Loophole (Time, Space and “Interstellar”)

via Daily Prompt: Loophole

Interstellar

Once on a bus
across the Altiplano
from Puno to Cusco
I watched the movie
Interstellar, starring
Matt McConaughey.
Matt’s a clever feller,
I just said that
to rhyme with Interstellar
no one
says feller anymore
anyway, it appears that
time is a line
our lives are
moving along
and we can only
move forward along
that line, never back,
but there is a loophole
or a wormhole,
to be exact,
way out there
in outer space
and if one travels
to outer space
and passes through
that wormhole
one can visit
the multiplex cinema
where one’s life
is playing
and view
any previous point
on the line one’s life
is travelling on
problem is
when one returns
to earth, it’s fifty
years later and
everyone one knows
is either dead or dying,
thus the line one’s life
is travelling on
is irreversibly altered
that’s the catch
which by the way
is different than
a loophole.

 

Study (Good God Y’all! What is it good for?)

via Daily Prompt: Study 

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This Just In…

A recent study
has shown
that studying
the eating habits
of North Americans
has zero effect
on the eating habits
of North Americans.

Now time for an old favourite….

Breakfast at Denny’s

I was sitting in Denny’s
wondering how
everyone’s ass
got to be so big
when the waitress
announced
they were flat
out of pancakes.

Found Poetry – Theft or Tribute?(Sgt. Pepper Mashup )

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Sgt. Pepper Mashup 

Made passively tolerant by LSD, he was happy to sit back
endlessly recombining like some insoluble chemical compound
all he really wanted was the cyclic cloud drift of his verse.

The song never relinquishes this staccato dominant
played by Harrison on his Stratocaster with treble-heavy settings
making the most of McCartney’s rich ninth’s and elevenths –
a brilliantly whimsical expression of period burlesque.

It is impossible to conduct a revolution without picking a side
like a comic brass fob watch suspended from a floral waistcoat
objectivity is illusory and all creativity inescapably self –referential.

The track is whipped to a climax by a coruscating pseudo-Indian guitar solo.
Lennon grinned sardonically, as he walked past Aspinall,
requesting from Martin a sound like the end of the world.

 

I have always felt that found poetry is a form of theft. Yet, here I am with my first found poem. It all started with listening to the remastered copy of Sgt.Pepper, (issued last year, and a vast improvement on the snap, crackle and pop of my old vinyl version) and in particular, the guitar solo in “Fixing a Hole”. Paul McCartney played lead guitar on a number of tracks on the album, but the style of playing on the solo sounded more like George Harrison. So, I consulted the bible – “Revolution in the Head”, by Ian MacDonald, a track by track analysis of 241 Beatle tracks and essential to any Beatles nerd. The solo was Harrison’s.
I read a couple of other track analyses and found myself enjoying MacDonald’s writing style, a number of phrases jumped out from the page and the idea of a found poem formed. The result is the above poem. It has, believe it or not, a structure: each line is a direct quote from an analysis of an individual Sgt. Pepper track, and the lines are sequenced in the same order as the tracks appear on the album.
Buy Ian MacDonald’s book, you won’t be disappointed and I will feel better about stealing his stuff.

 

Butcher (Forlorn)

via Daily Prompt: Forlorn 

Forlorn

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Butcher

7: 30 in the morning,
at the corner of Main and King Edward
a butcher in a white coat
stands transfixed
behind the empty meat trays
in the window
of the Windsor Packing Company.
A sign says:
Order your holiday turkey and ham early,
a cold January wind blows.
Back in the fridge,
somnolent sausages
blood red sirloin
and thick pink pork chops
(each with a trim icing of fat)
wait patiently
for their return to the public eye.

 

Birds,Wires etc/ Why Ireland Failed to Qualify for World Cup 2018

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Why Ireland Failed to Qualify for World Cup 2018

On the day my brother and I
organized a soccer game
on the playing fields
of Oatlands College,
Mount Merrion, Dublin,
an assault of Christian Brothers
descended from the big house
like a murder of crows
their black soutanes flapping
in the wet winter breeze
descended with one aim
and one aim only –
to remove the scourge
of this foreign game
from the green Catholic fields
of Ireland.

 

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Reservation (is The Daily Prompt destroying my life?)

via Daily Prompt: Reservation 

Ok, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic but I do have a reservation about The Daily Prompt, because as I write this I should be writing something else. What happened to the posts I was going to write about Courtney Barnett, about Death Cab for Cutie? What about the poems I should finish and submit to a magazine? What about getting a collection of poems together? What about facing the fact that I may not have enough good poems to warrant a collection? What about those song lyrics sitting around waiting for a collaborator? What about “The Lad Poetry Project Revival” ? Instead I am thinking about a daily prompt from a week or two back –“meager”- which didn’t inspire me at the time but then this emerged:

Edgar

Meaghan loved her job,
the compensation was meager
but that didn’t bother her
what bothered her
was her relationship with Edgar;
she felt beleaguered.
“What the hell is wrong with you”,
Edgar raged, on a regular basis,
and all she could think of was:
Isn’t “raged”
an anagram of Edgar?

