More thoughts about the 3rd manuscript. Sandra beat me to my next topic which is the use of a long poem to anchor or serve as the fulcrum of a book.

I did this in both my books: Names had two longer poems, one at the opening and one in the middle. Furious Lullaby had two as well, with "Aporia" serving as the spine/fulcrum for the book and "The Devil's Book" serving as the poem that moves the book like a pendulum, pivoting at the fulcrum.

I'm in the middle of writing, what I think will be a long poem. A student in my 460 class challenged me to follow through with one of my infamous Rube Goldberg poems. So I had to write this poem that reconciled all these disparate elements--an indigenous bird, the word "alphabet," a neighborhood cat, the word "condom," the use of twine as a psychological image. Anyway, I wrote a many-sectioned poem which I may expand because it touches on all the things I had been writing about.


Sue's requested that I post some poems here, but many of them are either out or forthcoming. I can, however, give you the titles of poems I think fit manuscript 3 arranged according to thematic lumps:

Self Portrait Poems
"Self Portrait Besides a Dead Chestnut Horse"
"Self Portrait with Taxidermy"
"Self Portrait in My Mother's Shoes"
"Self Portrait as a Small Town"
"Self Portrait with What Remains"
"Self Portrait on Good Friday"
"Self Portrait with Schlitz, a Pickup, and the Snake River"
"Self Portrait Descending Slowly into the Atlantic Ocean"

Syllogism Poems
"The Surgical Theater as Spirit Cabinet"
"Ablation as the Creation of Adam"
"Insomnia as Transfiguration"
"Ghost Hunting at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium as Physiography"
"Autumn Scene as Lullaby"
"Colony Collapse Disorder in Honey Bees as Eschatology"

End of the World Poems
"Eschatology Through a Confluence of Trees"
"Eschatology on Interstate 84 at 70mph"
"Eschatology in Five Acres"

Fatherhood Poems
"The Boy with the Fiddle in a Crowded Square"
"Prayer for What Won't Happen"
"No One Sleeps Through the Night"
"In Defense of Small Towns"
"Autumn Song in Four Variations"

Childhood Poems
"When I was Born"
"At the Time of My Youth"
"And When I Grew Up"
"At the Time of My Death"
"How I Learned Quiet"
"Sticks and Stones"
"The Poet at Ten"
"Cussing in the Playground"

That's 31 poems in various states of completion. I've got a few I've left out for now because I'm still trying to figure out how to integrate them.

My first thought would be to look at the "How I Learned Quiet" poem and maybe take my cues from that.

Sorry, gears are clicking and I'm thinking aloud. If this bores you, I can talk about video games. ;-)


Speaking of video games, a few that I've recently played incorporate a moral component. I've been playing Fable II and the way your character is perceived determines courses in the game. The same is true for my latest obsession, Fallout 3.

Pop culture, yes, is still culture and it does say something about the society that generates it.


Current Spin: Bon Iver

Current Read: Still Chang Rae Lee's Native Speaker




Oliver de la Paz