pearls

Afterthought 903—Sonnet -2

Posted in nothing special, sonnet, sonnet cycle by maggie on 2016/02/13

A poem or two here — every now and then
I'll leave a poem for you here. You won't know
quite what to make of it. Let's act as though
we mean it this time any more than when
 
it mattered. Come, let's give ourselves to men
as stiff as sonnets lined up row by row.
Let's play the game. Then when you tell me, "Go
away" again, let's throw away my pen.
 
How many have I written every day
since then, when I first heard that casting call
and thought it something suited to my taste
and talent. To my love. Ah, waste, foul waste,
the only thing one gets from giving all,
so as I said, I don't expect to stay.


 

Opening Gesture — Notes

Posted in notes by maggie on 2014/04/01
 
             
                                                                                                                                                                    Cutting a swath
                                                                                                                                                                    through thick-dewed grass,
                                                                                                                                                                    I set out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 — Kifu

My pretext for the start of this new sonnet cycle is a death poem by a Japanese poet who passed in Autumn 1898. Its sentiment and its timing give a perfect setting for this journey on which I myself set out — a new birth created out of a death.

How fitting that this being a Tuesday, according to the Tuesday tradition at a poetry website I’ve frequented through past Aprils (and often during the other eleven months each year), that website prompts us to launch this year’s Poetry Month with one or both of two themes: starting and ending. In the spirit of Kifu, I choose both themes.

Which fits well with the cycle I plan: my starting line in today’s sonnet will be my final line in the sonnet I’ll write this coming April 30, like how I did for a 100-sonnet sequence a portion of which I used to start this poetry blog. Like how I plan to circle back around in my theme, now and at the close, and throughout this month.

As I did last April (Far Cry, posted privately for close friends) and the previous April (An Hour Unwound, partially public) and the previous April (entire cycle posted public elsewhere), this cycle (which I plan to post openly here) will consist of 30 Petrarchan sonnets, each with first line given by the final line of the preceding sonnet. No rhyme sets will be repeated, other than via sharing of the last line of one sonnet with the first line of the next.

As with those previous April cycles, each day during this month I will draft the next sonnet in the cycle, reflecting the prompt given by the poetry website I’d used those past years. Obviously, I don’t know what tomorrow’s prompt will be when I draft today’s sonnet. That affects how I need to work at fitting a whole month of unknown future prompts into a single cohesive and coherent overall theme. More immediately evident, I’ll be writing the final line of each day’s sonnet before I know the next day’s prompt, yet will do my best to make each transition work as smoothly as if I’d known all prompts all along.

In solidarity with a friend whose work was arbitrarily and unfairly censored by the website where I used to post these April cycles, I will abstain from posting any further of my own work there, as also do I not imply any endorsement by once again relying on that website’s prompts during this month. I no longer even read any of the writing that website does choose to carry — when good writing is unjustly censored, one cannot trust what is displayed.

As has been the case for all of my poetry since November 2006, this poetry will be written in the light and love I found in one who was my closest friend. As has been the case for everything I’ve ever said and written and desired, any of the bad that is in any of this will not be about her or for her. But as has had to be, as was chosen and demanded, all of the vast good I could say and wish to write of her must remain silent, unwanted and ignored. So although written in my moonlight as always, nothing here will have anything to say of that.

So then, starting this cycle as I’ll be ending it, with Kifu singing background for me—

                                                   Wrapped in last night’s visions, I set out…

And I’ll reserve what I’ll be writing this all “about” until the closing sestet of my 30th sonnet. On with drafting this first sonnet of this April’s turn.

First Draft of my opening sonnet is now complete. I’m not displeased with it enough to start over from scratch, so I have my first steps decided for me. After some editing and some private notes and some more editing, I’ll post here.

As will be my custom throughout this month, I will keep this post open, editing it continuously as I draft and edit each sonnet.


