Monday, January 30, 2012

Slinky 1: First Word/Last Word - Connection Poem Rules and Example Poem "Lake at Night"

1. Form: The Slinky Delta 1 form - Last and First, Morphing
So since slinkies go up and down elevators and stairs, always their last foot down is first foot up, but between those things they curve, what about a poem form where the poem's lines alternate the first word of line 1 is the last word of line 2, and last word of line 1 is the first word of line 2, but to indicate the movement across time, the words can slightly morph as the poem progresses. Small words between end and begin line words OK. No rules regarding line length or syllable counts....

2. Example - Slinky Delta Form 1

Lake at Night

Suddenly the quivering light rappels outward in gazing circles:
cycles and gyres of brightness on black. Light is a skier skittering more quickly
as trickles and trounces larger than water bugs, almost galactic, orbit
big bangs of brightness lapping against velveteen cackles.

Common grackles pierce us. Don't be mistaken: Night is never silent.
Somnolence is a myth. Dreams of sleepers are raucous -
gabbing myths louder than moonlight.
Only the lake light is brighter, bolder, louder tonight.

Prompt: Invent and Write a "Slinky"

What would a poem form be that highlights connection? Let's call this poem form a "Slinky" - invent it, provide an example. Or write one by someone else's rules. Does it require the use of the word "relish" or "zoing"? Does it have rules of beat or form, cadence or spiral? Take this one to the moon and back, or is it a kind of haiku? Everyone knows it's a...

Tags: [poet's moniker], "poem" "slinky"

poem-o-scope (microscope macroscope poem-o-scope)

i. in the lab of words

cluttering clattering nattering
is it second nature (or third)
to come around close to the word
any good word, a poeming word,
with tweezers and scalpel---

ii. alert

no no put those away, reductionists and poets
are mortal frenemies! No tools allowed
against the words.

iii. breaking out

instead, poets groom the words, pet their plumes
praise them and gaze lovingly. we don't dissect;
we resurrect.
expand outward in gyres of applause and appreciation
we are special colored grow lights to the seeds of language
we bust out the walls of word labs, we are the language liberation front
don't jail these beauties in cages, or locked in verse forms as prisons of the ages.
we melt the keys into ladders and escape
into wildernesses of sound. we dream the dreams of the unborn (words).
we are utterly pangyric (on the point of dance moves)
in ululating praiseforms. kudos to the anatomy of ovation,
which we display to teach everyone how a rib (noun) connected by ligaments (adjectives)
comes to motion (verbs).

We frolic in poet reveries, flocks of flattery
and cheer. Our only instruments are pencils,
which, yes, some do carry in pocket protectors, but only
to guard
the sacred word, the all-gorgeous pencil lead -
inscriber and maker of the most mighty, praiseworthy, noteworthy
notes. So this we share with our frenemies, the fashion of pocket protectors.
All other semblance stops there.

After Plaint, Praise: Thank you Air.

Dear Air,

Thank you for showing flowing growing growling swiveling driveling swishing swaying
even when all I share is plaint or growl, you prance in and out
unwittingly fueling another diaphragm expansion (ribs
lifting unerringly, until they don't).

Thank you for listening to my sorry solo singing loudly
(the only way I know how), for listening in silence when I needed to rant
in a room where I thought I was alone. I am never alone, the thrillion
buffooneries, capacities, spaciousnesses of your sizzling energizing.

Thanks for carrying the photons to photosynthesizing chloroplasts, for dazzling
me with daylight and for staying in my lungs when I plunge deep, ticking off
the moments of alertness. Thanks for tucking me in and warming me in sheets.

Who knows me better, blows all the way through me, carries out what no longer serves.
What else scours and provisions quite so intimately as you, air?
Even when my ribs stop lifting off in a breath of flight for final lift-off,
you will bathe and hold me. Thank you thank you thank you Air.


No complaints

I kvetch plenty—
except when you
ask me to; then
looking for blue,
I find cyan.

ain't Calcutta.
Work is a zoo;
lunch is butter.
I can't complain.

