Monday, December 3, 2012

Sex and poetry and prose

not often enough,
I post things here.
Sometimes it's poetry.
Sometimes it's prose.
And sometimes
it's poetry
that looks
like prose.

When I write that way, it's not that I want you to think it's a poem. I'm pretty clear - in my own mind anyway - about when what I'm writing is a poem. I don't always know where it's going, what it will end up saying, but I do know when I mean it to be a poem.

Other pieces, though, are - and were always meant to be - prose. But they're more than just the words. The words have different weight, different meaning, depending on how they're said. The line breaks, the alliteration I can't resist, they make you stop. Listen. Turn back and think again.

A recent article in the New York Times on-line discusses the power of poetry to make us stop and listen and think. To consider the words and images in a different way.

In our view, part of what makes language artistic is that we have to explore it actively in order to appreciate it.  We may have to look beneath the surface, and think harder about what images the author has used, who the author purports to be, and even how the language is organized.  These efforts can lead to new insights, new perspectives and new experiences.

As an example, the authors cite a project which took posts from the Craigslist "Missed Connections" category and transformed them into poetry by inserting line and stanza breaks. The words weren't changed, but the line splits triggered phrasing changes, which accented different words and - yes - altered our understanding of what was said in the first place.

The article is called Philosophy and the Poetic Imagination. Do go for the general discussion as well as for the authors' analysis of the following, which, yes, began life on Craigslist. The title of the poem was the subject line of the post.

Drunk Irish Guy to the Girl in the Red Tights on the Subway to Queens

drunk irish guy
to the girl in the red tights
on the subway to queens

i really hope
I did not creep you out…
I was so drunk
and you were so hot…

I wish I could have met you
at a different moment
and a different place.

And the sex I mentioned in my own subject line?
False representation.
A loss leader.
There hasn't been any sex.
Not for a while.
Not for me.
Not for the drunk Irish guy.
Or for my Irish guy.

Poor Daddy.
Poor me.
We just have to wait
and write about poetry
and talk about music
and think about sex.

And each other.

1 comment:

GenuineRisk said...

And when this happens, (illness), it is good to be writing to an Irish guy who honors and loves all those delicious words. Thanks for the article, and I so hope the fiend is back to his fiendish ways very soon.