Poetry: About the Artist (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-two

Today, I’ve been challenged to write a poem that engages with another art form that I have experienced. My prompter declared anything to be in bounds, but I must use the poem to express something about another form of art.

My wife once said to me,
“you’ve always fancied yourself an artist.”
I wouldn’t have said that,
But she was right. I have and I do.
I like saying the word fancied,
Quality notwithstanding any measure.

I ask you now, but what is art?
Is a child’s first drawing art,
and is he or she not the artist?
Will my last dance be art?
What (I ask you now) is not art?
And of all, who is not an artist?

Is it art to color outside the line,
to sing off key, to skip a note,
and must creativity be voted upon?
Do art teachers grade the art,
or the artist? And what is an
artiste? Do you do art?

Is cooking or baking or brewing art?
May every and anything be artful?
Do you deny being an artist?
If so, why? Do you hide your art
in shame that you are an imposter
artist, an unskilled fraud or a fake?

Sane or crazy as a loon, drunk or sober,
from the first try to the final straw,
done well or poorly, what we do is our art.
Show me your art, sing me your song,
play me a tune and read me your verse,
but do not tell me you’re no artist.

I fancy you, as you should too,
to see yourself (an artist),
to be human, as artistic, as
artisan, as creative, as anyone. Now,
shall we dance? You lead!
I promise not to sing.

© Bill Reynolds, 4/22/2019

Look both ways,
from your first cry to the final whimper.
It’s art.
Mind the gaps, but just do it. Do IT! Do it.
It’s been there waiting for you.
Now go do it.

Poetry: Mr. Bill’s Dream Logic (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-one

My poem challenge today was to write a poem that incorporates wild, surreal images. I was to use writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but engages all the senses and involves dream logic.

Well-known strangers speak
without talking, to us much younger
than before when it was me,
but not I; colors of unseen
monochrome images of unlimited
limitations. Chases by odorless fears
of panic unharmed—yelling out into
this empty reality of unfolding challenges
without beginnings or ways to an end.
Movement without effort, watching
as space and time pass unchallenged
by a pointlessness of futile efforts.
Yell out! Why? The dogs.

A colorless kaleidoscope of
meaningful meaningless images,
sounds unheard, spoken with
windless breaths. Fear seeing
through closed eyes, hearing with
deaf ears, brown hair on bald men,
run, kick, yell, stop, breathing.
Fight back!
Awaken,
let go. Rewind. Dream On!
Dream real.

© Bill Reynolds 4/21/2019

Is this a dream within a dream?
Look both ways for unseen meaningless threats, gapless gorges, and mindful mindlessness.

 

Poetry: Nuthin’ Man (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty

Happy Saturday, y’all. Today I am supposed to write a poem based on language as it is spoken in real life, as opposed to more formal “poetic” speech.

what is it with you — nothin’ man, what choo you talkin’ about — that chick — what about it — we’re friends — fuck that shit, man, you’re tryn’a save her —
she needs help, man, that’s it, i help my friends — how many other chicks you helped, you gotta stop, man, ya can’t help them all, you can’t fix everybody, and where are they now —
get off my ass, just helpin’ a friend, that’s all —
you got some sorta complex, dude, sir galahad or something,’ like yer a knight in shining armer or somethin’—
bull shit, man, you dunno what yer talkin’ about, it ain’t like that — look man, i know it ain’t like yer tryna’ get laid —
you need to stop, it’s not yer business.

maybe he’s right — maybe i’ma sucker — i help guy friends too, if they ask — besides, it’s done and she is ok now— i admit it feels good to help — is that a complex, it seems normal to me — she asked and ah said sure — there’s no problem and it’s not his beeswax anyway — but maybe he’s right about me.

Hey, how’s it going — livin’ the dream man, how ‘bout you — it’s all good, you goin’ to the game tamarra, it’ll be a good one —
i dunno yet, but I think so —
hey, how’s that chick we were talkin’ about —
who, oh her, she called me, said thanks, it’s all good now, she’s sending me a check, i’m glad i helped her, she’s good people —
good that you were there for her — yah, it feels good to help, you might try it sometime —
hey, look man, ima sorry fer what i said —
it feels good to help people, you oughta try it sometime —
fuck you, i help peeps, i’m jist more careful —
sure, whatever man, i’ll get back with you about the game, i may have a date —
oh, who with, you got a date, with who — talk at cha later man.

that’s great, now he thinks i’m seein’ her, let him think what he wants, he’s a dick anyway — but he is my friend — sometime i’ma gunna have to tell him, she set me up with her sister, we hit it off — i’ll tell him when i’m ready — for now, he can wonder — i can be a dick too.

© Bill Reynolds 4/20/2019

Look at things both ways for a clear perspective.
Mind the gaps.

Poetry: Rasputin’s Metamorphosis (NaPoWriMo) Day Nineteen

My poetry challenge today is to write an abecedarian poem, which is a poem wherein the word choices flow in alphabetical order.

***

Always begin counting down
effervescently forward going
harmlessly into jaded
Kafka-esque lamenting
Metamorphosis,
narcissistically obsessive palooka
questioning Rasputin’s symbolic
transformational unsuitable vivaciousness,
willie’s x-ing yang’s zipper.

Looking both ways is waking up. Mind the gaps and smell the roses.

Poetry: Our Place in Line (NaPoWriMo) Day Eighteen

Today, the NaPo lady challenged me to write an elegy of my own. One in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

As far back into childhood I recall,
they say my day, my time, will come.
One day, perhaps quietly
or in some fitful mental agony
it will be my time to die.
But the bell has not
yet tolled for me—
soon enough—
it will.

