Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #147: Phantoms and Shadows


monarchs of the western slopes
sedition's right to a mind at rest -
we gather together -
the last glimpse of evolution's darling
conquests, out of the mouth of babes:
i went down to the restoration,
prisons of vast consequence,
kneeling in carnage blown
by want of turbidity,
total departure from the other ten percent,
self-interested but creepy,
roughly bled into, but moderated
by the winds of paranoia,
you know the song,
the perorations of a 15 pack,
pack of knives, pack
of thieves, pack of
all the gemini drift of frozen
rivers in your midst:
smoke descends, you
wish for the last time you knelt
and the feeling wasn't mutual,
the halves were knotted
in embrace of where you stood
before the unidentifiable knocks,
the lonesome instruments of healing,
bigger than religion,
as psalmists overtake the competition &
gaming in the night
greases the soul,
the granular vessel that was your meter
& rhyme, now fades, now
lists, and the coracles
of fate
are circling.



Blogger anno said...

The ache in that wish for the last time you knelt and the feeling wasn't mutual nearly broke me. And then, those circling coracles of fate, ever unwelcome and uninvited, constricting breath and possibility, leaving your reader to despair and resignation, finished the job. There's a beauty here, though, that reminds me of music I used to know, of Schubertlieder or songs from the Sephardic Jews. Just gorgeous.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

you have inspired shadows and phantoms of life to be more palpable
and life's cycles to be more imminent.
I often feel such mystery in your words and once more this is so.

12:12 PM  
Blogger BJ Roan said...

The strongest line for me was "wishing for the last time you knelt". Makes one think.

12:54 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Anno: I appreciate the close readings you give to my not always easy to follow poems, and I also appreciate the way you let them draw out your own associations, re-informing and deepening them, a fine collaboration between reader and writer.

I love the allusion to the Sephardic Jews. I just spent the last few weeks reading Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, a beautiful lament that seemed to go deep into the body, resurfacing - perhaps? - in "neo-soul."

Peace to you this fine day.

2:51 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Tammie: I like to think of my poems as murky down-country cousins to the crystalline brilliance of your gorgeous photographs.

2:53 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

BJ: Thanks for your visit, and thanks again for that wonderful story over at Serendipity.

2:55 PM  
Blogger alister said...

Oh, yeah, you got a big time winner in your wishing “for the last time you knelt and the feeling wasn’t mutual.” Oh, man, that’s alive and edible without cooking, like an oyster on a cracker with hot sauce and a dab of horse raddish and a swig of a Blackened Voodoo to swish and swallow. I’m here seeing only your first three comments, seeing anno and BJ goin’ for that slippery devil, too. So I’m self-interested and creepy, makin’ a game outta this. When you release your other comments I’m gonna be all over it, gaming in the night, greasing my soul, yes, betting on it being a sweep ;-)


3:05 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Duchess: Never underestimate the power of what the writer may have seen as a "throwaway" line, that's what I say. Some a them lines apparently do still hunt.

In my less than vegetarian daze, I did love me some oysters: Bozo's in Metairie for plain; Mosca's on the Westbank for exquisitely baked.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Devil Mood said...

Lonesome instruments of healing, bigger than religion - that's puzzling.

4:45 PM  
Blogger alister said...

Dog hunts alright.
I’ll be back later to collect ;-)

4:53 PM  
Blogger Doe said...

"...and the coracles of fate
are circling."

5:18 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM, I was almost tempted to explain myself...

5:40 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Duchess: I see where this wager is going: you're planning a second coming of that Cabernet Sauv messiah, no?

5:42 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Doe: Coracles have a tendency to be that way, don't they?

5:43 PM  
Blogger alister said...

First, your I was almost tempted to explain myself line to DM was mastercard priceless, truly worth more than money.
Second, maybe I am.

6:43 PM  
Blogger present said...

This piece is filled with phantoms and shadows Paschal. To me, your poem speaks of life's struggles, things out of our control, and losing our vitality... that what we want, and possibly even need, may not be realized.

