A dispossessed poet has no address.
Vagrant wordsmith finds himself lost for words.
Sunday morning solitude. More or less
a Waste Land. Quarters apportioned in thirds;
fractional allotments… absurdities.
Occupied tables, multiples of six,
or four, or two. Disputed territories.
Unilateral remedies, far from fix
an awkward treaty. Spaces between lines
become expansive; attract attention.
Diplomatic remedy realigns
position; puts possessed in contention.
. A poet in the margins, far from lost,
. far from desolate; has his words embossed.
To the reader: Rhyme-inducing comfort zones are hard to find, and even harder to keep; context is everything. For years, I’ve sampled cafe cuisines in pursuit of an ideal writing ambiance. For the most part, a hotel’s ‘breakfast room’ seems optimal. As a large enterprise, hotels usually offer an affordable option of ‘tea and toast’. With passing trade, the regular change of clientele constructs an interesting sense of community; notable but not obvious.
To the poet: If you’re outwardly observant and inwardly conscious the creative mind looks after the assembly of a poem. Once the mind is located and in-flow with the general gist of a theme it will mix and match its contribution of frames and reference points. That’s all very well, and easier said than done; practice and discipline are critical components of the process – and that presumes a conducive space to write. Conducive means interesting but non-distractive.
Not all that I write is to be read, you see.
Lift your eyes from this page. Enough of words.
They talk of freedom; speak of liberty.
They are tethered, tarred and feathered. As birds,
these words are clipped; pressed into pagination.
Nothing more than flightless words, all a-flap
with instinct; pinions of agitation.
Unwitting conscripts with wings under wrap;
press-ganged, enlisted into servitude,
perched on parchment and anchored to the page;
gripped too tight, stripped of height and altitude,
flattened, compressed of colour, dressed in beige.
. Heavied with the weight of purpose words die,
. They can not sing, they can not dance; nor fly.
To the reader: The beautiful lyrics of John Lennon’s ‘Across The Universe’ relate to transcendental expression. The lyrics’ relationship to meaning is through soaring imagery not literal comprehension. The song has been crafted to fly. As an aerodynamic masterpiece the internal arrangements are light with adherence to rules that overcome gravity with blissful ease.
To the poet: John Lennon’s recollection of writing ‘Across The Universe’ is instructive in understanding the uplifting power of poetry. The song began as a grounded response to being caged; captured and contained. Through a meditative process, it seems the lyrics became cathartic; they transcended his pent-up anger and delivered instead a peaceful state of mind. Until his next rant, at least…
In constant measure, at relentless pace,
makes meaningless: to stop, to pause, to rest.
For every endeavour an endless chase,
a continuous stream of life abreast.
If not one thing, another; all things merge,
detail is lost, rendered as a background blur.
Not something new, not a modern scourge,
simply this day prepared for life ‘du jour’.
Living alongside what has come and gone,
as to be repeated then multiplied.
Think of it as ‘de ja vous’, think upon
all things as one, where time and space collide.
. If time portrays no obedience,
. it qualifies as no convenience.
To the reader: In some respects, time is a container; a higgledy-piggledy box of events. Each day I select a sample of interests that I add to my biographical anthology. Unlike most boxes, this one is endlessly expandable; made of a curious material that responds to its content. It’s a durable, self-repairing material: water-proof, fire-proof, and wind-proof. It’s a permeable membrane, it’s an impervious membrane; it’s a membrane that forgets and remembers.
To the poet: This box is not a trap. When writing poetry, there’s an endless choice of material; content. Your sources are infinite; beyond experience, the only limit is the extent of your imagination. The poem (seen as a membrane) represents time: “it’s a permeable membrane, it’s an impervious membrane; it’s a membrane that forgets and remembers.”