Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Amoeba. A poem

One of these days I'm going to produce a folio of poems--as soon as I figure out what a folio is.

Until then, a doodle and a dawdle.
And here goes:

Dr. Stranglove's Poem

For ten years the circle looped
And he knew for another ten years the circle would loop
And he knew that he would never break the circle
And he knew this was already the end.

So he kissed the face of the evening wife
As he had kissed it before in all its forms
And saw his own reflections in the note re.

And as he saw the note
he strode off, seemingly inside a clef, his signature now, his bubble of notes,
his bubble of contradicions.
His bubble.

And there were others surfing in this new sea of pepper and angst
inside their own bubbles,
Spinnakers before the sea.

He saw her.

She came to him like a Cirque du Soleil Soleil performer
Striding elegantly, in filigree
an idyll, inside her own bubble
while he struggled with his

And both bubbles seemed to attract each other,
almost like planets, or death,
for he feared her awesome gravity, and now also his own, for it seemed that he had flewd a death star, on moth wings,
attracted now by an even even stronger, alien light.
For this was not the familiar marriage of planets. This was a land of Pegasus,
mortally wounded.

He was afraid of this new alien. Her. For she seemed to both attract and repel. Like death.

A mindless response of fear,
reptilian, but really Pre Cambrian,
primeaval oyster's foot in his brain wanting to kick,
to kick the alien away from his consciousness,
to kick the death out of
what could could be another death star,
not the one just passed.

But he only damaged his own balloon, there was a hiss. And he seemed to be driving her away now.
And he was running out of air.

He had to rejoin.
He needed to dock.

Running out of air. Gasping for air. He needed her now
. He needed her now to even to breathe. To exist.

He now sought to guide his runaway orb towards her, hoping to penetrate, to become
one with her and live.

Another hiss

Arificial life. Yes.

Parasite One had landed.


Lana Gramlich said...

How true about the parasite. Of course a person needs to be okay alone before they can truly be with another.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Insight, Lana.

Charles Gramlich said...

I wonder how true it is that we are all parasites of one sort or another. Just some of us are more benign than others.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I kind of like the word saprophyte from Biology l01. Give and get.

Midnight said...

I love your poetry, Ivan.

What way more exquisite,

of sharing your soul?

But don't be afraid of brevity.

Succinct simplicity.

I read somewhere recently, that many modern poets, in an effort to impress, snobishly look down, on simple rhyme, and style.

It ain't the rhyme ; its the content.

Brevity bursts, and burns ;

unlike a meteor shower,

It is a single strike.


And thanks for the recent laughs, both here, and on C's site.

Midnight said...

And the secret to poetry,

is (ahem) out of our hands.

It is directly proportional,

to the wickedness of our Muse.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Snobish of me.:)

Midnight said...

Ha! That's better!

(Fuck. You're TOO funny.)

Midnight said...

Um, Ivan,

I hate to be contradictory,

but would you care to elaborate?

Midnight said...

I sometimes like to check alternate meanings of words, after writing them.

Even before the internet. For amusement.

For example, did you know that an ancient English meaning of the word 'plight', suggested engagement?

Eg.: "She was plighted to him, since her teens."

I think those old English bastards were cognizant, of more than we give them credit for.

Anyway, here's what one definition of 'contradictory' suggested :

'A proposition so related to another that if either of the two is true then the other is false and if either is false the other must be true.'

And no, I didn't miss any commas, 'cus there weren't any.

Talk about enlightenment.

Thank you, Merriam-Webster.

the walking man said...

Actually Ivan I tried to read this as I read poetry, using the line and verse breaks as pauses and emphasis for the drama (humor, sorrow etc) and I failed to comprehend the entirety. I got bits and snippets of the imagery but the overall wherewithal...eluded me.

Until I eliminated the poetic tapestry and read it as prose, it was then the artistry of the writing and the tale of age,loss and redemption of succor after traveling a widely varied road became simply wonderful to read and behold.

That I don't know what exactly I would do to reorder the technical aspects to be able to quantify this in my mind as the epic poetry it could be, disturbs me.

Midnight said...

Yeah, Ivan.

What he said.

Heh. Far be it for me,
to season an over-basted Master,
but sometimes a little fresh blood,
smolders incessantly.


Midnight said...

Though, Walking Man,

Like the balloons in the picture,

it may have soared, over our heads.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


There are times when I should submit my own poetry to a kind of spellcheck...Often it doesn't scan.
I'm a poet. I don't know it. Sometimes I blow it.

ivan@creativewiting.ca said...


