Oddments

In search of story


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January 12.22: Coping

How yellowed the page,

how heavy the book,

how delightfully free

of click-bait and hook.

Not a single commercial

intrudes on my search,

sending my thoughts

to spiral and lurch;

I keep to my hunt

for elusive right word

without the distraction

of the marketing herd.

No windows to shout

and peddle their wares,

no storming my brain

with visual fanfares,

just simple bland columns,

neat and precise,

of calm worded world

etymologically nice.

 

Yes, dear reader, I flip through these pages knowing full well that there are words right now for things unknown when these books were new. I turn to them, nonetheless, as I wage my own little war to think in a straight line, and not be pulled into impossible elliptical thinking by all the pop-ups.

 

 


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January 4.22: Coping

Sometimes we’re the audience,

sometimes we’re on stage;

either way we play a part

intrinsic to the age.

From Gilgamesh to Boba Fett,

the story is the thing

to make the case for why

we’re worth remembering.

The writer needs the reader,

as ear attends to speech;

reciprocally human

symbiotic each to each.

In telling and in listening,

we revere the mighty word;

inked or sung or spoken,

it must be read or heard,

and so the eye and ear

and reverent word creator

combine to tell of us

in storied life’s theater.

 

It seems to me, dear reader, that in our little corner of blogdom we have a certain reverence for the word. I like that.

Sometimes as reader and sometimes as writer, I have here learned about imagining, about thinking and re-thinking, about observing, and, even better, I have laughed. In that regard, 2021 was a good word year. In other places, the word has not been treated so kindly.

I wish us all a good year of words. Because words make life rememberable.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

and to Wells Theater, Norfolk, VA.


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June 26.20: Coping

Well, dear reader, here it is again: writer’s block/slump/wasteland — call it what you will. I’ve been a big blank for over a week now. Yesterday I spent hours on a thought, trying to transfer it to words. I think I wore out the delete key.

What a mystery writing is. Not that I’m telling you anything you don’t know. Why do the words come and why do they not come? Where do they go, for heaven’s sakes?

I’ve not caught a glimpse of my muse, except perhaps in a particularly muscular buzzard, a.k.a. turkey vulture, hauling roadkill into the woods. Usually she’s a hawk, but she could have morphed. Right now I’d happily call her a buzzard. Now there’s a word. Don’t you love words that mean something just by the way they sound? Have you ever seen the book “Sound and Sense” by Laurence Perrine? My tattered, moldy copy dates back to my college days in the 60s. It says it’s about poetry but I don’t think so; it’s about the way the sound of a word makes it the perfect choice. Meaning isn’t the whole of it. The word must sound with the meaning. That’s prose, too. Just ask Sam Clemens.

I hope you are well, dear reader, and can still cling to sanity.

 


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March 7.19

 

When words die

and lie

lightly in brown piles,

and slatted benches

hold no one

in their arms,

will the stones remember

warmth

of blood and bone,

do they

hearth-like

hold the meaning?

Or does meaning lie too

in the dry brown

awaiting its ride on the scattering wind

leaving the stones to their empty cold?

 

 

Thanks more to photographer S.W. Berg.

 


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Connections: May 11.18

Some ancient mythic language

ebbing, swelling, weightless

like liquid air

many-voiced

chorus of Sophocles

bade me stop.

I turned toward the sound

the fullness of new leaves

spring petals

soft as babies

supple in newness

stroked by wind

sibilant and sure

wanting me to know

something.

Still as the dead

I listened

taut

to pluck a word

but there was none.

 

Connections


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Connections: October 13.17

Economy of words

is not my strongest suit

I’m Irish, blather-minded,

an English major to boot.

But occasionally I’ll do it

say it all in just one word

here’s syllable to prove it

in a box of the absurd.

Packing up my years

forces me to see

in wording and in living

downsizing is the key.

 

 

Connections

 

 


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Connections: June 14

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhat does it mean

move on?

What does it mean

resilience?

What does it mean

good out of evil?

Does it mean

don’t feel

?

Does it mean

we fear our own complicities?

we grope toward atonement?

toward private satisfaction

that

we

are not

them

?

Or is there anguish

that seeks a word

 any

useless

flailing

word

because

it’s all we have

?

Connections