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19 July 2000


about invention IV.

I normally don't do this. It's my take on my own poem, invention IV. It is one of my favorites which I've written, and it's rather long. If you haven't read it, and have about 10-15 minutes to spare, try it out. Then come back here, or read this and watch what I'm writing make no sense to you, in all its electronic glory. These thoughts have legs, and they tend to move about of their own volition. Here's a little caveat: it's not everything I was thinking, and it's not the only way it can be interpreted. The poetry is for the reader, you get what you want. No less than 3 people have responded to me and found 3 separate sections, lines, or images spoke to them deeply. Anyway, enough of this. On to my longest EW message yet! (gotta make up for nearly 2 weeks of silence on elsewhere!)

a visible city: This and the last section were inspired by Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. You really need to read this book. I don't think I could add to this section of the poem by writing anything here.

a departure: It establishes a part of 'my' relationship with Miranda. (From now on, 'I' am the narrator. That's sort of the same as saying it's me, but it's not, quite. Everything here is true, but it didn't necessarily happen.) It also is the relationship with our neighbors in the building, all strangers, all defined not by their names, or even their behaviors, but by a perception. There are the boxes: the nervous looking man, the old woman whose last friends are dead, the haunted infertile couple. Clearly, we've been living near them for some time, but have only known them as one might by seeing a person at a supermarket, wholly superficial, and just as another product to categorize, assess, and discard.

travel: A few things in here which I purloined from previous poems... There's a brief word-reference to A Narrow Stretch of Highway, not just in the narrowing highway, but in Miranda's eyes reflecting the light ahead. Also, a bit of imagery from The Ribbon, namely equating the road with blood vessels, a bit of reference to Of Cities and Deserts, with the words "one wasteland to another." Finally, a reference to a line from a song called "Down South" by a band I was in. There were a few lines which referred to downtown buildings "... towering over us, like blankets to hide us." All in all, a poem which heavily cannibalizes others...

the rented room: In a sense, it outlines the beginning of our degradation, and yet how much I loved Miranda. How each kiss, embrace, etc., was a gift; a gift of which I knew the contents, but reveled in opening nonetheless. It was no surprise, but the satisfaction was in the attainment and the discovery, the exploration of new frontiers. I also like the image of the songs soaking into the room from the speakers, stretched, tired, and aching. Of course, it is a transferance of how Miranda and I feel after the journey.

sleeping with miranda: I seemed to just throw everything into this section. There's some spirituality (of late in poems like Manifestations of the Spirit), science (like when did Mr. Geek not put some weird-ass science thing in some poem? prominent in Elysium), vaguely sexual imagery (it's intentionally ambiguous, but vaguely suggestive, more obvious in fusion), and, of course, water.

a dream: the broken planet and the subway car: this first of 3 dream sequences which really betray my relationship with Miranda, all written very late at night, which, for some reason, allows me to invent the strangest ideas... For those of you who haven't scoured the bowels of this site, you may find it interesting to know that Miranda is a generalized fictional woman, based loosely on many of the women I've known. Is there something familiar about her? Perhaps, but I'm not telling. Anyway, here's the first poem I've written that seamlessly introduces Miranda to Miranda the Uranian satellite. There is some contention as to whether the satellite Miranda's tortured geology is due to internal, tidal forces, or a catastrophic collision which fractured it so. Also, some of the images here have been inspired by a new attention I've brought to the architecture which surrounds me. Of course, this is Joe's influence, architect extraordinaire that he is. We've conversed a bit over the meaning of place, of the things which surround us. My relationship with Miranda both as place and as lover is defined by their changes. At the end, it is my ruination.

a dream: the traitoress in the hollow cube: another poem heavily influenced by my Christianity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not intending to set myself up as a surrogate Jesus in this section. It is merely the strongest way I could imagine a betrayal. And it's weirder and weirder. For the less Bible-savvy, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss. The remainder of this poem is influenced by the passage in Revelation which deals with the new Jerusalem. Just a brief run-through on some of the imagery: The new Jerusalem falls from the sky, made as a bride adorned for her husband; the description starting with verse 19 of the foundation stones of the city; teeth as a symbol of power and strength; never knowing a 'natural blue rose' (a natural peace), but it could have been a lapse of my memory. There is really a lot in this one, the one I wrote when most sleepy, and in fact, it was originally the first dream in the triptych, but once I'd struck the numerical symbology (13 poems within a poem, myself at the center, the 13th among placesettings, and, naturally, the vast implications of the numbers 12 and 13), I figured I'd move this dream into the centerpiece. Actually, the fact that there are 13 sections was purely coincidental, but I chose to run with it by the time I'd gotten to this dream...

More to come in the next edition....

musings of a prod.

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