It's a subtle
shift, grouch unease
to unframed peace.
Om babaloo.

So ask me please,
at times, to grouse.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

inside my mountain (cont. 6)

inside my mountain (cont. 6)

sun rises
dew dissipates (leaving)
thirsty tawny grass

Complain Knot

The window is a torus of energy that opens.

Yours is a face I can see clear as present
even when it has been years.
I see your face clearly, and I have no photographs of you
except one that does not show your face.
In it, you are turning toward the window
as though bending to reach a falling balloon.

The window is on the outside of the house.
The sun catches something about you.
If it is a balloon, then it will pop in the stiff, dry grass.

This is not an island. This is a place
that may be the most fearsome adventure yet.

Firecrackers light our way, tell tales of unimagined distances.

The beauty of inflections and the beauty of innuendoes;
the crows watch us, and we leave our jackets on.

Seen here, I am playing on a stagecoach.
The window of memory makes me believe I know myself,
makes me believe that I knew myself as a child.

I can move out of the window toward stars and caverns.
Calling one fickle moment after the next:
“Just try to step into me twice.”
When we have to make a swift exit,
then our drum solo will echo, our icon melt into the sunlight and
finally, a l l l e t t e r s f l y o f f

Monday, January 23, 2012

IMUNURI prompt: complaining

This week's prompt:


And then what?

Complain more?
Cast blame?
Comfort yourself?
Receive apology, explanation, litigation, promotion, restitution or change? 

keywords: poem, kvetch, your name

Monday, January 16, 2012

Alchemical Expansions: Recombinant Poetics and Poets in Lab Coats- Round 3

Imagine poets in lab coats

(here are some, pictured left, perhaps transforming Chaucer to rap music...),

splicing the genetics of other poems and recombining to make strange genetically modified poetry. (OK, don't freak out, we're just imagining here, there's no GMP - genetically modified poetry - being released to the thought-o-sphere at large; or is there?)

Poets Synthesizing Synthesis

Here's a poem that Imunurians and the audience collectively wrote during an Imunuri poetry reading in Richmond, the Bay Area in November 2011. Half the lines are lifted from earlier release Imunuri prompt responses published on this blog. The other half are generated by the event participants, including Scooter, Daniel, Jason, and Terence plus a roomful of gleeful creatrices. The poem's ordering and juxtaposition of the lines was a live conjoint performance of over a dozen souls. Super fun. But wait, there will be more...

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to put on your lab coat and yet again recombine based on these materials. Spiff, riff, spoof. Mutate and recombine, short or long. Evolution happens over tens of thousands of generations, why not poemergence likewise spin- spooling in lively, expansive arcs of novelty and adaptation?

Key tags: lab coat, poem, [poe's moniker]

Here's what's in our petri dish....

November 2011
Imunuri Live Reading Group Collaborative Poem

Firecrackers light our way.
slapdash the sunshine through the lampshade
Damn! Them's some good biscuits!
Move it, pajamas! My levi's put whipped cream in the bird feeder. Black magic marker!
Tells a tale of unimagined distances
"A horse taught me to bow when I walked that path.
May I remember his quiet grace as I kick at my stall today."

Nobody knows that I am here.
I am alone but not alone. You are here but vanished before my eyes.

"the window that lives
in the flesh and
pulse of my
is a
of energy
that opens out"

close together, bound tight by DNA
"my wife and I were happy for 20 years and then we met"
"This is not an island of sirens, witches, giants, storms.
This is a place, alone, to wait.
Which may be the most fearsome adventure yet."
Sunset edges two small clouds above the mountain.
"What precedes the start of a story arc?
A place devoid of heat, sound and motion,
a still place fraught with potential to spark."
"I've got so much life in me, if i grin
the songs of creation leak out,
a small glamour of sculptor and reaper"
Pachyderm two-stepping in time to the green-haired surfer
"A hungry night owl bee
Pollinates the silver moon
Milk-weed flower, a galaxy"

