This is national poetry month. The folks at Poet&Writers magazine have offered a daily poetry exercise writing challenge. The first one was to read a T. S. Elliot poem, such as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and then "Internalize the music and rhythm of the poem, and freewrite for a page, interpreting those elements in your own language. Read what you’ve written, circle three to five phrases that you like, and use them to start a poem."
I just couldn't resist a parody. Later I'll have to extract bits to write my own poem. Here it is:
The Prufrock Dog Walk
We shall take a walk with the dog
In the park where fisted green fogs
The sharpened twigs and life pokes
Through dirt and shit
To say this is spring, I exist
And the dog follows the path
Like a commuter,
This is our break from the computer
And the clenched air and rattle of our feet
Leads us to the usual relations,
You speak of theories and equations
And I ask for demonstrations
Of a different intent.
In the facebook the lists come and go
Talking of bulllshit I already know.
The roots of my hair are brown and gray
More gray than brown and I can’t stay
This leach of time. Shall I wear a hat?
That sits upon the dome of thought, a hat
which shall declare what I forgot to mention
I suffer from wandering attention
Will you serve me chai or coffee
Offer me a kiss or worthy advise?
I will not know, should I bite?
Which choice is right?
In the twitter the tweets come and go
Talking of mish mosh I don’t know.
The bare winter city is invaded by spring
A green mold furs over flooded things
The view I had from the street fades into green time
Interstices of sky growing into occluded mullion panes
Until there is only a thin line of sun panning
These multi-storied ovens of brick
I had better be quick
To decide what comes next—
Will someone notice I need to dye
My hair, or fix my teeth? What shall I text?
In the linkedin recommendations come and go
Talking of people they barely know.
My children are grown, I wear a hat,
Now it the time to be bold
Here in April’s damp cold.
But is the hat a habit worn like the path is worn by the dog?
Should I dye it red, do I risk it?
The fisted buds are known to the tree
But what about you and me?
My sneakers are blue, my jeans stone washed—
[They will say: “She looks so Midwestern.”]
How did I get here, how do I turn
To the time for you and me?
Maybe we should stop for another coffee.
I should have been a slink of padded claws
Pacing across the veldt of sibilant grass.
I grow old…I grow old…
I shall write graphic novels and get extolled.
No, I am not going to be a prodigy
It’s clear at best I’m just an oddity
I do so many things rather well
But what exactly do I want to sell?
In the blog the blather comes and goes
Talking of myself to nobody knows.
Will I follow the same path out and back
As the wind blows off my hat
Blows back my hair to its furious white roots
I run to catch the brim and fist the air
And the hat fumbles from here to there.
And you and I speak in metaphor
Until we open the usual door.