound a particular way, and so it does when he reads it; he wants it to look a particular way, and so it does when printed in an appropriate font. But either he doesn’t care how readers who haven’t heard him read the poem will read it to themselves, or he believes that his own sensibility is sufficiently representative of some more-or-less universal poetic sensibility that worthy readers will get it right by … well, somehow.

I guess I’m NOT a worthy reader.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

January 30, 2012   1 Comment

Cold Comfort

The worst is each successive day’s the worst–
If there’s a next time, I’ll try dying first.
And if I first said that nine lives ago,
And each successive life built greater woe?
I know the Second Law is no one’s friend–
But still, it claims that there will come an end.

A small revision:

Cold Comfort

The worst is each successive day’s the worst–
If there’s a next time, I’ll try dying first.
And if I first said that nine lives ago,
And each successive life knew greater woe?
I know the Second Law is no one’s friend–
But still, it claims that there will come an end.

http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/technorati_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/yahoobuzz_32.png http://mikesnider.org/formalblog/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_32.png

October 21, 2011   5 Comments