Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Poetry Thursday: The Dead Line

Today’s Poetry Thursday topic had to do with clichés. I was not feeling inspired until this afternoon in class when I heard Daya telling one of her group members that they had to work hard on their Science project so they could meet the Wednesday deadline. “Dead?” Teya said, aghast. “You shouldn’t talk like that!” Daya tried to explain that it was a due date, but Teya wasn’t catching on. I started thinking about a dead line. It’s not a cliché, but it is interesting to think about the word derivation. Here’s my playful attempt at a poem.


The Dead Line

Lying jagged on the floor
panting for a last breath,
banished from the textbook
and its home between ray and segment

Who killed the line?

Vicious scissors
tasting the iron power of
breaking infinity?

Maybe it was the circle or curly-q
wishing for the length of an endless sidewalk
maybe the perpendicular line decapitated it
in a frazzled rush, maybe it was vehicular
manslaughter on the daily commute

And what do we do now?

A whole universe left with
curves
spirals
arcs—
even the chairs creak low
on saggy knees
light spines bow
like pinky
snail shells.

This avalanche of form—

the silence
as we press our cheeks
to the fading tile floor.

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19 Comments:

Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Yeah - you nailed it! I love this poem!!
Vicious scissors
tasting the iron power of
breaking infinity?

are my fav lines.
I like the way you've enlightened us as to how this poem has been created too - from a chance remark being picked up and taken by you to somewhere different. Very special. Thank you.

5:01 AM  
Blogger ........deb said...

I was delighted by this poem. There is so much to enjoy it's hard to pick just one thing, but I'd say--at this moment--that it's the way I feel bereft of a good solid line and what that would mean to my world. Nothing to stand on. "even the chairs creak low
on saggy knees".

Thanks!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous DewyKnickers said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Do you think that tech killed the line? How we all talk out of our hat? ;)

Sassy Dewy

xo

11:05 AM  
Anonymous my backyard said...

very creative! esp. like your opening image.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Green-Eyed Lady (gel) said...

Hi ecm,
This is why I'm so glad I found Poetry Thursday recently.
Terrific poem!!
I love word derivations and language. Thoroughly enjoyed this clever work.
Your poem even reminds me of literary censorship, which I'm against.

12:14 PM  
Blogger dogfaceboy said...

I LOVE it. Three cheers from Baltimore!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Poet with a Day Job said...

I love what you've done with sound in this poem. It reads like one giant tongue twister in a VERY good way - Your word choices forces me to slow up and speed up at different times depending on what noise you are asking me to make, and it fits like a glove with the content: all the spirals and arcs and curly qs and hard-to-understand science. nice work!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I also love the viscious scissors line, the sound as well as the meaning. Great ending too -- I'll definitely think about deadlines in a different way now.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

A fun poem and great imagination. My favorite image is:

light spines bow
like pinky
snail shells.


Thanks!

11:39 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting reading this - are there any really straight lines in nature, did we invent the straight line (as well as the wheel!)? Would the universe look like your poem if humans had never come along?

3:03 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Wonderful!

5:40 AM  
Blogger Novel Nymph said...

Lovely where we can get our inspiration from...this is such a great poem and so uncliched...

9:35 AM  
Blogger January said...

Great take on the prompt! Love these lines:

"And what do we do now?

A whole universe left with
curves
spirals
arcs—
even the chairs creak low
on saggy knees

light spines bow
like pinky
snail shells."

(Had to bold that phrase. Nice!)

2:36 PM  
Blogger twilightspider said...

I had no idea where you were going to take this as I read your explanation, but what a wonderful direction you chose! I really loved this bit:

"maybe the perpendicular line decapitated it
in a frazzled rush, maybe it was vehicular
manslaughter on the daily commute"

Your personification works so well without being over-done.

4:12 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

Fantastic!!!
I love the saggy knees of the chair.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Very creative! I loved it :)

4:35 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Extremely clever poem. Well done, you!

4:54 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

i love how you took something we take for granted and made it into something unexpected.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

This is so creative and well written. thanks for sharing!

12:14 AM  

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