Tag: sestina

The Sestina

Who chooses it? What it is that they want, that is. I tap my brain for hours wanting and desiring, and then hours more wondering why it is that I want what I want. Pretty unproductive, no? It can be as simple as choosing the type of syrup you want in your Dunkin Donuts Latte Lite or as overwhelming as that horrible what-do-I-want-to-do-with-the-rest-of-my-life decision. As autonomous beings, we have the right to choose (most times) but why—that’s my question. And it’s “loaded.” And it “depends.” And some are just riskier in their choices than others, am I right? Musing here.

I think that’s the problem with thinkers—and by thinkers I’m not speaking about the cerebral type necessarily. I don’t mean SMART people. You don’t have to be smart to be a thinker, necessarily. Over-analytical. But yes, back to the problem. I’ve met so many people that spend more time in limbo (to be or not to be?) than actually doing anything. Now, I’m not going to come down on myself and say I don’t get shit done. Because trust me, I’m busy. I get lots done; however, I think I’d get more accomplished if I could be more definitive in my thought process.

Where is this going? Sestinas, of course. What is it in me that feels this great need to keep writing these stupid things? Do you know what a sestina is? Do you care? Probs not. I know most people don’t even perk up at the mention of poetry, let alone a lost form like the sestina. I mean, look at this chart, man. It’s scary enough to picture a 39-line poem in your head (with repeating end rhymes!) but to witness it as this monochrome maelstrom of lyrics… shit.

Here is the point in this nonsensical entry where you tell me about what you want… things that don’t make sense. Is it part of human nature to want what is seemingly unattainable? Better yet, are you decisive? How do you think you’ve come to be.

And if you’re a good person, you’ll respond to this guilt trip by filling me in. I need filled in.


A Sestina for a Wednesday

This poem really gets me, man. I had to share. Anyone out there still reading poetry? Writing it? I’m a sucker. Still. In fact, I have a reading tonight that I’m sort of nervous about. Why do I still shake like a cold puppy up there? Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Domestic Sestina
As usual, falling asleep she pictured a hill and upon the hill a house.
She could not anticipate too much, had to let them form in her mind,
and then in her mind walk up the hill, and then open the door.
Sometimes the hill was in Japan, sometimes Latin America,
often Ireland or France. She could tell the country by the coins
in her pocket, though sometimes there were elaborate gardens
 suggesting a national character, a preponderance of gardens
leading up to or extending behind the house,
sometimes a fountain beneath which greenish tile glinted with coins
scattered across the bottom, fees for the mind’s
dreaming. Always she forgot she had fallen asleep in America,
far from the village roads lined with bombs, the opening doors
 of ruin. She believed inside the heart there was a door
unlocked by beauty. Here were the white gravel gardens
raked daily by monks, here were the ponds of America
stocked with koi that gleam and leap, here was the tea house
shaded by banana and palm, by evergreen and the mind
of winter and plum blossoms falling like silent coins
 to carpet a new geography. Maybe like blossoms the coins
grew on trees, maybe the silvers and golds were the only doors
in the world? She had to believe the ideas her mind
delivered at night, when she was asleep in ancestral gardens
scented by lilac and pear, when she was the dark house
herself of ghosts long ago called to America.
 Asleep, she never wondered why anyone came to America.
Of course, the streets were paved with gold, and buckets of coins
were rainbow luck, and every family had its house
with curtains and swings and a slot in the door
through which letters and checks were deposited. Even the gardens
were ripe for those who did not mind
 too much being given. But it was not only her dreaming mind
that wished to live in the kind of house
she’d always imagined; it was the houses and gardens
themselves insisting they be desired. True, there were coins
jingling in her pockets, enough, but nowhere would she find a door
to such desires, never would the stones leading up to the house
 through fragrant gardens transplant her as routinely as her mind
to her mind’s houses, even the musty, foursquare American
houses, common as coins, keys still hung by the door.
  Deirdre O’Connor
Oh, and funny look at my Photoshop skills. Perfect segue.

There’s nothing prettier than a nibbled-on, British Twinkie & Stonehenge. Am I right?

Signing off, kids.