Every pet, dog or cat,
lightning bug in a jar, turtle
or Easter chick; every snake, worm, or
ant; butterfly or bird, fish
or tarantula , things that flew,
crawled, walked or ran,
or just a sighting in the wild—
they’re all dead now—
I don’t know
what that is—
but they’re gone.

Every childhood friend is dead,
my mother died long after dad,
sisters both gone,
(estranged brother
I don’t know about,
he may outlive me,
if so, let it be).
I won’t know.

Uncles and aunts, one cousin (sort of) all
gone and others I don’t know about,
but they (ones I knew) are dead.
There may be some still doing,
but people of my memories
are past life. And this,
my friend,
is normal.

Some things don’t die, all people do.
Poets die (some never replaced)
but poems don’t.
The two most important
breaths we take,
the first and the last—
all the others
we call living.
That’s life,
Frank.

My sister would telephone,
“Billy” she’d say, “guess who died?”
she said, and then
she’d tell me.

When everyone and everything
I know of has died,
how do I know
who is next in line?
Is it I?
Or is it you?
Not if,
but when!

© Bill Reynolds, 2/18/2019

Know why you look both ways, otherwise, it is simply a meaningless turn of the head.
There will always be gaps but mind them anyway.

Poetry: Poem’s Point of View (NaPoWriMo) Day Seventeen

Today, I’m challenged to write a poem that presents a scene from an unusual point of view.

***

He will not leave me alone. All that touching and feeling me, he tweaks me mercilessly,
and (too often) makes me look like barfed up SpaghettiOs.
It’s embarrassing.
He thinks I am his and that he knows all about me.
He doesn’t.
I know teenagers who know more about me than that old fart.
Others simply see my words or hear my meter while he sees me as his personal art (bitch).
He puts his name on me – how rude is that? He doesn’t get it.

He talks about me (us—there are others) endlessly, influencing his friends
to fool around with me.
Sometimes he gets violent with paper and pen and pushes me around
because he thinks his mental malady will be short-lived. How rude!

He knows so little. He has been writing poetry for fifty-three (long) years.
BFD, right?
When he was young with a hard cock, he ignored me. Thoughts?!
That’s all I got from him. He liked us, but he was ashamed
because I didn’t do much to make him look strong and tough and mean.
I think he is an imposter and so does he.

I am all he does—all he thinks about. He explores me in every embarrassing way,
he sniffs me, touches me, he reads bawdy stories. He acts like I am some sort of trophy bride. And oh, my fucking god!
The limericks! The men who write them must be burning in hell.
I know for a fact that he’d rather a crusty, edgy limerick over a sweet love song poem.

Sometimes he writes me and then loses me.
Rather than be upset, he writes another me.
It’s as though I matter, but I also don’t. Which is it?
What the fuck?
He will never win a damn thing.
He wants to put us in a book and claim us as his own.
Such possessiveness! It’s unacceptable.
We are our own persons, who just happen to be poems.
If we belong to anyone, it is the poetic universe,
but he’ll never understand that.

There are reasons he was as he was,
and more reasons why he is as he is,
but none of that has anything to do with us,
the poems, the words, the lines and rhymes of Our verse.

When he looks at me it is like he is seeing a ghost, a shapeless cloud figure,
wavering without beginning or end,
just flowing shapes in many forms of endless words,
of unknown visions and interpretations.

Oh crap, he is picking up that god damn pointed, sharp pencil.
Soon he will be poking and scratching, adding and removing, or changing—endless changes.

In my next life, I want to be prose. Just a little time on his laptop, maybe one printing and we’re done. At least he knows prose and has been doing it since way back.
This rookie old fart poet will be the end of it all.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/17/2019

Look at all things both ways, male and female, creator and created, toucher and touched, kisser and kissed, poet and poem. Mind the gaps which harbor resentment of the art.

Poetry: The Tale of the Trail (NaPoWriMo) Day Sixteen

Today, I’m challenged to write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.

The path, or trail if you like,
is a story. I know it’s a story,
because
it has a beginning, a middle
and an end. The path has composition
or a tale about the trail, it tails off,
or degenerates its form with
decomposed granite. The path
is decomposing hard stone
of different size rocks
down to powder, dust – granite.
The trail speaks with a crunching
voice, almost a groan I hear
with each step. The deer leave prints
when its wet after rain. Ants build their trail
on the path to cross perpendicular. I see it.
The sand of their trail is like a vein
across the path I walk, sometimes a snake
will try the trail, but not for long.
A variety of insects share their path.
Grasses and bushes, acorns for trees
find the trail worth a try. Bluebonnets
are undeterred by the inhospitable
and decomposing hard crushed pebbles,
and they grow through it to prove it.
There are sticks
and some leaves on the path,
on the sides, grasses push in
to reclaim what was
once not even a dirt path,
an unmarked open flowering field.
A bench sits
beside the trail and invites me
to stop, to rest, and to ponder
the stories of the trail, and the deer,
the birds, busy squirrels, sniffing dogs,
maybe a mysterious cat or two.
I accept the invitation before
I finish walking through
the story
told by the path that talks to me
(with a very special gravelly voice)
beginning, middle, and the end.

© Bill Reynolds, 4/16/2019

Look to both sides, to front and back, and listen to inhale it all.
Mind the gaps made by ants.