9:12 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Duchess: That makes us all your John the Baptists. Honey and locusts for us, right?

9:47 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

present: It is one damn bleak poem, ain't it? Believe me, I didn't feel that way when I sat down to write, but the voices behind those doors that opened certainly had a whole lotta despair to pour out.

I'd been reading a book by Walter Brueggemann about the psalms, in which he breaks them down into psalms of orientation, disorientation, and re-orientation. "Neo-soul" is definitely the middle sister.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Tumblewords: said...

Your exquisite words and epochal emotion have tied my tongue. Having re-read it countless times, I'm stricken by envy.

12:10 AM  
Blogger alister said...

Scratchy shirts and heads on platters? Ooh, no, honey, I was thinkin’ more along the lines of conductin’ communion and lettin’ y’all be your own messiahs according to the book of Spurious!

12:14 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Tumblewords: Thank you for the continuing generosity of your praise.

6:10 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Well, Duchess, if we're all climbing onto the drunken boat, we're gonna have to make mine port (with stilton, of course). I'll bring the life jackets: not sure how many of us can walk the waters...

6:13 AM  
Blogger Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Memorable turns of phrase here - I will have to ponder this one a bit.

Hadn't considered SEDITION's invitation to a mind at rest before.

That's intriguing.

Hey, today's prompt at MEME EXPRESS is PHANTOM.

Feel free to stop by and leave a comment with a link to your post today!


MEME EXPRESS – daily blog prompts

2:56 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Linda: I had never considered sedition's invitation either, until the phantoms stirred. Thanks for stopping by.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

"monarchs of the western slopes
sedition's right to a mind at rest -
we gather together -
the last glimpse of evolution's darling
conquests, out of the mouth of babes"

So much said. So much depth.

2:03 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thanks for your comment, Jeeves.

5:19 AM  
Blogger alister said...

hellooooo... it’s dark here. i’ll just leave you a note...

hi paschal! welllll, one, i lose. out of 10 commenters here, only 3 mentioned the awesome kneeling/not mutual line. two, i gave the bad forks a good working over since you commented. it’s still a shoulder shrug, but a tiny bit better, if you want to check it out. sigh. three, so how we comin’ on the EC?! i can’t wait to see how it looks! and four, let’s see, it’s almost 4pm here and i’m already regretting not reading your regrets. but there’s still time... : )
ooook... well kiss, kiss,
miss a

2:58 PM  
Blogger San said...

I like the idea of the soul being greased by gaming in the night. Out with the Teflon surfaces! Toss the dice, throw a crumb to "the granular vessel." Allow it to take hold.

4:05 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms A: Sorry for the relative silence: I've been wrestling with a ferocious bout of food poisoning that rolled through mercifully AFTER my return from three days camping with the Instituto's freshmores. Even this morning, I'm still not feeling completely atop my game.

We're two lines short of completion on the corpse, just waiting for the final couplet to roll in. In my foggy state, I was hoping to slip it in as a communal "regrets-themed" poem: what poem worth its salt can't muster up some fit with that kind of prompt?

Always good to know you are checking in...

5:38 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Sounds like a bit of a slippery slope to me, Sister San. Gotta watch out for them Teflon surfaces, dahling.

5:39 AM  
Blogger alister said...

Good lord. Under those circumstances, I am all the more grateful for your visit to my site yesterday. And for leaving such a lovely comment, such a contradiction to the communications your body must have been screaming at you ;-) To the full return of your feisty self, then! : )

7:04 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms A: Always fun to show up at the construction site, even in a semi-surreal state of mind. Not a bad way to teach junior English and read Yusef Komunyakaa poems, I found out this morning...

11:59 AM  
Blogger anno said...

Semi-delirium may be an interesting state for a day or two, but I wouldn't recommend making it a way of life. Sorry to hear you've not been well; hope you are feeling much perkier very soon.

2:41 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Anno: I'm with you on that sentiment. I started feeling more grounded this afternoon, and my appetite is back. A steelier eye for Gwendolyn Brooks tomorrow...

5:10 PM  

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