I have sometimes gotten a response like yours from pure poets. Some of them couldn't get it either, as one of these poets for sure, was mad as a hatter, in spite of breaking through as a published poet in California.

You've been writing poetry for a long time. I dawdle.

I should take your comment to heart.
Somehing happened thirty years ago:
I sumitted two poems to my colleges literary magazine, The Fifth Page. They flew. Published and praised. They were also soon picked up by the university's almuni magazine, the Ryerson Rambler. I developed a swelled head and re-sent them to Fiddlehead the premier "little" but powerful magazine here on Canada's east coast. You make Fiddlehead, you're on your way to poetic fame in Canada.
Back came the anwer from Fiddlehead: "These are not good poems."
Yikes. Published, seemingly all over Toronto, but Fiddlehead thought my poems were crap.
I took heart, wrote more poetry and got them published in a Newmarket town promotion magazine called The Town Crier. Fifty thousand copies of the Crier were at least printed,, but lord knows how many delivered as I saw entire barches of the magazine in gullies and landfills. (Hey, literary success)!
I think you are right. My stuff seems to work better in prose.
That or it's my Ukrainian syntax, which seems a whole world away from the English.
Anglicized Slav, I guess, but certainly no Conrad.

Thanks for the input.

Donnetta Lee said...

"Parasites" reminds me of bloodsuckers. I think I was married to one of those. His bubble got so close to mine that both bubbles burst!

I was a botany student, not biology. Maybe that was the problem? Of course I've heard of man eating plants, too.

Depends on what you hunger for or what hungers for you. D

ea said...

Amoeba... Interesting! ~Liz

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


More smart ladies have come.

the walking man said...

One way or another Ivan all of my poetry winds up in a trash compactor because I discard it as soon as it is written always looking for the "next."

All poets are mad, bonkers, without reason or use. In that I am a poet of excellence.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Ah yes. A fine madness.

But if it don't scan, I no can.

I try to write and rewrite until it does scan.


Jeez, don't throw anytihing away. Once you're published big you wish you hadn't thrown old copy away. Ah, (verb here): Mark my word!

They'll want more and more and you'll be reduced to old postcards,draft letter to friends,essays, diatribes against old girlfriends and the like.
But if you keep your old poems you won't run out of gas so fast, and who's to know it's old gilt you'd polished up.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


I think I'l work on the clunker I have up on this blog.Next time you click on the poem, maybe It'll scan.

Monomania...Why that Greek bastard!

benjibopper said...

Fiddlehead's a tough nut to crack. But I think their rejection letters have since become kinder.

Ivan, you got a powerful hold on words, and they on you. Some great imagery in here.

I think, as Walking Man I think was getting at, it could be made clearer. Not just brevity, but simply by breaking up some of the lines, make it more verse like. It just makes it a bit easier to read.

But I enjoyed the ride, and loved the ending.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Benji.

You're righ on the beam.

What I've done in this poem in blog is what I once did as a cabaret musician.

...I started out playing and singing, accompanying myself with my rather unskilled piano playing....I hit a sour note...People in th audience said, "What's this? Amateur night?"

Luckily my guitar was atop the Heinzman, the neck and tuning head facing me. I clutched the guitar neck in mid piano chord, finiished off the riff on the Fender alone and thus saved my song, to applause.
Some writers are like musicians?

Pick, pluck and pray! :)

benjibopper said...

naw, not amateur, just maybe one draft away?

i hope you put out the folio thingy. i'd buy it.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Benji.

I might just do it.

Hell, it only takes $20 at the local copy centre. And I have an ISBN number.
Want an ISBN number?

Midnight said...


I Snort Booze Non-stop?

(Though only occasionally, of course.)

Midnight said...

It was several years ago, the play

On the radio, to my dismay.

Pat Travers came on

and sang the great song,

'Snortin' Whiskey, and Drinkin' Cocaine'.

As a fiery young lad,

I decided 'this can't be so bad',

And proceeded to snort right away.

* * * * *

True story ; a wee bit up each nostril. I figured if he can do it, so could I. I do it once or twice a year; or more, if I forget that my Irish Whiskey is not in a snifter, but in a shot glass.

Haven't had a cold or sinus congestion since. Seriously.

And the delicacies of perfume,

are as elegant as ever.

The Fire in my heart

is in play.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hank Williams III:

"Lay off that whiskey
Leave that cocaine alone."

Jo said...

That's a beautiful and sad poem. I did a post once about how people are bubbles who occasionally bump up against each other and then bounce of into another part of the universe. That's the feeling I get from your poem.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks Jo,

I remember that column.

Wondered at how you had already articulated at the time what I had been trying to say.

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