[We read this gorgeous poem by A. Van Jordan, "Que Sera Sera." The prompt was inspired by something David said the previous week about music. And so I wondered: What would happen if we put popular music into our poetry? A. Van Jordan’s poem does. It locates the action of the poem inside of a scene where he is listening to a song. Can we do something similar? Or put lyrics inside of our writing? Our would our own voice and experience interact with the greater world’s music and voice? ]
— by Matt
I don’t understand why people have to listen to music so loud.
And my favorite bumper sticker says “Kill your television.”
Before I go to bed, every night, I put on my sweats, take my medication, and turn on the radio.
I’ve had the same radio since 1993.
A social worker once told me “you seem over-stimulated.”
This might be true, but it may have been because I was drinking eleven cups of coffee a day.
Why does everything have to explode to entertain us?
Somehow, it seems, the simplest things make my life easier.
At the risk of sounding ridiculous, why can’t we be satisfied by things
like kittens, or other soft things, which can simply entertain us by being around.
The world has too many politicians, and definitely too many nuclear weapons.
And definitely, too many smart phones.
I’ve often wondered what life would be like if we simply simplified.
No television, no radios, no phones, no cars, no electricity, no plumbing, no computers, etc.
Maybe if the world ends as the Mayans suggested, we’ll be put in a place where we have to relate to others, and then to God.
Whose idea was it, for us to have all of this crap?
Why can’t we be satisfied by the things we have simply before us?
In the meantime, I listen to the radio and wait for others to catch up.
Breathe, a song says
— by Robyn
Once we drove through the fields
and a song say breathe me and I did.
We were going to have a child. His name
would be Jacob and he would have
your eyes and he would run. In the field,
all the corn stalks bobbed their heads.
Just breathe the song said and we did.
Now you are gone and the son is gone
and the sky turns gray at six. The fields
look so dead. I am tired of cars.
Tired of song, of you, of the stupid boy
with his running shoes and blue eyes
in my head and nowhere else.
Breathe a song says and I say no.
I won’t. I will leave the car running
and follow the dirt road until it ends,
until the song ends, sound ends, until
there’s only the corn stalks in the fields
with their open unliving arms.
(Do something with music in it)
— by David KE Dodge
So I make my normal departure from the prompt, but I promise I’ll make my way back, before I’m done.
I have recently been exposed to “The Fire of Drift-Wood,” by Longfellow. He has no right, Longfellow and his fellow classic poets- they have no right to keep such beautiful works to themselves.
I want to do that. I want to write in verse, totally faithful to strict rules of meter and rhyme, and I want to make it look to the reader- easy.
So that is what I will do. I will write four lines of exactly eight beats each, with the third line perfectly, exactly compliant to the rules of rhyme, with the first line, and the second and fourth lines will perfectly rhyme, and the lines will comprise at least one perfectly grammatical sentence, perfectly, simply diagrammatical sentence(s), consistent with classical English grammar, and each sentence will have its own independent meaning, as though it were an integral part of a piece of technical writing.
And now I get back to the prompt. The verse I will write will show myself capable of making a work that is developmental of an arbitrarily assigned or chosen theme. My verse will be something with music in it.
Those classical poets will be put in their place. I’ll show them poetry!
Now to the task:
“There once was a woman from Hell”
Eight beats. Perfect. Next line:
“Making her way through the world”
Seven beats- I need to change something, to add a beat without changing meaning:
“Making her own way through the world”
Perfect. Eight beats, and the meaning is improved. I can go on to the third line; that needs to develop the message, while containing eight beats, and rhyming with “Hell.” And I need to weave in the theme of music.
I’m out of time, but I won’t give up. I will continue the task until the verse is completed, at some other time, and will do no other writing, except as the demands of mundania require, until my verse is completed…