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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The spectacular lightness of failure

If Miles Davis was a Smurf. 
Well hell. I'm failing at failure, so I'm giving it up completely. Not failing -- I'm sure that will continue. I'm done caring about it. So done.

For one, I can't quit thinking about imagism. (And yes, we're in the singular tonight; we're feeling as if we should own our posting.) Let's review what imagism is, according to one of its founders, Ezra Pound*
I. Direct treatment of the “thing," whether subjective or objective.
II. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
III. As regarding rhythm: to compose in sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of the metronome.
Hemingway could have written that -- except maybe the music part. He's probably more the metronome type. We studied imagism last fall in Modpo; it was the first time I'd studied it, a survey of modern poetry being rather spotty in the late '70s/early '80s even for English majors; we did Ginsberg and a little Pound but no Stein -- and certainly nothing after 1960.

Readers reader will remember the original we tried to pass off. I do like the title.

Verbs Drool, Adjectives Rule

The description
is a mirror
Hubble
or otherwise;

You look.

Which we then messed around with in this post, My imagism. I hate everything I wrote there. (Hmmm maybe that means I succeeded at failure.) (Oh, just messin' with ya.)

On further review, I don't like the first line at all. Or any of it. So let's strip it down.

Poem
Mirror
Imperfect
Perfection
Perfection
Imperfect
Mirror
Poem

I hate that too, which means I need to think some more, despite the myriad drafts (most of which you have not been subjected to. You're welcome.) I kind of miss the 'you,' or 'You'; also the 'look.' Maybe we should forget the poem and just keep the title.

Did you think you were getting off that easy? No you are not. Here's the other thing being worked on

She Eats Blue
Apologies to Garcia Lorca and the Color Green

Blue she is ravenous for blue
Blue for her entree
and all its shades
for her side dishes, navy and indigo;
she drinks in ultramarine,
they feel full and fat in her mouth,
all the savory blues,
she chews and swallows
taking all the blues inside her,
down to her stomach and
her insides she digests blue
and transforms blue;
now her eyes shine ice blue
like white walkers
her skin glows like Na’vi;
she sweats in periwinkle and
pees in azul and
you should see when she shits
sapphires.
She cries, blue, I love you blue!

and sees herself reflected in
his still and pale pearl eyes.

Obviously a draft. Maybe he should appear earlier. And end better. And be creepier. Or more overtly psycho. Or disappear. And I keep changing the 'transforms blue' line; it was 'becomes blue,' which I like, playing off the 'blue' as 'depressed.' The Na'vi showing up is probably a bit much but that was a better image than the other blue-skinned people I thought of, Smurfs. Unsee that, now.

Oh my gosh, Miles Davis, thank you. You've saved us all.


* Ezra Pound taught at Wabash College in Indiana for a couple of years. He did not really fit in.

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