Sunday, June 21, 2009

Haiku #5

purple shoes and socks
purple shirt and purple purse.
no one to notice.

Haiku #4

stanzas look so nice
neat haystacks filling the page
makes you feel smarter.

Haiku #3

The BART is almost empty.
Here I am in the back
Writing sucky poetry.

And notice how it's not *actually* a haiku? Even though it sounds like one. Crafty! Or is it?

Haiku #2

one two three four five
six seven eight nine and ten
eleven and twelve.

Haiku #1

i am untethered,
floating free without mooring.
sounds great -- but lonely.

Haiku Month!

Here's my proposed M.O.: one poetry style a month, one poem per day. (at least one.) An exercise in improvisation, of a kind.

First poetry style: Haiku.
(because on the BART, the first line I thought of for a boredom-poem had five syllables. That's when you take an idea and run with it!)

From the American Heritage Dictionary:
hai·ku (hī'kōō)
n. pl. haiku also hai·kus

1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.
[Japanese : hai, amusement (from Middle Chinese bəij, pha·j) + ku, sentence (from Middle Chinese kuəh).]

(Link to Wikipedia on Haiku)

Summer Writing (and reading)!

Photo by lizaart from Flickr
It's summer! Teenagers freely bike around during the day, Stardate is talking about how the sun behaves during the solstice, and the Dana Street Roasting Company is playing hula music.

And in honor of summertime, I decided while riding the BART that I should (re?)start poem-a-day.

Q. Why?
A. Because it's summer, and I have a lot of downtime. And I need deadlines to get hings done, even if the other person setting the deadline is just me from the past. Take that, me from the future? Also, because I have/anticipate some writing projects coming up (comin' atcha, Van Meter Elementary!), and it would be good to get some practice. And since I believe that the key to writing, like improv, is just producing a lot without being too precious, here ya go!

Q. Didn't you try this once before?
A. Yep!

Q. And didn't you totally flake out on it?
A. Oh hell yeah. :o)

Q. Why poetry?
A. Because poems (at least, the ones I'm doing) are small and really, you can produce a poem pretty fast and then be done. I'm all about the instant gratification. (I tried, o knitting. I tried. But you're too slooooow!)

Q. So you must really love poetry then, huh?
A. The short answer is no. Actually, the long answer is, I love good poetry. Mostly that means, funny poetry--with perfect scansion. (And I have a horrible disdain for slant rhyme.) I kind of sort of hate poetry. And I have two English degrees! But then I hear poems I like, and I think, ooooo, I LOVE that. I think I hate how pretentious much of poetry is, and how a lot of what people think is good poetry, is stuff that seems like opaque overly-precious crap to me. :o) I think I like populist poetry that demonstrates understanding of human nature. I mean, I like Ogden Nash, and Dorothy Parker. I love Stephen Sondheim--he's definitely qualified to be named as a poet. (Scansion and perfect rhyme, helloo?) I love Lewis Carroll. I might even love *your* favorite poet. But I have little patience for overwrought angst or purposefully bizarre weepiness. It can be weird if it feels *true* (see The Hunting of the Snark), but weird for Art's sake is just . . . dumb.

Q. Oh. So that means that *your* poetry's going to be *awesome,* right?
A. No! It's probably going to suck! Woo hoo! But I will cheerfully post it anyway. One of the reasons that I have a disdain for "Poetry" is that, in seventh grade, I wrote a poem (I'll see if I can find it somewhere) over which my teacher accused me of plagiarism. Plagiarism! Because, she posited, it was way too good for me to have written. Now, like all assignments I ever turned in in school (hi mom), I probably wrote this poem at the last possible second, in like 10 minutes. It was one stanza, I can still see it on the page -- about half a sheet of ruled paper long, I can't remember whether it was a rhyming poem. But I still remember the "See me!" scrawled in red on the top (Mrs. Morrison was very oldschool. Red pen all the way.) And I remember thinking something like, Geez, you like this crap enough to think it might be famous? Poetry must be pretty stupid, then. (I guess it's kind of like turning in an art project and having your teacher say, My god, that's too brilliant, you must have copied it from Kandinsky!)

So, there you have it. A sequence of mostly-improvised poetry for at least the summer. Why? Because I'm enjoying it. Maybe it will be completely stupid. Maybe it will be so unexpectedly brilliant that you will fall to your knees and weep. And who knows if anyone's actually reading it, anyway. Hooray for blogs.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Puppets . . . Finally going to the moon?

Today I've got rehearsal for a pilot shoot for a kids' TV show: The Magic Paintbox . . . it's been pending for a couple years now, while they go round with different sets of finance people and TV execs. Maybe this time it will happen?

It's kind of weird that I've been on two prospective TV shows without ever *really* seeking out TV. I mean, I feel pretty unphotogenic. Maybe I've got a face for puppetry. :o)

On the other hand, none of the student films I was featured in during college ever got completely finished. And so far, neither of the TV shows. So maybe I'm cursed.

Here's to the future! Magic Paintbox, you've been warned: I may be cursed. Here's hoping I'm not! I always thought in the back of my mind that I'd be a puppeteer on a kids' TV show someday. Seriously. It's your fault, Sesame Street.