Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I have spent the better part of the morning trying to determine if the lyrics to "Killer Queen" by Queen are about me. Prophetically, I mean. Regarde:

She keeps Moet et Chandon
In a pretty cabinet
'Let them eat cake' she says
Just like Marie Antoinette

So far so good.

A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can't decline

Yep. Still checks out.

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

Not so much the cigarettes, but everything else in this verse is right on.

She's a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, Gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?

Um. Well not so much. Though I do have an insatiable appetite for water. But that couldn't really be described as an appetite.

To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from
China Went down to
Asia Minor
Then again incidentally
If you're that way inclined

I have moved a time or two, so we're still okay. And I do speak like a baroness. The Baroness of Sass.

Perfume came naturally from Paris
For cars she couldn't care less
Fastidious and precise

Who else could this describe? I don't like cars. Not a bit.

Drop of a hat she's as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild
She's out to get you


Recommended at the price
Insatiable in appetite
Wanna try?
You wanna try.

I think a good 75% was written with me in mind. I chalk the remainder up to M. Mercury's pursuit of some degree of anonymity in regards to his subject. After all, what would people have thought of him if they knew he'd written a song about a cat that had not yet been born and wouldn't grace the Earth with her cool for another 25-ish years?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You might have wondered...

...what do Schubert cats dream of?

Last night, I dreamt that the concrete utility sink overcame its iron footing and lurched to its left as the legs gave way. It tossed the washing machine aside, pushing it across the basement. I watched as the water lines snapped free from the washing machine's back and sprayed a wide shower that seemed to come from everywhere as it reached the opposite wall and ceiling and ricocheted off of each. I watched from the doorway as water pooled on the basement floor. A small tendril of cold water crept toward me on the floor and I held my ground. It eased closer, winding briefly around a crack in the floor until finally it reached me. I bent my neck and sipped.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Strange Living

The essay is on the back burner for another day. I have returned to the upstairs and have had to spend a great deal of time and energy regulating. This also explains my unintended blog-silence last week.

Nevertheless, the essay will be completed in due time. I have also been approached about a utility-scale alternative energy project wherein my cool and my sass will be captured in a gross of bell jars and used to propel the Goodyear Blimp.

Don't worry, the cool and sass captured will in no way dwindle my resources.

I'm ready for another NaPoWriMo. Or maybe it should just be NaPoWriYe here at 'The World."


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

All This Talk of Water...Let's Get to the Point

Just as a container does not guarantee that the water gotten from the lake will be the right water, a poem en forme is not an inherently superior work. In fact a mediocre poem poorly-executed formwise is of lesser quality than a mediocre free verse poem. Poor or improperly executed form is an additional strike against the poem. It may be disheartening to note, as well, that impeccably-executed form does not provide additional benefit to the work. That is to say that a mediocre poem en forme, even if it adheres faithfully to the rules of the form, is still just a mediocre poem.
So why would the poet choose to write en forme? Taking into account the inherent risks to how the work may be received and noting that the rewards are not necessarily equal in potential, why bother?
We return, then, to the lake. The container -- the form -- provides a set of guidelines for the poet. While some poets become lolandgorille when confronted with a set of rules, others welcome the guidelines. Indeed, the lake of possibility can be overwhelming to the young or "new" writer. Faced with the task of capturing a poem from the enormity of possibility before her, the young writer may be daunted. In this way, the form is a guide and a friend.
This is a roundabout way of establishing my first point: writing en forme is a useful tool for the young writer to become accustomed to capturing poems. It teaches the young writer how to take and carry the work. Eventually, the form may not be necessary, which we will discuss later in this essay.

(to be continued)

PS -- All day I will feature the crosspaws.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Deploying Hands and Backhands in Verse


When the poet sets hands to keys, as it were, a world of possibilities stretches infinitely around her. We might even say that an infinite number of worlds of limitless possibilities extends in three dimensions from the poet's starting point. How, then, to best capture the essence of the thoughts that put her at the workdesk at this particular moment in time? How to convey the needle-specific observations that combine to form a painting, a message, a missive?

Think of it this way: the possibility of a poem is a lake and the poem itself is a bit of water from that lake. The poet's job is to gather and hold exactly the right amount of water; to take exactly what is needed, not a drop more and not a drop less, from the lake. Some poets approach the lake with nothing and scoop water into cupped hands, pressing together tightly their fingers so nothing spills out. Other writers slop into the lake fully-clothed and soak up whatever they can. They have water on their clothes. In their shoes. The right amount of water is there -- somewhere. Either of these methods is effective when employed by a poet of grace and skill.

Writing a poem in form is akin to approaching the aforementioned lake with a container. A thimble or a paper cup or a five-gallon bucket that still smells of the jalepeno peppers it carried from Mexico to Wisconsin. It puts an external limit on the amount of water the poet can take from the lake. It helps the poet transport the water without spilling.

Needless to say, the container does not guarantee that the poet has gotten the right water from the lake. A thimblefull of the wrong water is just a thimble of water.

(to be continued)

Friday, May 01, 2009


Okay. So back to regular old "World of Bil-Wau"-ing. Don't worry though. There will be poems from time to time, but not every day. Or not 7 poems per week (I typically don't blog on the weekends, so had been posting multiple poems during the week to make quota) in any event.

The funny thing is, having posted ONLY poetry, or at least MOSTLY poetry for the last month, I would have thought I'd have all sorts of observations to share and that there would be no shortage of material for the blog, but find that, left without the structure of the NaPoWriMo, I'm flapping in the breeze a bit. Maybe this explains why so much of my poetry is in form.

Penultimatina asked that I compose an essay on poetic form and I will work on that over the weekend and will post it in sections throughout next week. Stay tuned.

That's all for now, folks. I'm going to go curl up and take a nap.

Heck, I just might take two.