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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Unsettled" Chapter 15-B


Silt

The clock beside the bed
chimes and sets a tempo
that I step to half asleep,
beginning with that clumsy reach
for a light switch on the wall
that's nearly always there
and only rarely seems to disappear
just as my hand finds nothing
but smooth and painted plaster,
for the switch that I recall
is on another wall—
in a house I lived in long ago.
How strange to feel without thinking
where the thing should be
in this the house where life is now
and fixtures must be present
if they're to work at all
beyond the world
where forgotten dreams
and long-lost things
lie just below the surface
of the skull,
debris of memory
in a slow moving creek
where past
whirls strangely into current
each time
a puff of settled silt is stirred
or whispered words from nowhere
go unheard.
© Copyright ,2009, TK, Patterns of Ink

Chapter 15-B "When Life Becomes Automatic"

The rest of this chapter really is coming, and these lines do pertain. It's been a rough week with little spare time at night.

6 Comments:

Blogger the walking man said...

Tom if you are bothered by my tampering with your verse please do not read further and delete the post...Mark

Silt

The clock beside the bed
chimes and sets a tempo
that I step to half asleep,
beginning with that clumsy reach
for a light switch on the wall
that's nearly always there
and only rarely seems to disappear
just as my hand finds nothing
because the switch that I recall
is on another wall—
in a house I lived in long ago.
How strange to feel
without thinking
where the thing should be
in this the house where life is now
and fixtures must be present
if they're to work at all
beyond the world
where forgotten dreams
and long-lost things
lie just below the surface
of the skull
like debris in a slow moving creek
where past
whirls strangely into current
each time
a puff of settled silt is stirred




Silt

The clock beside the bed chimes and sets a tempo that I step to half asleep.
Beginning with that clumsy reach
for a light switch on the wall
that's nearly always there
and rarely seems to disappear.

Just as my hand finds nothing
because the switch that I recall
is on another wall
in a house lived in long ago.

How strange to feel
without thinking
where the thing should be
in this the house
where life is now.

Fixtures must be present
if they're to work at all
beyond the world
where forgotten dreams
and long-lost things
lie just below
the surface of the skull.

Debris of memory
in a slow moving creek
where past whirls strangely into current each time
a puff of settled silt is stirred

(needs a wrap up line)

12/2/09 3:32 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Mark,
I'm never bothered by input. In fact, as I used to tell my English students, if you see a lot of my writing on your papers--that's a good thing. It means your paper was very worth my time and constructive input.

On the other hand, I'm sure you'd agree that few poems have been written by committee. I like the suggestions on phrasing and I hate to admit that I "copyfit" verse to the blog format. You'll notice that the lines got shorter where the picture of debris in a creek is. Sometimes form must fit function. =)

So I'm flattered by tweaks from a poet like you. Other than form and a few lines, did the thought of the verse come through? I'm trying to suggest that sometimes a present action is triggered by past memory and there's no other explanation for it. Like after living in a house for ten years and reaching for a light switch on a wall where it was in your childhood home (but not in this home). I did that just last week, and it brought about these lines and fits very well into something that happens in the next chapter.

Have a good weekend. (Don't forget Saturday is Valentine's Day. Even though it's a commercial excuse for thoughtfulness, you ought to do something out of the ordinary with the Mrs. =)

12/2/09 7:11 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I like the "debris of memory" suggestion and had something like it in an earlier draft(except I used the word dream and also tried "remembrance"--but went with what you saw. If I do change it, I like the simpler word "memory" and also getting rid of "like" though in this case it's clearly beginning a simile.). I may make that minor change after I sleep on this again.

Did the new wrap up line I added this morning "and whispered words from nowhere go unheard" help or hurt the piece as a whole? I can delete it. Even in verse that uses very little rhyme, I sometimes use rhyme to close (there are other examples in the archives).

It usually takes about three days or so for anything I've written to crystallize. I read it and read it and when it finally sounds right I leave it alone.

12/2/09 7:28 AM  
Blogger the walking man said...

First thanks for hearing me out on this piece, it is a habit I have to critique.

I think the intent came through loud and clear, almost the body is in one space but the brain which controls function is yet dwelling in another for a moment.

Memory is the signs of life past and lived, those things and places where we have visited need not be dead and aren't as long as the one who lived through them breathes.

I do very much like the wrap up.

While I personally try not to rhyme to much, too many others do it far better than I, it is beneficial when bringing the point home, taking the reader to that last step of the poets thought. You are an accomplished writer Tom. Thank you for the entertainment and insight.

13/2/09 5:29 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Good morning,
No school today. Mid-winter Break.
I'll be helping build an indoor-outdoor dog-run this morning, which will probably take longer than I think. I'm like my dad in that way.

Thanks, Mark. I slept on it like I said. Changed a "because" to a "for" I typically don't use "for" as a subordinating conjunction but sometimes it produces a smoother meter. Decided not to break the short piece into stanza because the rambling, run-on tone helps suggest the "half-asleep" state. For same reason, I Kept the "like" rather than a separate grammatical metaphor so that the final images are clearly "just below the surface of the scull." Wrestled with the ending. Liked the way it "read" but wasn't sure if shifting from a visual image (stirred silt) to an audible image (whispered words) worked, but I like invoking another sense and adding a hint of past relationships rather than just "things."

Thanks for the critique. I may not always choose to write about the "process" as we have here, but who knows, some may find it interesting. (Some may find it disturbingly silly.)

I envy writers who can "set it and forget it" as Popeil used to say of his Ronco Rotisserie oven. My stuff tends to simmer for a while.

These lines serve as a nice prelude to 15-B.

13/2/09 9:08 AM  
Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

When posting poems or stories or whatever on the internet, there's still basic application principles -- too much "rag" at the end of each line could be distracting to the reader. Also, the placement of the photo is can be critical.

Nice poem.

13/2/09 9:26 AM  

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