Friday, April 13, 2007

Inventing New Forms

two iced black coffins
sit by blue dusk roadside ice—
strewn silver petals

sweep of taillights swerving across reflective wet asphalt smearing red and gold across eyespace blurred evening that brief deep-sea-blue time between sun's set and full night opposite the blur of morning spread pre-dawn the silent space between night birds ceasing their calls and dawn birds beginning theirs while dusk loud with singing tires flees across wet roads into distance marked by retreating red lights black silences under the pines deep blue memories of guardrails twisting their callligraphy over the shouting abyss don't be so hard on your silences those unshed waters running are for other reasons perhaps something that falls or rises in the space between twisting rain-soaked ocean-cliff road and the offshore monuments of black gull-sleeping wave-licked crags flashlighthouse beam sweeping the blue drenched skies dropped with rain the space between filled with light cracking open the space between no place between worlds

in darklight lowering actinic arclight flares
indigo silver red metal streak blur passage

No one ever said i wasn't a visual poet. Consider this a reverse ekphrasis: a poem coupled to a visual artwork not yet made. Maybe later I can make the artwork. In my mind, the images, the elements, the movements, and effects, are clear and specific: a movie to be shot, perhaps. I'm reminded of the film director who once said: really, writing the script is the important part, and I imagine the movie in my mind as I write; putting it on actual film is like shooting it to put it out of its misery. The finished film is never as good as the film in my mind, as I was writing it.

In fact, I envisioned this form before I wrote the poem. (While driving home after grocery shopping this afternoon.) That's unusual for me. (The poem form aspect, not the other stuff.) Usually the reverse happens: I discover the form as the poem reveals itself to me, as I write through it. In this case, the image of the typeset poem appeared fully formed, but not the words inside the form. But when a demanding vision appears in my mind's eye, like a daydream, I've learned to pay attention: such things are usually important gifts from Somewhere.

When I invent a form, or when is (shall we say) Given to me, I tend to stick with it, and use it for more than one poem, and keep returning to it, to see if the form applies to images and emotionscapes that rise from within, or come into my mind's eye from within, or without. This is what I went through with some of my haibun, but even more what I went through with my five-line fractal form I developed some years ago. Sometimes new poems appear to me in that new form, and my task is to write them down. They do, in fact, appear as typeset lines appearing across my visual field.

In homage, perhaps, to my increasingly intense engagement with haibun, haiku, and prose-poem, this new form combines a haiku with a prose-poem of a specific visual length, followed by a longer two-line strophe. The central prose-poem should be arranged in eight lines of equal length, depending on the typeface. The prose-poem section is of course the most flexible part, because except for basic visual size it has no rules, so far, for style, structure, composition, punctuation, or other syntactical elements. Could be very open; might be self-contained. I don't know yet. The film is only half-written at this point.

Let's see what we can do with this, shall we?

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Blogger Echo said...

A form, a function, a combination.
Works together, works apart, the visual art is in the form, the photo is no longer needed.

I have been noticing how closely poetry and photography blogs tend to be linked. There is an interesting connection there. Something about catching a moment in short form. No paintings, no novels, just image, idea and emotion.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Which is one reason forms such as haiku, which follows that moment-capturing visual aesthetic, have been so suited to be accompanied with visual imagery.

For example, the haiga form, which traditionally was a haiku accompanying and commenting on a brush painting. There is a very interesting modern trend in contemporary haiga to write haiku to accompany photographs. In my own new form here, I reversed that, writing the poem first; I'll make the video later, if I get the chance.

Good thoughts. Thanks.

4:07 PM  

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