dVerse – The snobbery of books

I wonder –
is there a certain cachet
to be gained from being seen
holding some vast tome
in your aching hands,
arms held just so,
biceps straining under the weight?
Such dedication requires admiration,
for the sheer girth surely reflects
the capacity and agility of the reader’s mind.

I wonder –
do men prefer to be seen
with several inches resting in their laps
– since as we all know, size matters –
even if the weighty article
shows no sign of ever having
been opened, not even to see
the name of the lucky recipient
of the heartfelt dedication
on the pristine pages within?

I wonder –
is it more earnest to handle
a whisper of a thing lightly betwixt
skeletal finger and thumb?
A novel so short it verges on the
novella, but not so short, you understand
to render it unworthy,
the mere sparseness of language, and
the economy of words is so artful and artless
and less is more more, than more could ever be.

I wonder –
does it really matter
what he reads, what she reads, what they read
as long as there are readers willing to read?

—–
Hurrah! It’s Open Link Night at dVerse. At this time of the month, we are given free reign to write in whatever style we please, and on any topic that we wish. This piece of mine came to me on the train travelling home from work on Friday night. So many people sitting with closed books on their laps, spurned in favour of the smartphone…..

Do visit dVerse and revel in the gloriousness of word, words, words! I will be reading and commenting tomorrow, never fear… I’ve just got back from a day of unctious writingness – a masterclass and readings, with lots of discussion, so I am a little frazzled – but in a good way!

Spectacle Calcium Directive – dVerse

to want them, even

copy paper and of you will

an scissors, some cut

each the order infinitely

one, all unappreciated

each length left

the there

the herd in

conscientiously cut in

the this

the sensibility

poem article put bag-words

make newspaper

take which

shake you out, author

the out carefully

that by a next other article

choose – after

take poem

bag up you – gently though –

the an from original in vulgar

your take and resemble

article this cutting they are

a the of make next charming

out.

———-

This week, on dVerse Meeting the Bar, Victoria has asked us to write poetry as if we had taken a trip back in time almost 100 years, and were living and immersed in Dada.

This era and movement fascinates me and so I am delighted to be taking part – such fun! I have chosen to randomly re-order the words of the (translated) instructions of Tristan Tzara, who wrote guidance on how to generate what were/are known as ‘Chance Operations’ – methods of producing poetry independent of the author’s will or influence. He wrote, in his ‘Dada Manifesto on Feeble Bitter & Love’ the following:

“Take a newspaper.

Take some scissors.

Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.

Cut out the article.

Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.

Shake gently.

Next take out each cutting one after the other.

Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.

The poem will resemble you.

And there you are–an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”

I hope you enjoy my randomness – I can see me doing something like this again, just for the fun of it, and just because it makes no sense, perfectly. Which was kind of the point, was it not? The First World War made no sense, and Dada was a commentary on and response to it.

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems, Dada style. Join in – we don’t bite!

 

 

Past Forward – dVerse

photo

I cannot do this
I cannot do this
I cannot do this
That’s what I want to say.
I am full of making the best of it,
overflowing with doing the right thing,
drowning in putting on a presentable face.
I can feel my lungs bursting
as I inhale the Vesuvius, the Niagra of emotions
roiling underneath this envelope of skin.
I wish I could vomit them up
I would enjoy the acid green bile
as it sluiced between my teeth.
I am no more blemished than any other woman of my age,
I am not comparing the events of my recent life
with the tales of others and presenting my trump card
or – God forbid! – the Joker,
(This is no laughing matter, after all).
I just want you to know that
for once in my life,
there is no schedule, no timetable
(and in any case, since when does public transport
EVER run to time?).
The list of destinations,
the horizontal flow of 24-hour clock times from left to right
is pinned vertically to the bus-stop wall –
such a mistake you see
to expect such things as
shock, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression & ACCEPTANCE
to follow some rigid plan,
and I am such a fool to be surprised when they slide down the shiny paper, a jumble of letters
and numbers, soggy with tears and snot.
I’m not crazy.
I haven’t lost my mind.
But there is a limit to carrying on,
to bearing the burden of being the replica,
to losing your own identity
in favour of the one who left without even a backward glance.
So now, one year down the line from that early morning call
I choose to re-model me in my own image,
I choose to seek what makes me different
rather than what brands me as ‘the same as’.
Mostly, I have done what is expected,
mostly, that has been a burden self-imposed
to honour someone I knew better after death.
That’s OK, hands up, I accept I made that choice – kind of.
But know this.
I cannot do that
I cannot do that
I cannot do that
Any
More.

———-

This week, on dVerse Poetics, Marina Sofia has asked us to write about shattering and rebuilding. What shatters our world, how do we rebuild it? Drink, faith, drugs, self-belief?

Ouch.

The timing couldn’t be more… perfect/imperfect.

Tomorrow it will be a year since my Dad had a devastating stroke, from which he never recovered. He died 12 days later. So this is kind of a tough time.

But I have decided to take part because poetry, writing in general, has been a catharsis, and so it continues. I think we all feel that, don’t we?

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems on this theme – there will be lots of deep digging, I know it. Join in – we don’t bite!