"Pushing myself / brusquely / out of nite wrappings / into jeans.
Out to Sweetmilk's / feeder & / Nature's dark art."
"...curve cut wood / that frames the light / into a design
I've never seen before / or since, the sign
of make it nice, / hold fast, make due, / rain or snow, / catch this prism of
I love you"
back in time it took me ... back ... back ... back
"my mother took us to this cool park where I
(seen here) am playing on a stagecoach"
["Drum solo, My icon"]

Everyday I pour myself through myself.
I was blessed by a hummingbird once --
its tiny wing against my face
softer than grief and love combined.
"You want mountain? Easy--
Sling me across the landscape
like the body of a voluptuous
sleeping grandmother
a voluptuous, sleeping
or a river
calling one fickle moment after next--
go on, just try to step into me twice"

"I stop typing and move out the window, towards stars and caverns, where I can pause and take shape as air bodies.

Finally, a l l l e t t e r s f l y o f f"

"There’s no one watching over us now (except the crows)
and if you plan to stay, brother, trust me:
just keep your jacket on at all hours.
It's warmer that way, and you never know
when we'll have to make a swift exit."

thought, we dissipate it all.
"Are we not dark,
dark in our marrow, in our quiet…"
A thought of a thought precedes the start of a story arc.

Image credit- University of Alaska, Nanotech Lab

burnt forest/shapely noggin

burnt forest/shapely noggin

burnt forest
reveals its down to earth

shaved head of my love
unveils her brave
shapely noggin

being a forest
new matter
will sprout green

being an artist
she will get
henna head tattoos
in many colors

forest & artist
totems in texture together
turn dust and ashes
under source light
black buds
to bloom again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Smoke from a Fire

At first I feel like playdough

After it starts crumbling the

Blue color a kind of aftertaste

Of crest, but where are the blueberries

Then I feel like yew fronds

Caught in wind billowing gold

Pollen only I thought it was smoke from

A fire, is there a difference between

What starts life and what takes it?

This is a serious question, not a

poem. Like sitting next to someone

at a meeting who is not well, their breaths

do not syncopate to a rhythm, their body

rocks slowly like a music student’s

scrawls on the 5-line clever but

who doesn’t know

how to count. I never notice

how we rise and fall all

in a room until that day, by feeling the

antimetronomic asyncopy of

this person who must have been close

to death. If he had fallen down dead

would I remember it well? There was a woman

off kilter at a poetry workshop once

my friend and I start to fight about whether

a song needs rhythm. I resist.

who died the next day. We sucked air close by each

but she was way too much for me, she was like

a fuse: the verve of life demands things

it’s not just a pretty sparkler

i say, absolutely not. It’s as if he’s saying the

whole way I learned to sway with sisters

doesn’t count.

But maybe we can never

escape how our hearts beat

perhaps the fuse of life is what was burning into pollen

off the yew tree, and that’s what would heal the broken scraggle

rumpledump of blue playdough dried out. Next time it blossoms I’m going outside with glass vials. I am ready to be more, to be blessed, to remember how I’m whole

without being near something dying to remind me by counterpoint, a kind of syncopating of the heart that tolls and bumps

just for me I say just for me I feel just for us.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

(In) Limbo

(In) Limbo

       the X-Ray (in the hospital basement)
             came the MRI (outside the hospital on Broadway)
             came  nuclear medicine (in the new building) to drink the blue (die?) dye
then off to Neurology (back in the old building up the wheelchair ramp alongside EMERGENCY)
then back out (backout?) & over again to nuclear medicine

to go
the next machine

is the end near?
did the crowd cheer?

Now and Then

Now and Then

a flaming orange glow;

next to the hardest working    
water wheel in West Berkeley;

rises from a green pine
scented candle

a demented cat chases her tail
inside a blue laundry basket
raising a racket

the electric streetcar stopped running
a long time ago

Limbo: a chapter from the autobiography


Perhaps I had to bend to spring back up.
If my grandma loved me too well
and my grandpa called me Dan-up,
then I needed to see how the apple of someone’s eye
might be a Red Delicious—
how I dislike Red Delicious apples,
a half-misnomer, I reckon.


