Natural Disturbance

starry night2

fr.smartdestinations.com

 

“It is life’s work to recognize the mystery of the obvious.”

– Jim Harrison

 

The artist paints the night he sees
through the window of his chamber.

Cobalt on the brush,
vibrations he strokes
onto the canvas –
he senses them.
His mind delivers
red spot confluences
that pulse through
him into his painting.
Luminance imprints
his psyche; his vision
is one of scaling –
mathematical improbabilities.

Zinc yellow, then
cadmium to the pulsing
stars that vibrate and gyre
in his torment’s eye.

Tonight Vincent represents
the agitation of the light he paints.

With wakes, eddies he brushes
to life on the sky, he is recording
scales of motion eyes cannot see
and will not computate, possibly
ever – beautiful the forms
of turbulent spins, swirls.

Or only the vorticity of an inclement mind.

 

* * *

Vincent Van Gogh’s connection to turbulence.

Day 28 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason.”

I want to thank Jilly for originating this challenge two years ago!  Jim Harrison’s poetry is not for everybody — it’s for those who see the poetic in the natural world, in the trials of life, and at the edge of insanity.  I have grown as a writer and a poet through my interaction with these prompts.  Thank you, Miss Jill!  It’s been a wonderful trip.

Posted at dVerse, Open Link Night.

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby
to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

― Pablo Picasso

 

Ceiling below Minimums

bird and cloud

youtube.com

 

 

“At four in the morning my body bumped against the ceiling.”

– Jim Harrison

 

…and it’s my wounded
inner eye that draws
me up and out of myself to roam.

In the early hours when sleep
rests heavy, a dew-drenched
blanket covering my undiscovered
trespasses, lapses, the eye –
that damned eye! – with vision
softened through it’s pearl
iris, leads me in drafts of flight.
I become a glider without confines.

Last night the poetry failed,
and I fluttered upward on prose.

I have the bruises to prove it.

 

* * *

This is Day 27 of Jilly’s “Days of Unreason.”  I want to thank Jilly for originating this challenge two years ago!  Jim Harrison’s poetry is not for everybody — it’s for those who see the poetic in the natural world, in the trials of life, and at the edge of insanity.  I have grown as a writer and a poet through my interaction with these prompts.  Thank you, Miss Jill!

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby
to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

― Pablo Picasso

Pacing

panther

youtube.com

 

“There is a human wildness held beneath the skin
that finds all barriers brutishly unbearable.”

– Jim Harrison

 

“Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille
sich lautlos auf—.  Dann geht ein Bild hinein,
geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille—
und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke, Der Panther

 

 

You were not made,
it so obviously displayed
itself to us, to be caged
in an office –
a cubicle.
The routine dulled
and also drove you
to the edge of the chasm.

I remember lunching
with you; we went
as a gang to the place
on 5th.  You were last
into the booth, laughed
and seemed freed.
But after the meal
you reclined…
your eyes became
pale like the fish
on ice at the open market.

What reality did you see
then?

Two days later
you bolted;
no notice.

Now, of course
with technology,
we work from home,
from a park,
along the river,
at the edge of the roof
of our apartment buildings.

But it wasn’t the space
that made the cage,
was it?

 

* * *

This is Day 26 of Jilly’s “Days of Unreason.”  I want to thank Jilly for originating this challenge two years ago!  Jim Harrison’s poetry is not for everybody — it’s for those who see the poetic in the natural world, in the trials of life, and at the edge of insanity.  I have grown as a writer and a poet through my interaction with these prompts.  Thank you, Miss Jill!

The quote from Rilke is in the original German.  I encourage you to take the time to read the many English translations of The Panther that are out there.  And then I encourage you to read Rilke!

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby
to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

― Pablo Picasso

Haibun – Half-cocked

crap storm

Pinterest

 

“A violent windstorm the night before
the solstice.”

– Jim Harrison

 

Politics is politicsart is art. If you play a political role, you have to stop being an artist.”

– Youssou N’Dour

 

We have many different kinds of storms here on Planet Earth – summer plains storms, Pacific coastal storms, Nor’easters, tropical storms, hurricanes (also called typhoons or cyclones), winter storms.  For the past few years we’ve been suffering through a crap storm (tempête de merde, scheiß sturm, καταιγίδα, , tormenta de mierda… to my English-tuned ears, it sounds better in these other languages!) across the planet.  Crap flying here, crap flying there.  Everyone flapping gums about the crap in the air.  And very few people smart enough to grab shovels and start fertilizing.

 

hot wind is blowing
storm season calls us to act –
hand out chewing gum!

 

Day 25 of Jilly’s “Days of Unreason” challenge.  Taken primarily from Jim Harrison’s collection of poetry, Songs of Unreason, these prompts are meant to be springboards off which your muse, your id, that irrepressible (and potentially damaged) voice that guides your writing, may do cannonballs, poorly-executed swan dives, or just hold-your-nose-and-go-in-feet-first-ogling-the-lifeguard-stuff.  Jim Harrison had an overriding philosophy that guided his efforts:  “Unlike a lot of writers, I don’t have any craving to be understood.”  That’s really freeing when approaching this challenge!

Posted to dVerse Poets Pub, Haibun Monday.  Jilly is hosting and is asking us to write a haibun using an unconventional kigo.  I think I managed to do that.

