Stress sonnet – Let’s go Petrarchan.

I like to think I work to better man.

I like to think my impact could be great,

Yet somehow fetid boredom is my state

Despite my challenge to myself to stand.

I am not free of work or work’s demand.

I am not free to choose my daily fate.

My greater purpose I have yet to sate,

So still I wonder if my future’s bland.

But why still wonder if my soul is true?

And why anticipate what’s yet to be?

My heart, if strong, will know how passions grew

and how, in turn, regrets must number few.

One step I want to take but cannot see

so sideways steps may be all I can do.

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The three word poem

There is contention (as is typical with art) about what the modern poem should be. When I was an undergrad, a part of my English minor meant I had to attend a number of grad students nad guest speakers read their work. About half of them were poets, and so I heard quite a bit of prose poetry and autobiographical narrative stuff that I didn’t really like. I’m sure most of it I would’ve liked better in a book or on paper. I’m not a highly aural person – I’m much more visible. beside, i feel much of what I like about more modern stuff has to do with the way it looks on the page, rather than how it sounds. I’m not sure if this actually should be the case, but it’s what I’ve mostly been stuck with.

The rise of texting, email, and short ‘n sweet forms of communication should have given rise to a whole new spate of brevity in poems. This should be a new age of rediscovering the haiku and re-crafting it for English in a new way. Why don’t people really use the language and make three word poems? You could write them faster on your cell phone than a novel. They could be funny, they could be commentary, they could be reflective, they could be wise, or raunchy. But mosst of all they would fit a new idea of brevity and force.

There are a number of questions I have regarding the form such poems would take. Would every word have to be over three syllables? or would that defeat the purpose? Would rhyming or some form of rhythmic structure need to be enforced? Would rules of reflection (nouns to the outside, adjective in the middle, or vice versa) be observed? Or would strict SVO construction be the rule?

So many permutations. So many possibilities. Please, give comments/suggestions/first attempts. It is our duty, not to shake our booties, but to recreate the poem. I’ll go first:

earth

heaving

scoria

Or here’s a funny one:

Cheese

Nugget

Flying

My new favorite friend: Wergle Flomp

I get an online publication about small markets (meaning little magazines and small circulation and small pay places that want to publish your stuff).  It helps keep me abreast of what’s out there in the writing world, and gives me ideas for places I might want to submit stuff.  They also compile info on various competitions, as well as small markets, and usually it’s pretty reasonable stuff.  I read the new one today and was tickled by the name of the first contest:  WERGLE FLOMP HUMOR POETRY CONTEST.  I decided to check it out on the basis of name alone.  It had to be funny, right?

And it was!  Basically, it’s a contest aimed at making fun of the vanity press contests many of us participated in as school-age children.  You make a really bad, but funny-in-a-parody-way poem.  Then submit it to a vanity press contest that will accept  anything so that they can sell more books.  Then, submit it here.  Finally, have a good chuckle at other’s expense.  Ahh, silly vanity presses!  I now love this contest.  I am thinking of submitting something….