Then there are the endless revisions. I usually like to let a poem sit for a while, sometimes years, but The Daily Prompt requires an immediate response which invariably means I am rarely satisfied with the poems generated. Take “Confess” for example, I was moderately pleased with one image in the poem but the rest seemed a bit ad hoc, so here is the revised poem, so I can forget about it and move on.

Confess

a sliding hatch
a priest’s profile
through a wire mesh screen
forgiveness, absolution;
will I do it again?
absolutely.

 

Trumplings (The Best of 2017)

This time last year, at every social event I went to, the subject of Donald Trump could not be avoided. This year? Nothing. The Trump presidency has become a bit like one of those television series that people get tired of watching – no discernible plot, no character development, poorly written dialogue and we still have to suffer through seasons 2, 3 and 4.

These are the Trump posts  I had most fun writing in 2017, they rely a bit more (I think) on language rather than straight polemic.

“Agent Orange has a dark Moment” was published in Rat’s Ass Review” and “Donald Trump – On Reflection” was published in “Oddball Magazine“.

Inauguration

it
does
not
augur
well.

 

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Donald’s Early Days

A farrago of fiascos,
banishments and bans;
weekends at Mar-a-Lago
the world in his hands.

 

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Agent Orange has a Dark Moment
Do you know who I miss? Jeb Bush. I miss Jeb Bush. He was my first. When I hit him with that low energy jibe and he fell apart and all the Bush family could not put Humpty together again, I knew I was on to something. Then Little Marco and Lyin’ Ted, I miss them too. But most of all, I miss Hillary, Crooked Hillary. Man, she was tough, had me on the ropes. It took Comey and Vlad, that pointy headed villain, to get me back on my feet. I was nearly out for the count, which might not have been a bad thing. Who needs this shit! I should give Vlad a call, I’m a bit worried -there’s no such thing as a free hack.
Reince Priebus – what kind of fucking name is that? It sounds like bad news from the doctor. “I’m sorry, Donald, you have a Reince Priebus on your rectum and it doesn’t look good”. Ha, I just made myself laugh. And Bannon, I’ve seen sofas on the side of the road in better shape than that rumpled fucker. Spice Box? Hardest job in the world – explaining the unexplainable. That Melissa Mc.Carthy just slays me. How come all the cool people are on the other side? Who have I got? Ryan and Pence? Bland and Blander? Where did Pence come from anyway with his brush cut and his antediluvian politics? The best surgeons in the world couldn’t remove the poker from that guy’s ass. Antediluvian, you didn’t expect that did you?
Talking of cool, I should give Barack a call, ask him down to Florida for a game of golf; check his birth certificate again (Joking! How I miss those days). Man, I hate this fucking White House furniture, is it Friday yet?

 

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Haiku for Donald

petulant pillock

postcranial curmudgeon

bombastic buffoon.

 

Orange is the New Bleak 1 (3)
On Reflection…. Donald Trump

America has given birth
to a giant orange child
a zaftig infant Gulliver
striding the ravaged earth
of his own imagination
trampling whole villages
swallowing villagers whole.

 

 

 

Sunrise/ The Cold Dish (Craig Johnson)

 

 

 

Sunrise I

the sun rises red-eyed
after another long night
tending to the needy side
of the planet.

This poem came about because of a plane journey, a six hour plane journey, with no inflight entertainment. I could have used the downloadable app but I couldn’t imagine watching out of date Jason Bateman movies for 6 hours on my phone, so I picked up a Craig Johnson novel, The Cold Dish, to get me through the flight.
This is the first novel in the Walt Longmire series. Walt is a sheriff in modern day Absaroka County, Wyoming. His wife has been dead 4 years and his life is a bit of a mess but there are various people looking out for him including his best friend, Henry Standing Bear. I know what you are thinking – an American law man with a Native American sidekick!! Anyway Craig Johnson navigates this well enough. There are a number of women in Walt’s life, including his daughter Cady, his dispatcher Ruby, a café owner Dorothy, Vic –his deputy, and Vonnie – a romantic interest. Vonnie is rich, beautiful, and troubled. They are all strong women and they don’t take no shit from Walt.
Walt is at Henry’s bar talking to Vonnie when he gets a call from Vic that a body has been found in a gulley up in the mountains. Walt heads to the scene, the body is hard to get at and the crime scene is complicated by the fact that a herd of sheep has surrounded the body, shat upon it and chewed at the clothes. The body turns out to be Cody Pritchard, a local boy who was involved in the rape of a girl from the reservation and got off lightly. It’s early morning by the time the crime scene has been secured and there is this moment after a long night where Walt, the narrator, says : “I gazed back up to the patch of sage and scrub weed and watched the sun free itself from the red hills”.
This is what amazes me about novelists, they have to handle character, plot, dialogue and create a world for characters to inhabit, for events to occur and they still find time to come up with lines like I have just quoted. So that was it for me, I spent the rest of the flight trying to come up with different ways to describe the sunrise. The first attempt you have already read above, here, for better or for worse, is attempt number 2:

