November 26, 2006

Poem’s Fear of Travel

The history’s there, layered
in arrivals, stonework, a global subject writing
ignorance as mastery and caught
in the traffic between difference.

He is mistaken, a mistranslation.
Random buses and a bad compass.

But this awareness is a release,
a pull-tab on a life-vest tossed at
36 000 ft into the library of
not knowing. Water shimmers below.

The foray takes many
litres of fuel, emissions a trail
over Greenland, the line
and imperial tracing of mobility
a second modernity, two
sunrises a doleful symbol, and
Poem lands, thankful for coffee.

The retrospect is writing—“I
should not have gone.” The earth convulses,
reinvents itself as quantum physics, a psychic
thrust of its own. Unowned. Not the coffee but
the coffee bean and
the dirt it is.

Development: the stuttered, halting end
to a fantastical harmony that never existed.

Please ensure your serving trays are
in an upright position and fasten
your poetics securely around your waist.

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Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing

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Blogger allows you to disable anonymous comments or insert one of those word-image password things, if you want to try to stop the spam, a lot.

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The streets are awash
with chalk outlines, Poem
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for the invisible.

The commercial district
lands on his head, his server staggers.

Automoton is a structure
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the others, the lost,
line upon line of the interred. This space
haunts him, skews lines of vision.
He chews a few votive
lables, reads the ingredients,
hums a counter point tune but
he is meant to die here.

The store (afloat in the mouth
of the Automoton) stutters to
a halt. Poem lies
spread-eagle on the checkout counter.
He sings in a high falsetto:

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The total rings up in
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excuses himself, apologizes
to the other shoppers, the nervous
security guard,

and with the sound of broken glass and
ungrammatical sentences,
logs out.

Rob Budde said...

Spamelot it is. Yeah, I know--thanks Dave. I have a morbid curiosity about spam though . . .

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