Rites and Obligations.

April 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 24 Comments
Tags: , ,

wrote a poem, rota, huth
by rote nor arcane rite
‘how many metaphors must you mix’
he says sliding it into the coozie
and placing it gently on the bridge
at the lip of the grand piano.

there never was a musician
who didn’t flirt with arrogance a
claim, staked and
succeeded, succession,
one must have an exit plan
said F.

as soon as you enter the room
there will be an instinct
mistaken for perfume
Prague perhaps
a rain driven hustle
under streetlights and the
clatter of tanks.

Remember Greece retracing
Byron’s club foot Frankenstein
clumping up the hill under
the obvious influence of
various esoteric drugs,

realising Crowley was quoting
Rabelais and the joy of the sun
risen over the Aegean,

each moment a
gift you gave

had given



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  1. ‘huth’ Geof Huth, the visual poet.
    ‘coozie’, in Australian, a stubby cooler. Thanks Cocoyea.
    a claim acclaim, make up your mind Squires.
    Byron, Frankenstien, Mary Shelley,
    “Do what thou wilt”, originally attributed to Crowley but actually from Rabelais utopia of monks which is beautiful.
    Alright, stop fiddling with it Squires. It’s finished. Now for the competition. Who ever guesses how many journals reject this poem before it gets published wins a prize.
    It’s the ending, it just seems to stop all of a sudden for no reason. Aragarg, so many visually impacting lines, sound lines too, but no ending, help,
    The blank line trick, Squires. Insert blank line before the last line to break it up and make a whisper after the fade out. Yayayay, finished, what a relief.
    Cool, thanks. That’s perfect. “one must have an exit plan,” hahaha,

  2. Hello, Paul!

    Distinct is the word–your work to describe.

    Though faint, I swear, towards the end,
    in the background, soothing me, a violin.
    Daring the tanks to come forth.

    Cheerz! Uncle Tree
    Cheers, Mr Tree.

  3. ‘instinct mistaken for perfume’ is a wonderful phrase…
    Thanks, Juliet.

  4. i didnt know that crowley lifted that from rabelais until i read yr notes. goes to show, kids: squires poetry not only entertaining but educational as well!

    im guessing five journals blow it first.
    You’re on. I reckon one, Jason. I’ll submit to a topend journal and when they blow it off, I’ll podcast it and submit it to a less well known journal, tell all my friends and the less well known journal will get the credit. I love literary history, Jason. Any writer should have a sense of the great writers of the past as human beings.

  5. i’m guessing none, because you won’t submit it.
    I’ll take that as a challenge, Noah. Congratulations on getting in Hit And Run Magazine, that is cool.

  6. I especially like this part:

    as soon as you enter the room
    there will be an instinct
    mistaken for perfume
    Prague perhaps
    a rain driven hustle
    under streetlights and the
    clatter of tanks.
    Cool, contrast works. Did you see all those ‘c’ sounds in the other verse?

  7. Sometimes reading your words leaves one so breathless and speechless and feeling so tiny with one’s control over the language that one really doesn’t know what to say! That has nothing to do exclusively with this poem, but I really loved it!
    I’m not taking part in that competition of yours. Poetry’s existence is its own reward! 😀
    Ahh, Sumedh, it is great to have someone remind me, art for arts sake, or for the sake of the soul, my friend, same thing.

  8. staked, succeeded, succession… they run like a gentle steam train together, perfectly. I like it so much when you write poetry of this kind. It has an almost overwhelming quality.
    Thankyou, Narnie.

  9. Another piece of gorgeous :)… “instinct mistaken for perfume” is my favorite too!
    Thankyou, Ms Mist.

  10. Wow. This one, like so many of your poems, begs to be read out loud, each word and each phrase to be savored, for their sound, yes, but especially for the images and feelings they evoke. Wonderful job.
    Thankyou, Thomma Lyn. I am going to start podcasting again very soon.