 

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby
to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

― Pablo Picasso

Angling

Angling

Pinterest

 

“Saw a poem float by just beneath the surface.”

– Jim Harrison

 

Listening
to Nancy Wilson Portrait
on the jazz station – hypnotic
bass backing trumpet, piano.

Reflecting
on Hardy’s The Self-Unseeing, faint
pencil marks on the page,
my eyes have worn
the ink faint –
this small
three quatrain piece.

I consider again the magic.  Here
is a slow-simmering, steady
build-up –
how beautiful the scene,
family in the drawing room, warm
fire; father, mother, child.

The payoff is the final line.

Not so easy as it looks;
nor so difficult.

Then, not knowing
I’d cast
I pull quickly,
set the hook, begin
the work of landing it.

 

* * *

 

Day 24 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason” challenge.

 

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby
to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

― Pablo Picasso

Wascally

rabbit

Pinterest

 

“His mind’s all black thicket and blood.”

– Jim Harrison

 

It was your rabbit
courage that led
you into the brambled
city – a hutch
in which you’d find
refuge.  Your bobbing
nose smelling
out danger and garden-
like safety.  You followed
the carrot before
you.

Why couldn’t you smell
the spilled blood
foreshadowing
an untimely demise?

Better you’d stayed
holed-up
in the country.

 

* * *

 

Day 23 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason.”

 

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby
to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

― Pablo Picasso

 

 

Clarification

 

“The world that used to nurse us
now keeps shouting insane instructions.
That’s why I ran to the woods.”

– Jim Harrison

 

To:          Harrison.Jim@poetsovertheedge.com

Cc:          Creator@godhead.org

Subj:      Request for more information

Mr. Harrison –

With only three days remaining in Jilly’s 2016 “28 Days of Unreason” challenge, I have ran up hard against this tercet, and I have just these few questions:

  1. When did the world ever nurse any of us, and how?
  2. When you say “now” it implies that the insane instructions are novel. How do they differ from all the previously insane instructions the world has shouted at us?
  3. Do you really expect the woods to be any quieter in its unreasonable demands?

Please respond, with documentation, within the next five business days.  If we have not received a response in this office by the deadline stated you will contacted via text messaging from the woods (better safe than sorry).

Thank you.

Charley (Life in Portofino)

 

* * *

 

Day 22 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason” challenge, and I am forced to go to the source.  Hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.  Poetry isn’t pretty.

 

 

Triolet: Möbius

Mobius-4

M. C. Escher – Pinterest

 

“I see today that everyone on earth
wants the answer to the same question
but none has the language to ask it.”

– Jim Harrison

 

Dumb-struck, blind.  Never knowing why.

Not able to articulate

the question.  Why, oh, why am I

dumb?  Struck blind.  Never knowing.  Why

can’t I?  How very hard I try

to verbalize in a bad state.

Dumb struck.  Blind never.  Knowing why.

Not able to articulate

 

* * *

 

Day 21 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason” challenge.  Oh, man!  That means we only have seven more days of unreason!

…oh, okay… anyone who knows me, or has been by for a read, knows that I live by unreason.

 

 

Prime

 

“Love is raw as freshly cut meat,
mean as a beetle on the track of dung.”

– Jim Harrison

 

Okay,
okay, attraction,
sure, and romance.

Promises
that you hope to keep
against dread that the other won’t.

But with you, with you, love is
filled with life’s juices.  Freshly cut
meat, sure.  Raw – a cut that’s still beating.

Love is, with you, green, greener, blood-soaked
green, dark and unvariegated – unalloyed – that lies
with us in the shadowed space out of the sun –
yet we shine!

Your love is mean, ardent, single-minded, unwavering.
One purpose, one outcome lives in your love.

Has anyone else ever felt
a beetled love such as this?

 

* * *

 

This prompt was a real challenge.  Make a love poem out of raw meat and dung beetles.  Sure!  No problem!  It’s the 20th Day of Jilly’s “Days of Unreason” challenge.

Survivalist poetry: What can you make out of this prompt?  Your life depends upon the results!  (Sounds rather like a reality show….)

 

 

 

When the Crazy Child* Blurts

 

“I’m quite tired of beating myself up
to write.  I think I’ll start letting
the words slip out like a tired child.
‘Can I have a piece of pie’ he asks,
and then he’s asleep back on the cusp of the moon.”

– Jim Harrison

 

 

Yes, on the cusp of the moon,
guiltless youngster.

While I find myself hanging
on the horns of a dilemma
(yes, I know it’s overused,
hackneyed,
cliché…) staring
down at the scorched
parchment, the fountain pen still smoking.

The child, any child –
whether physically or emotionally immature
or bone-achingly creeping
toward the Great Divide –
seldom has filters… decorum.

The words have indeed slipped out…
like murder.

Now I am faced with (fill
in an appropriate metaphor
from your favorite mythology,
Bible passage, or Shakespearean gem).

Do I publish?

Or…

do I take my latest writing in hand, fold
it – as a child would – and fly
it in the direction of the cusp?

 

* * *

 

Harrison strikes again!  It’s Day 19 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason.”  We are faced with this insurmountable prompt that double-god dares us to write something… anything!

So I wrote anything.

*To understand the Crazy Child reference, click here.