Monday, April 21, 2014

National Poetry Month, Day 21: Elemental

I love Allen Ginsberg and maybe you had to read 'Howl' in English Lit 101 or something. It's a poem elemental and carnal and free and insightful, and when you start feeling as if the walls are closing in, read it again. At least you won't be alone.
 I choose it today because over at the Writer's Digest Poem a Day challenge, I prostituted myself and changed a word in a poem I really wanted to use, and am guilty of  'crazy & publishing obscene odes' in otherwise pretty tame web sites.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall.... (Read more here.)
And the challenge today was:
... write a “back to basics” poem. For me, back to the basics means jumping to the fundamentals. Maybe it’s me re-learning (or practicing) fundamentals–like running or writing–but it could also be a child learning how to tie his shoestrings, which can be a unique experience for both the child and the adult trying to give instructions and advice. Back to basics could also be re-setting a state of mind or getting back into a routine. In a way, spring is a season that gets back to the basics.
What's more basic than black and white?

It matters if you’re black or white

when you’re a pixel.
You are mine, all you
pretty pixels, and I am
your Geppetto
your Annie Wilkes
your Christian Grey
and I am fucking
with you, character by
character, over and over,
my minions, my toys
my little silent soldiers
click and delete,
return and repeat,
words longing for #000000
and finding only #FFFFFF.

How many shades of grey? I think you know.

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