Third Experimental

The first section is a draft poem begun and never used as is, although the lines have appeared in several different poems in perhaps slightly different phrasing. The second part is free-writing based on the first lines.

Feather Dialect


We write sentences of small existence
staccato bursts of jazz
or an eight bar blues beat
praise songs, songs for the dead
in the language memory teaches us
a dialect of promises and hope
an accent of incidentals.


Double ClocksWake, dress, eat, work. The hours of existence. Each minute small
summing life one tick, one tock at a time. Eat, sleep. Wake.
Repeat. Endless in monotony but punctuated.

We are not automatons. Bored, inert, a sudden jolt of jazz
pulls our strings. We dance like puppets at rope’s end, then
pull back into wakedresseatworkeatsleepwake at the end
of the bar. Blues? Those long mean minor notes, notes from
the Indigo side, Chicago, Delta, rhythm of humdrum days
and long drawn nights, a black and white movie in
Kerouac’s San Fran. Piano in the background.

Then hallelujah! A ray of golden gospel chorus and
the wings of angels hum. Some born again, the rest
just mark time to the next meal, next shift. Next.

Last shift is coming. All of us in denial. An endless stream
of days ahead, wake, dress, eat, work, eat, sleep.
One morning early the song for the dead plays in our ears,
our own last melody. Still thinking what if tomorrow…?

Overhead, a stone reads In Memoriam taken from the language
of granite. Rocks have long memories, can tell you what first was
begat and what begotten down eons. Our memories, shorter than
our short lives, end the moment before lights out.

We think everafter. Where there’s life and feathers.
Incidental words in incidental accents for incidental lives.

CAS May 10, 2014


Graveyard's door

Graveyard’s door (Photo credit: echiner1)


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The First Experimental

Due to a technical glitch, it looks like this post was deleted, leaving only a “Second” experimental poem. The experiment was to take a short poem or several orphan lines with nowhere to go, and from there do some free-writing or wild-writing based on the first lines to see where it leads. I’ve been working with Lewis Oakwood on this as-yet-unnamed form.  It is an inversion of the usual way of free-writing first, then editing down. Here is the first attempt:




It’s not about the tremble on your tongue
It’s in the taste of mountains
the colour of wind
the bitter voice of herbs
the texture of air
the tremor of red stones


Imagine a mountain taste: salt, bitter, earth taste


pyrite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a hint of old sock and worm perhaps mold
the metallic iron nuances of fool’s gold, mint, almond
a trickle of fresh melt and shell

Imagine. What is the colour of wind? It pulls blue from the air
folds it into white filtered through smog and rain
from the west it shatters into grey, white from the south and north
marine blue moving west from the east coast of Greenland and
when it rises upward fades into black and stars

Imagine you hear the bitter voice of herbs. Is it a low mutter gutteral
or a high clear C-note above sound? Does it resonate?
A bounce-back beat a staccato stack of jazz riff searching for a melody
or a thrum drum hum just north of subsound— does it incline, lean, a little hot
and mean, toward a little subterranean Mediterranean Latin lilt tilt?

imagine the texture of air, a lightweight seersucker suit, a mixed brew of scent
and twinge, eau of meadow and l’air du city smoke, a soupçon of cloud, sieved
through a fine mist of rain, snow and fresh with fragrance of sun.

English: Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australia Deutsch:...

English: Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australia Deutsch: Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve seen the tremor of red stones.
How they tremble at the clap of thunder,
huddle together under harsh storm. Each shiver
a glimpse of glint on rounded shoulder, lined
with spidery veins of silver and gold granite,
but though they tremble they will not break,
and they will never let you see their heart.

Carol A. Stephen
May 8, 2014

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A Second Experimental

I’ve posted this one for today in Lewis Oakwood’s blog as a reply, so reposting it here.

“Here’s one for today. This one is a bit more worked than yesterday, simply because the orphan lines came from a poetry generator and it was somewhat faulty in its understanding of what may or may not be a noun. I wanted to start with a poem that did have some cohesion, although I didn’t move too far away from oddness. The second part had then gone a bit haywire and conversational, so I pulled it back a little, made it less proselike, in certain ways.”

Grizzly Shark Yak Avalanche


The arguing pair like yaks,
the situation fell to motives.

Side-striped Jackal (Canis adustus)

A shot shark leaves,
eating jackal snacks,
the lurking mass blocks the sun.

In a drear lake, a golden grizzly
bright sand of beach emerges.

To grow old, bitter, sweet
and lost to time.


Sounds arguing yaks make, cow chorus,
goat guffaw, bray-like burro song

Yakity Yak

Yakity Yak (Photo credit: ucumari)

argue over spoilt milk, curdles of white spilt
seep into soil, lost soothe of warm suckle
they huddle under trees, backs turned to pelt
of driving rain, hides impervious to snow so
there they go full of fight ‘n’ holler sounds,
yak, yak, yak.

Shot. Shot? buck shot rifle shot pistol shot
shot silk missile shot sling shot gut shot earshot.
Not. Not out of earshot, yakking, strident
tones over shot sounds.

Shark has to go, be long gone, fish out of water
gill-gasp. Yaks, vegetarians all.

Yaks stampede jackals straight to gape-jaw sharks,
mass-lurked jackals out before sunset block the yak sun.

English: Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis...

(What nightmare did the grizzly crawl from,
golden or not, and aging?)
A fresh fish lunch shark on his mind
and sharp on his tongue.

Impermanence and change, even the rock faces
groove slowly with the etch of character lines.
Listen for their hollow laughter.

CAS. May 8, 2014

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