Happy dozen, friends. Hope National Poetry Month is being good to you. And now to the prompts . . .
Today, Maureen Thorson suggests: "try finding a short poem in another language (one you don’t already know!) and translating it homophonically" — "a translation based on the way the words sound, without any care for what they actually mean in the original." I've known this process under the form name translitic. Maureen continues, "Just cut and paste a poem into your text editor (ignoring the English translations that the site provides) and go to town!"
At Poetic Asides, Robert Lee Brewer's prompt is: "take the phrase 'Something (blank),' replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Example titles might include: 'Something New,' 'Something Strange,' 'Something at the End of This Book,' or 'Something Something.'"
Prompts sound promising, don't they. Something. Something. Dulce et decorum est. Dull, so eat the corn, hmm? Missed. Fought with this all day. Nothing. Doldrums. Dog days. Sargasso. Prompts not much help.
Evidently Catherine had similar problems today. When she messaged me the following poem, she said, "I think I'm running out of steam. Do with this what you will (including nothing at all). Hope your poem is coming along alright."
Actually, I think this is better than Catherine thinks it is. It certainly speaks to me as a parent loud and clear and true. (If this isn't fictional, by the way, I hope the appointment went well and that the dimple's back in her cheek, though of course this is none of my business as your reader.)
Thanks for the good wishes about my poem coming along alright, Catherine. I don't know, though. Here's my best shot for the day. When in doubt, write about the block. Attack the block.
On a happier note, I'm glad and honored to feature a blog with an "in-your-face" title: I Hate Poetry: The New Buddah Moskowitz Archive. Check it out. El Moskowitz may hate poetry but he speaks loud and clear and true. (I don't think he hates poetry. Do you?) Check out his fascinating schtuff and let me know.
Oh, incidentally, my poem above is in a form for which I am godfather, ninong: the hay(na)ku form. Tercet . . . first line, one word / second line, two words / third line, three words. Brilliantly simple. Eileen Tabios invented this form and at first called it something like a Filipino Haiku. I was the one who eventually named it "hay(na)ku." A pun on the Filipino "ay naku," which is something like "oh my god" or even "oh my gosh" — for example, like "not that again." Untranslatable, really, but nonetheless a very common human feeling. My idea for the name was to disassemble the word "haiku" and reconstitute it as a Filipino saying. Although Eileen's inventing and my baptizing happened almost eight years ago, this is my first attempt at hay(na)ku. Why don't you try it too. I think you'll discover as I did tonight that the hay(na)ku has its own music and spirit that will shape your poem in intriguing ways new to you. For more, see the blog HAY(NA)KU POETRY run by Eileen Tabios.
Okay, friends, here's to hoping for a more productive visit from the muse(s) tomorrow. Day 13. Ay naku, that's Friday the 13th! Don't let any black cats cross your path. Just to be safe, how about commenting below? Good for the old karma. Ingat.
All Jazzed Up
3 hours ago