  11. Imagining Byron’s club foot frankenstein gave me a chuckle. As for publishing this in a lit mag, well, these days I am all about the internet. I say print is dead. But anyway…
    It’s hard to persuade the old school literatures, the movers and shakers of Aus Lit that ejournals are as prestigious as paper ones, Paul. They are in the dark ages and protecting their territory but as you say, hey ho, on we go,

  12. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Now here is a great poem, how often do I get to say that. So much goes on in your poems. The ending was breathless what are you on about?!

    Aegean / had given: small stroke of genius. It does transition suddenly- but then the whole poem transitions from one coherent idea to the next, a la Squires trademark, but I don’t find that to be a negative at all because it shows how much control you are having over the reader’s eye and where it pauses. Its like you are winding down the pace and exiting on a beautiful image.

    Loved it!

  13. PS this one wont get rejected, it’s too good.
    THankyou, Harmonie, that is a beautiful comment.

  14. By the forth word, I was hooked. By the last two lines, I was clay in your hands. I enjoyed the cameo appearance by the grand piano.

    Your poems tend to make me want to raise a glass and toast your magician-like power over language.
    Cool, thanks Bryan.

  15. Please don’t say print is dead… it’s not for me. I live in café culture land and the amount of people who sit with laptops all seem to be working whereas the ones sitting back with a magazine or book is fourfold. Here, the cafés sell or give away little books of poetry or short stories to read while you relax. People leave their magazines and newspapers on the table when they go, so that they can be read by the next person. Magazines with poetry, stories and articles are given away on buses, the tube, or just delivered to every newsagent to be given away freely, relying on advertising for revenue. The other point is that people can wade through the crap in a paper journal, before getting to the jewels, a darn sight quicker than they can on the internet, which has hordes of stuff that might even deter the casual observer from taking it that one step further (note the ‘casual observer’ – poets and writers may know where to look for the good stuff but surely we are writing for a broader audience?). Internet and paper can live side by side but neither must die. That would be very sad.
    I agree, Narnie, both have their place. Books and magazines are easier to carry around than computers and easier to lie in bed and read too.

  16. Paul – an entire day and I’ve figured out Audacity for my Mac – and installed LAME (that was the headache). Two poems recorded but I need practice. I’m a bloodthirsty producer. Back in the sound booth for me.
    Cool, I should have warned about the Lame. And turning the gain down on the microphone first thing. I look forward to hearing them a lot and seeing you on TED.

  17. Great images where brought to my mind by your text

    I loved:
    “Remember Greece retracing
    Byron’s club foot Frankenstein
    clumping up the hill under
    the obvious influence of
    various esoteric drugs,”

    And also I liked a lot:
    “each moment,
    a gift you gave

    have given”

    Tell the protagonist that they need to mix exactly the right amount of metaphors for their purpose, tell them that they will figure this out.
    Also tell them that arrogant people do not have exit plans,failure is not among their possible options.

    Send you a warm hello.
    Hello, Mariana, thankyou for your lovely comment.

  18. I love the sound, as always, like the special gift of color only a few painters really possess.
    Thankyou, Ms Squirrel.

  19. sometimes methinks your explanations should be submitted to journals, as well… anyway, being that i am not a guessing man, i’ll courteously withdraw myself from the drawing…

    Chico! Thankyou.

  20. Paul,

    Wow,I totally dig this one – fantastic! Would love to hear an audio of it.

    Thanks, Maxine. I have podcasted it under the link in the post above this one. I really appreciate you dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

  21. Cool bananas as you might say

  22. Oops, speaking of “Rites and Obligations” I forgot to capitalize the “c” in cool and that sentence might be a fragment.
    Never mind, I’ll fix it for you, if you like.

  23. Brilliant. I’m lurking here more often than you think, Paul 🙂
    Thankyou, Maxine. That is nice to know.

  24. […] F is for free to give it all away […]

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