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The Gospel According to St. Bastard - the muse only seduces me in the middle of the night

Nov. 28th, 2005

01:56 am - the muse only seduces me in the middle of the night

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why inspiration seems only to strike in the middle of the night I can't quite account for

but it rends gashes and bleeding on my poor demented lack of sleep schedule

enough feeling sorry for myself

I rewrote two poems

which is good and awesome

I may finally getting the hang of this rewriting business

I did some changes to my recent Icelandic poem Ars Poetica for Dummies, deincomprehensibilizing its most incomprehensible line

klikkið á hlekkinn til að fara á öppdeitaða útgáfu, kommentum ávallt vel tekið

but I also finally rewrote Metaphors for Time, streamlining it, if not shortening it much

so yeah, here's the new version... comments always welcome, especially as I'm not used to writing poems of this length

[2:45 AM update - couldn't sleep, so rewrote Metaphors further, cutting a lot out]



Metaphors for Time


Q: "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"
A: "Time does not exist." -Carlo Rovelli



*

it was the Golden Age of Something or Another
surely
a Time built high
nothing to stumble over
but something to admire as background
a matte painting in an old movie

*

this ancient metaphor money was all piles
but now scattered
rhythmic
a wave
crashing
over the world as
it swivels on a wobbly axis when circling

*

what is this point
that exists in time
this vanishingly sharp end
a childerella death delay

*

in the rollercoaster
as I went in a loop
I thought
this is what time does
to the mind
as my mass pressed me
to my seat


*

the forward stream of personal time
split in two at that moment
I could have said
yes
but I said
no
I sometimes think of the other me
leading a different life
far away in space
but occupying the same point
in time
but you had said not long before
that thinking of such alternatives
leads to nothing
because we could never add up
the pluses and minuses
back then I studied math
though I devoted myself
to the study of you
more intensely
as I find myself emotionally
traveling back in time
when the memory bursts
fear mixed with love
concern blending with terror
saying goodbye for the last time
that it meant something final
it is peculiar that
kissing in airports
feels so
unfinal
like a vision
of your tears erupting
as you orgasmed
you told me
for the second time
as the drops entered your mouth
that when you came intensely
you cried
somehow that upset me more
than your howls and tears
when I helped you unravel
your mental constructions
placing you back in the now
extracting you from the embrace
of the time you spent
locked inside your brain
watching the actions of others
but unable to react
you'd return ever so briefly
much later
to that shuffling off
of the moment
as if it were
a happy memory
to be savoured
like the time we climbed an apple tree
eating fruits while seated
on different branches
enough time passed
to watch the sun set
we helped each other down
guiding each other to safe places
prefiguring my attempts to overcome
the feelings of rejection
when I would return to this memory
writing poems about apple trees
and fallen fruit
basing the structure
on the five stages of grief
don't judge me too harshly
I was young
and willing to throw myself
into lakes of experience
swimming in emotions
knowing full well
I'd never drown
I was in no danger
I've always known you love me
even when you chased me with a knife
it still has an air of menace
but I cherish that time
still
that time is still
seems obvious

*

the stretching of a rubber band
fraying and frays and such
the rubber coming apart in cleanliness
until it snaps
shooting in opposite directions
they used to think of strands of spun yarn
but I think of rubber bands
for I am of my time
and they of theirs
to them
raise your spirits and say
I am the spirit of my time

*

time follows
like that dog in that movie
no matter how many sticks and rocks
are hurled towards
it slinks after
in your wake

*

you never give me your time
only paper metaphors for it
there is no value in things
but what we say it comes to

*

the movie
you knew that eventually I'd return
to the movie
how can I not question
a length of time this
set
it's easy
I do it like this

*

narrative exists without time

*

the flight of an arrow
half the flight
is more than half the duration
because the missile
slows down
unless gravity compensates
I am not a physicist
I failed math doubly
though I love it
you fail the loves you one time two times

*

memory is the negation of time
memory is a celebration of time
memory is time
memory is an inexact science
memory is faulty
memory will never supercede film
memory is imagination
what memory is I can't tell
memory is an end of time
memory is the death of me
memory is time

