Friday, April 27, 2018

Day 27 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2018


Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from . . . the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it."

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: "write a story poem. Think of a story, could be a long, complicated, winding story, but for a poem, it may make more sense to make it a short, direct story."

Although I'm mainly clueless about the Tarot, I'm fascinated by The Hanged Man, who is typically imaged as hanging upside down, not hanged execution style.


Googling "the hanged man" I discovered this card drawn by Swedish artist Alexandra "Erkegris" Alexandersson. What intrigued me is that "the hanged man" is female and not upside down.


Frankly, I found this image a bit disturbing and decided to write today's story poem about it, undoing the execution vibe.

The Hanged Man

is not a man. She
floats, in a white silk dress, tied
to a huge oak tree.
Alex was at a cocktail
party, and then she woke here.

Hanging upside down
next to her, a dragon named
Alex too, somehow.
He wonders how this Alex
and he came to be here, now.

With a precise burst
of flame he burns through the rope.
Human Alex climbs
on Dragon Alex’s back,
and into teal sky they soar.

Alex and Alex,
white silk dress, jewel green scales,
seeking destiny,
knowledge: who they are and why.
Gold sun beckons, azure sky.

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

For those interested in poetic craft, these are linked tanka in the traditional 5-7-5-7-7 syllable format. I'm aware that contemporary haiku and tanka writers in English generally do not follow the 5-7-5 patterns any more. To me, the 5-7-5 is a craft problem, a poetic puzzle: how to stick to the syllable count and yet still have purposeful line breaks; so, for example, while "she" at the end of my first line might seem over-enjambed, I've done it on purpose to emphasize the gender play in Alexandersson's card.


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Ingat, everyone.   


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