Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Folding Shirts by Iambics

There are times I wonder how I became so domesticated. Take this moment: waiting for the dryer to finish its cycle so laundry will be folded before tomorrow morning. At least with Brendan asleep upstairs I can have a few moments alone. Time to close out the day within the silence of the house. Try to center latest projects on their goals—
The unnamed ghazal is almost finished. It lies in front of me without a title. Seeking a strong identification. So, I play with impressions, vague references to John Keats “Ode on a Grecian Urn”— but in this case “Ghazal on Shards of Clay”— (No. No. No.)

Ghazal on Found Fragments
Ghazal on an Aegean Vase
Ghazal on Fragments of an Aegean Vase
Ghazal on Shards of an Aegean Vase
(?)
In this case, because the poem is only thirteen lines (six couplets and one lingering line) a long title seems appropriate—
The effects of another cold might be coming on— My mouth feels abnormally dry, a mild desert unfolding under the tongue. Sucking on a cough drop helps slightly.
Again, reread Keats ode—wanting to quote some small phrase or broken line— “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter” (ll. 11-12). —but his theme follows a different intention. His ode motions towards issues of immortality, endurance of art, and throws in a paradox of artistic dependency on the living— with ancient figures frozen in place, eternally unmoving in time or physical space. On the other hand, mine uses a persona seeking closure by looking over shards of pottery which displays one god, scarred by time, yet maintaining a sense of distance and indifference due to his immobile status.

The speaker-persona seeking solace from an inanimate-image.
Reconsidering domestic chores. Trying to use the patterns of folding clothes to break down my blocked thought process. A sense of chaos falls into order: two sleeves thrown inward, bottom hem pulled up. Amorphous shape becomes a rectangle. With iambics. Ghazal/written/on shards/of an/ Aege-/-an vase. Yes. "Ghazal Written on Shards of an Aegean Vase."
—and so it lies. With this declaration as the title, the basic purpose of the piece is twisted into the slightly abstracted lines of the poem itself. An expectation is established for the reader. Perhaps now I can call the project closed.

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