*

time is spent right
like an issue forth
that or other likes
will be grown acres

*

I have been taught to manage time
yet time still riots
setting fire to machinery
soiling flesh with ash

*

I remember long links of equateds
graffitied on walls and bus shelters
starting with time
and ending in sex
going through permutations of money
power
and various other nouns

*

the roman candle erupted
and we watched it
for a while
light on snow
sparks melting individual snow crystals
the water froze again
forming ice
not snow

*

you grow taller in time
your skin ever closer to my eyes
pushed up like the Himalayas
as India slides ever further in

*

the river
an irresistable description of time
headwater to delta
birth to death
but I reject it
for it only really makes sense
if we think of the river as frozen
and us skating
on the surface

*

a spring stretched by my hands
held fast to the floor by my feet
this is a way to think of time
another way would be to say
that I am a statue
stretching a marble spring
some would say
that the sculptor was punning
on the nature of time
or rather the time of nature
that time begins with spring
and ends with winter
but I agree with my time
that if time could be thought of
as having a beginning and an end
both would be best placed
in winter

*

the rhythmic time
of seasons seems too slow
the four four beat
seems to slow
with each passing year
the rhythms of day and night
are better to dance to
spinning and spinning
moving in a circle
around a point that moves in a circle
around a point that's moving
away from the starting point

*

the order of letters
is a metaphor of time
a bee see
a metaphor in the wrong tense
the sentence with a full stop
metaphor
the book with closable covers
et cetera you get what I'm carrying on
and so on
until we come to the poem
with its lines
receding downwards
to a defined end
demarked by lack

Current Music: Billy Bragg & Wilco - Way over Yonder in the Minor Key

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:corbistheca
Date:November 28th, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
oh i like! this rewrite better than any of the previous drafts. it's much more rooted and flows together making sense of itself as it goes. the one spot that's still a bit bothersome to me is the jump from grown acres to long lengths of equateds -- though i absolutely love both images i can't see them as having anything to do with each other.
i like! i like much!
~ c.
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:November 28th, 2005 10:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you!

I'll have to think about that jarring transition... maybe if I switch "equateds" with the following verse "manage time"
[User Picture]
From:corbistheca
Date:November 28th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
yes, reading those two in reverse order makes more sense to me as a reader.
~ c.
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:November 28th, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I agree, I'll change them around right now.
[User Picture]
From:binks
Date:November 28th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Wow. This is one of the best poems I've ever read, no lie. I don't know precisely why, but I find this to be really amazing. I like the fifth and longest "section" the best.

The only line that didn't seem to flow was this: "memory will never supercede movies". Reading the word "movies" there was a little awkward for some reason. Not sure why.
[User Picture]
From:binks
Date:November 28th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oops, I hit submit too quickly. I meant to add that I understood why the "movies" line was in there, in the context of the poem, but just that "movies" sounded like the wrong word to me.
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:November 28th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
you're absolutely right, it should be "film", in fact, I'll change it right now
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:November 28th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
thank you!

that's high praise indeed.
[User Picture]
From:alionunderaw
Date:December 3rd, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hi, I just added you (I found this livejournal via imomus), just thought you should know. I like your writing.
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:December 4th, 2005 12:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you. I know Nick (phantastes) as well. I've added you back
[User Picture]
From:alionunderaw
Date:December 4th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC)
(Link)
oh, I hadn't noticed that at all, how strange. Anyway, a pleasure to meet you and thanks for the add.
From:polaroidpants
Date:December 4th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
(Link)
i only now had the time to read this, but now its done, and its wonderful. it really is. the sounds for this one, intended or not, are lovely. i especially enjoy the sounds the equateds-verse and the river-verse makes. yeh. i'll have to read it again.
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:December 5th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
(Link)
I'm glad you like it. And I'm happy you took the time to read it.
[User Picture]
From:kattullus
Date:December 5th, 2005 03:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
also, yes, you are right, the sounds of "equateds" and "river" are the most interesting... though I didn't give much conscious thought to sounds while writing this one