Thursday, August 20, 2009

Readwritepoem #88: Salacious Diodes

I nearly gave up on this week's prompt at readwritepoem. I wrestled with the list of words supplied, and after half an hour or so had a few phrases that didn't quite seem to fit each other, lines where I had written the words over and over again in the hope that a poem would magically write itself, and a great deal of frustration.

Then I took my notebook out again this morning in my coffee break, and somehow it started to come together. I used eleven of the fourteen words supplied (and put another one in the title of this post). I'm not sure that the two stanzas of the poem quite gel together, but I'm more pleased by the poem than I thought I would be.

I had in mind Nathan's comment that he always starts writing from words, not ideas. I tried to do the same thing. Given the words supplied, I thought this poem might come out more like a "Nathan" poem and less like a "Catherine"poem, but I can see my own world view sneaking in there, despite the fact that the words weren't ones I'd usually choose. (It doesn't have a title yet).

Magpies rant from the branches
of the macrocarpa, ready
to fling themselves at anyone
who dares to pass bare-headed.
Sunlight coagulates in pools
over the yellow grass, over the froth
of water tumbling over stones
in the creek, over the carcass
of the dead sheep turning rancid
in the paddock.

Memory like a reel of 8-track tape
unspooling backwards. Take it
with a large spoon of salt.
All our lives run in the same direction,
our particles bustling homewards.
We might lay our stories out
as if they were printed
circuit boards, copper etched
on silicon, transistors, diodes
the electrons’ precise elocution.

More salacious diode poems here


anthonynorth said...

It was definitely worth the extra effort. Excellent. You'll find mine here.

Anonymous said...

How did you manage that. Mine came out sounding like I'd crammed a bunch of disparate words together. Yours not only makes sense, it makes poetry.

Cynthia Short said...

I enjoyed this very much! You did a very good job stringing those words together to mean something very different from a lot of the other posted poems. (including mine).

Unknown said...

Hello Catherine,

It certainly was worth sticking at. I like the idea of the sun coagulating in pools over nice and not-so-nice things, as well as "Memory like a reel of 8-track tape/unspooling backwards"

Anonymous said...

"We might lay our stories out
as if they were printed
circuit boards, copper etched
on silicon, transistors, diodes
the electrons’ precise elocution."

This is really lovely - it doesn't sound like you forced any of the words. They all work with the tone you set.

Nathan said...

I had a lot of trouble with these words, too.

You've done an incredible job. I love the movement you capture and the sounds in your last line are perfect.

gautami tripathy said...

I too start with words building ideas arround it.

You did a great job!

static of the radio bustles at me

Mark said...

This is incredible. Towards the end, I could see some of Dana's robot poetry in there as well.

This has an electric music feel to it that I find satisfying. Very well done, Catherine.

Dana said...

This works really well. I have no issues with flow from stanza one to two. Gimme the robot-sounding stuff! Gimme! ;)

Irene said...

I like how you contrast nature in the first part and electronics in the second. The electronics bit is totally captivating.

Jessica said...

I love the "electrons precise elocution." What a gorgeous image!

Kay Cooke said...

I love what you have done with those words Catherine. I must admit I looked at the pile of words and thought what can I do with these and left it at that. But I do like the premise of starting with the words rather than the ideas, and next time I am faced with a heap of disassociated words, will use it and try harder!
Well done. :)

Anonymous said...

From Therese B. at ReadWritePoem -- I like hearing all the many short "a" sounds. Lovely music when read aloud.

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

Beautifully written! I enjoyed the read.


Liz said...

I like it, especially how you weave in 8-track and diode. It is amazing how the words can take us to unexpected places.

udernation said...

I really enjoyed the first verse. Really, evocative, very enjoyable, and I thought you used the words very well.