Sunrise II

The sun rises bleary-eyed
having spent another night
attending
one of those wild parties
to which, we
are never invited.

As for the book, it’s well worth a read. Craig Johnson creates believable characters, characters to care about, to root for and the whole thing meanders along laconically with lots of witty banter and joshing – the kind of  joshing you would find in a small town cafe at 10  in the morning, one of those cafes with gingham tables and a robust waitress with chemically damaged hair who won’t take any shit from the bunch of plaid shirted retired guys who turn up every morning to shoot the breeze.

 

Photos : Sunrise on Planet Cistern.

 

Rooster Gallery / Living Off The Grid.

 

 

 

Living Off the Grid

The sun with rare generosity
beats down on the solar panels
on the roof of Vincent’s log cabin.

The first sentence of his organic novel
The abattoir, for once, was silent
sits alone on his laptop screen.

This is the seed from which will spring
plot, character, content.
He gets up, walks out through the kitchen door

through the tortured arch of his driftwood arbor
and into the vegetable garden
where he urinates in a jagged arc

sprinkling life-giving nutrients
on the unsuspecting butter lettuce.
Returning to his desk

he taps out another sentence:
With his mother’s mop, he wipes
the blood from the kitchen floor.

Why so morbid?
It’s warm, he’s feeling drowsy,
he detects a faint signal from a long-dormant source

like the distant ping from a submarine
at the bottom of the ocean.
He should invite someone for dinner,

the lady who sells jam at the Saturday market, perhaps,
or the angry sculptress – she of the tangled hair,
the scrap metal raptors, the acetylene scent.

The jam lady it is.
Bottle of wine from the retired lawyer’s vineyard,
salmon from the gnarled fishermen down at the dock,

try a little humor,
ask her if raspberry jam is a male preserve,
make a nice salad. What’s the worst that could happen?

 

This poem first appeared a little while back in “The Basil O’Flaherty”.

 

Gorge (Boxers and Canyons)

via Daily Prompt: Gorge 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/gorge/

 

 

 

Gorge

too much of a good thing
gorge, and your gorge may rise

not a canyon – a narrow valley,
nearly an anagram of George.
Gorgeous George inspired Muhammad Ali

who went on to beat George Chuvalo,
George Foreman

a blow to the face may cause swelling
engorgement

not such a good thing.

Relocate (haiku)/U2’s New Album

via Daily Prompt: Relocate

 

Relocate

that is what I did

or should I say: emigrate

same thing, in mom’s eyes.

 

This Daily Prompt thing is becoming addictive. What happened to that long post I was going to write about U2’s new album which I haven’t yet listened to: how http://www.allmusic.com gave it 2 1/2 stars out of 5; how Rolling Stone gave it 4 1/2 stars; how the Guardian gave it 2 stars and 4 stars (2 different reviews); how Variety called it their best album in years; how some people just don’t like Bono and decide what they are going to write before they listen to the album; how U2 have always been polarising; how I can’t listen to “The Unforgettable Fire”; how I don’t think Bono became a mature lyricist until “Achtung Baby”; how the last album “Songs of Innocence” has 7 tracks on it that are as good as anything U2 has ever done; how the Edge treats every note like it’s a precious object; how I am biased because ever since I relocated from Ireland to Canada, I have become far more patriotic than I ever was when I lived there.

 

So Distracted / Smart Phone (with apologies to Dickens and Darwin)

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So Distracted

Snapchat
WhatsApp
Instagram
Facebook

What?
……..I’m so distracted

Text message
Twitter feed
I’ll follow you
if you follow me

What?
……..I’m so distracted

Spotify
Pokémon
I just got a like
from Pakistan

What?
……..I’m so distracted

So distracted
So distracted
did I walk that back?
did I retract it?

So distracted
So distracted
did I walk that back?
did I retract it?

What?

 

Smart Phone (with apologies to Dickens and Darwin)

’twas the best invention
’twas the worst invention

’twas communication’s new dawn
’twas the end of communication

’twas a pain in the neck
’twas incipient myopia

’twas why we evolved
with opposable thumbs.