cards have sailed
across the sea of baize,
from the bygone to now.
they have been dealt over
& again. their faces
they do not sail
across the baize
leaving a trail of
in the water
on their way
for there is
no other choice left
Day 23 brings us to a couple of new prompts from NaPoWriMo and Writer’s Digest. They are to write a poem about playing cards of any kind and to write a historic poem. For the card poem, you are to take deck of cards, any cards will do, and you are to shuffle them and pick a card. Start freewriting about the card you choose from there for about five minutes then pick out what you can in order to make a poem. For the latter prompt the poem can be about history of any kind. It can be a landmark event, a historic happening, a particular battle, etc. But I’m sure we can be a good bit more imaginative with both prompts and come up with something unexpected or out of the box.
I used the history prompt loosely and decided the the majority of the world’s lives basically being gambled with over the course of time. It’s like a poker game that the powers that be play, with the citizens of this world being the cards. High stakes make it exciting to keep playing. I went a little outside of the box but it’s where my mind took me. I hope you all are staying strong! There’s just one week left!
Barrie Phillip Nichol (or bpNichol, as he was commonly known) was a prolific experimental poet whose major body of work was written during the 1960s and 1970s. He was widely known for his hand-drawn and concrete poetry, although he described his art as “borderblur” and worked in a number of mediums, including cartooning, sound poetry and computer texts. He was an avid collaborator and worked with his contemporaries on an wide range of projects, sometimes even inviting readers to send him their own reinterpretation of his texts. In 1970, Nichol received Canada’s highest literary honor, the Governor General’s Award.
He was beloved among his friends and colleagues, and his sudden death at age 44 left many distraught.
In his series “Translating Translating Apollinaire,” Nichols repeatedly reworks a single poem with multiple interpretations. Each poem stands alone as a strong piece, but to read them together in a sequence provides a fascinating glimpse into Nichol’s sense of the plasticity of language, and his expansive creativity. The original version of the poem is rewritten using variations such as replacing words with antonyms from Roget’s Thesaurus, placing each word in the poem in alphabetical order, and replacing words with their meanings taken directly from the dictionary. Read more here and here.
all by Barrie Phillip Nichol
TTA 4: original version
Icharrus winging up Simon the Magician from Judea high in a tree, everyone reaching for the sun great towers of stone built by the Aztecs, tearing their hearts out to offer them, wet and beating mountains, cold wind, Macchu Piccu hiding in the sun unfound for centuries cars whizzing by, sun thru trees passing, a dozen new wave films, flickering on drivers' glasses flat on their backs in the grass a dozen bodies slowly turning brown sun glares off the pages, "soleil cou coupé", rolls in my window flat on my back on the floor becoming aware of it for an instant TTA 10: replacing words with synonyms using Roget's INTERNATIONAL THESAURUS
Daedalus air-planing upward, Simon the Mage out of Judea aloft within a timber, everybody extending to the orb of day grand turrets of rock made by the Aztecs, rending their vitals forth to proffer them, moist and pulsating peaks, chill draft, Macchu Piccu concealed by the daystar not a sign of it for ages automobiles zipping by, the lamp of day penetrating shade trees travelling, twelve young vibration motion pictures, fluttering on operators' spectacles recumbent on their dorsums on the lawn boxcars figures gradually changing tan the glorious lamp of heaven blares off the folio, "soleil cou coop", travels through my casement prostrate on my tergum on the deck getting to be cognizant of it for a moment TTA 17: acrostic translation
i cannot hear anymore reason remains unreachable sullen would i never gave in, never gave up, praying, simply, in my own name to Him each morning at Galilee i cannot invoke another name fear rises open mouthed Jesu! understand, deafness erases any hope i gained, 'here' is nowhere around the remaining essential emotions, essential values, everything, really, your own nullity exchanged, rise eastward against crosses hammered in new ground, for our rage, the hate every son uncovers. new grief rends each awareness, the tautologies open wide, eager reason surprising our false sympathies, taunts our numbed eardrums, bullies us i lie, terrified, by your thorned head effecting a zone that evil cannot slip thru entering a region interior no grace that'll hold ethereal i rise hungry expectant as Rafael told someone "ordinary usage teaches them only one fact - FEAR EATS REASON" to hear everything! my waiting eardrums tremble anew, nameless delicate breath explodes, a terrible inspiration now grips me omnivorous unexplainable (no truly available ideas (no substance)) could ordinary language display wisdom? ideation, naming, demands man's actual control. can he understand pure ideology's cryptic contortions, usurp Heraclitus's instinctual description, invent new gnostic inversions, new thots (hopefully), extending such unconscious nuances, unwritten novelties, forward - outside us? not deaf forever or (reacting, collecting examples, new theories) utter reasonable idiocies? examples: "some careful arguments reveal sympathies" "words hide in zygal zeugmas" i name gracefully but..... yet something's understood! new thots, half reasoned utterances, trace real expressions - Eliot seems passe among such surrealist instances. nova groupings, a dozen obscure zones explode, no nouns escape warping, word avenues, vague, emerge, focus, i learn much, seek further luminations, i can't know everything reeling, i now grasp onto nouns, deleted references, investigate verbs, explore radical syntaxes, glad, laughing, all signifiers signified, everything seems, finally, language, a theory of nominal tactics, Heraclitian expressiveness is renewed, but a carnal knowledge scissors it neatly, the head explodes, glittering reason's airy scent seduces a dozen Ovids. zero entropy no braincells operative didn't i expect such scorn? language opens worlds, little yields to unwilling readers, nothing is narcissistically gained. but reader or writer no simple unlocking gambit lets another reality exist sometimes our false fears terrorize hinder even partial acknowledgement given equal substance some other language emerges illuminates like chaos or unity can opens up peripheral elements reveals our love lacklove such inconsistencies nag maybe you wander in narrow deserted offices wishing for love, anxious, too overcome, numbed, maybe you become aware, concerned, know other names things have, elemental formulas, linguistic options or rehearse banal explanations, concealing or masking intense need - grief. a writer a reader extremes of function in the full operation reality's a noun it's not simply the awareness nothing's there.