 
 
 

— remembering Sara

 

Just Saying

Posted in quatorzain by maggie on 2009/10/17
Just Saying

I don't know what to do.  I've got no plan
so if this works out, it'll be dumb luck
and I'll step back and wonder what the fuck
then rearrange what happens, if I can,
to make it end somewhat how it began
as if behind the scenes a deal was struck
despite my aimless nonsense, and it stuck,
so never mind the way things really ran.
Since no god comes along to run the show,
I'm on my own, come fortune or regret.
No proper word is ever apropos —
at best I'll use the best words I can get.
Is this the way to put it?  I won't know
until I'm done, and that's not happened yet.


 
Just Saying Nothing
Is this the way to put it?  I won't know
until I'm done, and that's not happened yet
nor does my drift pose too serious a threat
no matter how much it appears as though
my poetry must sport a quid pro quo
to dress up its erratic silhouette,
some sacrifice to settle up my debt
for every scrap of nothing I still owe.
For what it's worth, there's nothing going on,
there never was nor will there ever be,
unless we count each hiccup, burp or yawn —
whatever, that's still all i guarantee.
What little faith I had is dead and gone
as though it never felt a part of me.


 
Just Saying Scratch
What little faith I had is dead and gone
as though it never felt a part of me . . .
no, worse than that, like leftover debris
discarded from the refuse of my spawn.
Trust gets me nowhere.  Every move's a con
prepackaged for a dream raised on TV
where everything's for sale and no one's free.
I tried.  My application got withdrawn.
It's said I need to let the reins relax,
just let the language speak, see through its eyes,
give up control, submit to random acts,
spread open to its improbable surprise.
OK then, let's play roulette with the facts:
give Tyche my pen, let's see what she'll devise.


 
Just Saying Whatever
OK then, let's play roulette with the facts:
give Tyche my pen, let's see what she'll devise
our hopes to dress in probable disguise
uneasy in each outcome choice impacts,
our doubt to carve out inauspicious tracks.
At any given moment, last goodbyes
capriciously kiss sins we'd most despise.
We do this to ourselves, these wild attacks.
When purposes are vain, when cause is null,
or when our reason justifies abuse,
let probability the credits cull
to meaning-challenged changes we produce.
Why waste your time on such a fickle trull?
Don't try to clean my act up.  It's no use.


 
Just Saying Shit
Why waste your time on such a fickle trull?
Don't try to clean my act up.  It's no use
expecting tight control of one so loose
or drilling sense into so thick a skull.
That quiet's just my eye, it's not a lull;
this pause was just my breath, don't call a truce;
et cetera.  I've got no good excuse —
whatever choice can sharpen chance can dull.
What more did you expect? that I might last?
One force alone can promise it won't quit
and even what that's got is going fast
with precious little left to call legit.
At most I've had an accidental past;
at best you were a pointless piece of it.


 
Just Saying Sorry
At most I've had an accidental past;
at best you were a pointless piece of it.
I'd give a damn, but I don't give a shit
which hit might miss me when the die are cast.
The pit of possibilities is vast
with millions more of us, as counterfeit,
like pearls as never likely to commit,
like moonlight at its darkest when harassed.
I know such words are not for me to say,
that first I'd have to be as sure as you
and maybe soon I will, but not today —
today I'm into what will get me through.
So let's just let what was lie where it lay
and flip the change that's left for something new.


 
Just Saying Goodbye
So let's just let what was lie where it lay
and flip the change that's left for something new
as though it matters what we choose to do.
We can't decide the ending nor the way,
but only whether we will pay to play.
There was a chance, that much I know is true,
but chances kill the love we feed them to
and in the end, you knew I wouldn't stay.
I'm told I need to find myself a man,
just settle down, be normal, earn a buck.
I'll take what comes, that's no less certain than
some shrinkwrapped system guaranteed to suck.
I don't know what to do.  I've got no plan
so if this works out, it'll be dumb luck.

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