Poetry jams can take odd twists and turns, which is part of the fun on participating. You’re moving and posting down one stream of thought, and then an almost alien idea enters the conversation and away everyone goes.
We’ve been talking (offline, in real telephone conversations) about some of what was learned Thursday with the new posting tool. There’s no question that the tool had effects, which is what happens with all communication technologies – the form can often shape the content in ways we don’t expect. We learned 50 years ago that television was reshaping politics (the Kennedy-Nixon debates). Movies, radio and television were the first mass communication media, at least in terms of technology (the telegraph pre-dated them, of course, but it wasn’t a medium designed to reach mass audiences). Now the mass media are themselves being displaced by new forms.
You’ll be hearing more about the posting tool – TweetSpeak was simply a host for a beta version test; the tool actually has possible applications well beyond our peotry jams.
And now, continuing with the poems from last Thursday’s Treasures of Tutankhamun-inspired poetry jam, here are four more.
The Songs of King Tut 3
The King’s Magic
My children think that I am
magic. I prefer to leave them
lost in this delusion. I once
wrote a poem for my husband;
I called him my magician. This
still rings true.
Her magic: with it she controls
her daddy with just her pinkie finger.
Dead magic, of course, that
keeps organs in white ceramic
jars, jars with lids to close the
control like fences without gates
scary tight. The dead have magic
too; they sing the bones of the
earth to move. His kind of dead;
something else dead, does nothing
new twist on good news.
The Color of Red
Red is a celebration, a fire; a passion
meant to call all to its dancing flames.
Red is everywhere, even when you
think it’s not there; in shadows, behind
dark, inside light, beneath the curtain.
Red is ablaze beneath the pot of witches’
Red is the return of life, a new red
and a new dawn.
Always life, before red brown darkens to
death and flies away.
And sunrise seen from bone-dry pages
drowns the mystery from wasteland to
paper in a wash of red.
Quietly she lurks seeking the line in
the sand, the wind sifting her words,
shifting each phrase. When I am gone,
the history books may say, “She was chiefly
noted for her control of what? What did
she ever control?” Infamous control:
tight grasp not releasing, letting slip through.
“She controlled words on pages,
carnelian-bright, sensual as
falcons in flight.”
Beside her body were the small
figures of her children. I wanted to
see them reflected in her eyes, but
her eyes were gone, gone in the
canopic jar with a seal like the
head of the jackal. The cross-shaped
looking glass made to see the face
beneath the curtain of my skin, flush
with oxygen, then blue again pumped
Precious jewels of paste and glass.
Beauty stolen from canopic jars.
My cult’s only followers found in the
looking glass. I have no fan club in my
looking glass. That is where the judges
sent and see the face of bones covered
with shame. On the empty days, I am
but a face of bones, a collection of bones,
or wall of bones, rising to hide us
stacked in one place.
I was even afraid to kiss her, to put lips to
cold skin. How so afraid of my friend?
“Why must everything die with me?
Am I allowed this question?
Does no one ever ask why?
Who would ask this of paradise?”
I am closing my eyes and seeing lines,
curving wishing lines, black ink settling on
the page or gray pixels on a screen, shining
in the room where we write.
We are the witches dancing round a
bubbling brew of words, never knowing
what will surface next in this roiling stew.
Metal and drum come for the song.
Front room exposed;mix yellow, green
and eggplant, roots of eggplant, talon of
bird, bubbles and toils and
words words words
now a shining phoenix with
The King’s Falcons
Falcons shift on wind, hover like magic,
sing past earth like silent bones.
Falcon bones and lizard soul trapped on
Earth, fate worse than death,
When will rebirth come?
Talk about lizard brains, or resistance to
making art. And I wonder where did the
falcons go and how many were
there and why?
One vivid-winged bird at a time,
flying far away from me, leaving me to die.
There were three falcons and they
Disappeared like black buttons over
a white-shirted horizon. Only I could see
them, black on the horizon. This landscape
is not what I imagined it would be. It
changes, as if I walk from this moment to
that, from light to dark, sun to shade,
sand, then river. Falcons and rollers
scream thier prayers; salvia, lotus,
papyrus bow thier heads .
Yet I can not say how to worship.
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