21 February 2013

Writing : : Driving

I wrote today
while driving in
my mother tongue
the perfect poem

O no, no stars
nor sickness kiss
no lover’s scars
nor storm and then

I pulled over
and stopped to start
jotting it all
do wndo wndo wndo wn

On the foggy
windows thankful
for and banking
on the paraffin

In my breathing


  1. I love how the metre steadies in the second stanza.

    There's such good music here.

    1. Hello WB,
      Thanks for dropping by again, and for your kind comment. If you have time, please tell me more about your observations on the metre. It's noteworthy that you landed on stanza 2 in particular.
      Stanza 2 almost functions as an aside or disclaimer-island between the start and ending of the poem: it lays out what the narrator is not writing about and then the "and then" at the end does 3 things: 1) it functions as a apparent close to stanza 2, with the pair "storm and then" like "soup and salad", 2) there is a faint echo when read aloud of "nor stormin' then", and 3) it drives into stanza 3 - "and then I pulled over..."

  2. Hello BR

    I get what you're saying about the disclaimer. To me it felt more like a pivot, something crucial.

    I'll try and say a little more. In stanza 2 each line is contained. I have a real sense of the stresses making for a regular beat.

    I read the rest of the poem differently. In contrast, the line breaks in some of the other stanzas have more of a semantic function, troubling any easy reception:

    and stopped to start/ jotting it all

    while driving in/ my mother tongue

    And you really throw things to wildness with: do wndo wndo wndo wn. I liked this a lot. The kind of risk worth taking. Serious play.

    At the first reading I read the second as "the perfect poem" before reflecting that you had too much taste to go into that kind of thing.

    1. Hey WB,
      Wow. Thanks for your generosity in making these additional comments. I think that you are right about "pivot" - that's probably more apt than my more starkly overstated "disclaimer."

      Glad you liked the typo-play on the down, down, down, down series (which depends, at least a little, on the set 4-syllable lines for their reverse engineering) - and which also aimed to say "window, window, window..."

      Thanks again for taking the time - and your careful reading.