Perhaps I needed to bend back to spring back up,
to climb alone up the boulders under the bridge,
to write about my loneliness reddeliciously,
to fumble an embrace,
to walk alone past the beachside births
built of driftwood, a neighborhood of those
who belonged, me feeling the strain.


Perhaps it’s the strain,
the discomfort of passing under the hurdle
that tenses the body for springing upright.
Perhaps it knew what it was doing all along
while this late-blooming mind clung on
through the final dip—changing it’s name—
to Danup, to e., to Frank, to Gertrude—
before relief flooded in and—
took myself a bow.


Perhaps the song
was in my ears
without my ridealong mind
hearing it; perhaps
my body knew
the dance all along—
and knows!


Quizás, quizás,
kiss my ass, ridealong mind.
My ass knows exactly what it’s doing.
My ass never questionmarks itself
nor wonders if it dips correctly.
My ass sure can dance, word


The moments fell in chain reaction
in and around my life, 1995.
Suddenly, friends at my side.
Suddenly, bowing silently out of the party I had crashed.
Here, a body close beside.
Here, the taste of a purpose
walking on a sidewalk.
I pivoted on a city and a time,
my body flinging up.


My body is one of these upright things
that grows in a clump.

Monday, January 9, 2012

IMUNURI Prompt: The Limbo

Shemika Charles from Buffalo, New York broke
the world record for the lowest limbo dance by a woman.
Make language get down low, lower the dancing pole.  Sense the rhythm. The tension. The release.

Limbo ankle, limbo knee.
Bend back like a limbo tree...

What if limbo were a poem form?

Explore what it would be like. 
What subject does the limbo?
What is the rhythm?
Do the lines get shorter as the poem progresses?
Does gravity tighten as the end nears? 
Is it a poem everyone wants to dance to? 
Does the crowd cheer as the poem clears its focal point?

Keywords: limbo, poem,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

jrem: sky X

ororor yor bot...
here key blvd

points my accord
windshield skyward

an X, N to S
east to west

X on the sky

over windrush
the bankrupt school

marks the sky,
a spot: up

bright contrails
multiply flights

clouds X
crossing out

o men
of Richmond

behold on yor
way merrily

life is
but a

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

inside my mountain (cont. 5)

in the fog
a mountain lion (unseen)
seems close by

Monday, January 2, 2012

Muck of Muck [proto song refrain]

Note: a proto-song came through in response to this week's prompt. It is about some angels who get sick of hearing the whining and self-loathing choruses of dissatisfied humans and decide to hold a contest on how quickly they can each get one of us into better shape, optimistic from snarly. I like the idea of angels in a contest. The proto poem/song doesn't follow the rules, and it's rough hewn due to my current lagging capacity to string an entire sentence together, but I'll post a snippet here anyway...

muck of muck, muck of muck, perhaps the angels will change my luck.

muck of muck. muck of muck, oily sheen underneath the duck.

muck of muck, muck of muck, only celestials will get me unstuck

muck of muck, muck of muck. muckety uckety uckety uckety muck of muck.

Burled World

Burls are the scar tissue
from disease or stress
that makes trees
when killed and cut into wood

May the world be just so,
somehow strengthened by
disease and deformity
as clouds collapse
and the fabric and form
of life gape and distend.
Stunted new growth, disgorged forms
bridging back to life, somehow,
for the children of all species,
all rocks (as well as we gawks).

Thus we pray: the world, burled.

IMUNURI prompt: Dramatic turn

Sonnets do it. Haiku do it. 
Even stage plays and bikes do it. 
Let's do it! Let's make a turn.

Write a poem that includes a distinct thematic turn. In other words, your post this week might start out being about one thing and end up being about something else. You might deepen or shift perspectives part way through. Or your original topic might trigger a digression or diversion into new territory. Perhaps you will argue with or refute yourself or someone else. Perhaps the style of your poem will turn from long lines to short or from high-tone language to gutter jargon.

The turn may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, drastic or nuanced. Turn around, bright eyes.

labels: poem, turn, your handle