Sunday, August 31, 2008

comments on another way of looking at "Green Spree"

Kent went to a lot of work to put together this version of "Green Spree". It's supposed to show the greens all stacked up, like a trunk or spine, as I said Friday. The rest of each line is supposed to jut out from the central green to the left or right.

I think formatting the poem this way prevents it from fitting into the space available in the blogger template I'm using. Thus the lines get broken up even more than intended. But you can get a somewhat better idea visually of the green stack than in the earlier posts of "Green Spree".

another way of looking at "Green Spree"

                               The green story is the only story.

   Or maybe it's the second story, green

                                or greener, step by step to a

                                   greener top. It's waiting. It won't

                     go a bit more green, already

Friday, August 29, 2008

comments on “Green Spree” version 4

I like it. Surprising myself. I’ve been having so much difficulty with poetry lately. I write something and I hate it. I hate writing it. The writing isn’t fun. The writing used to be fun.

The first line came to me and excited me so I wrote it down. I still like it. “The green story is the only story.” And the writing after that was fun. It felt like it knew where to go, and the good parts from earlier versions seemed happy to abandon their old contexts and come aboard.

I presented it to my little writing group and they liked it, too. Ah, I remember that! The praise of the peers. It was always so warming (then the praised poem got rejected again & again by the magazine editors).

I have a version of “Green Spree” formatted so “green” appears like a trunk or spine down the middle of the page, the rest of each line poking out to the left or right. I don’t know how to set that up on blogger …

Speaking of sending out to magazines: I got response from two ezines this week. One a yes: Shampoo. The poem will appear soon, editor Del Ray Cross says, in a “sneaky previoo” of the next issue. The other was a no. After getting the Shampoo response I wondered about the other to which I’d sent poems at the same time. In response to my status query the other’s editor wrote back: We said no on 6/22/08. Maybe it got caught in your spam filter? If so, I suppose my spam filter meant well, wanting to save my feelings.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

“Green Spree,” version 4

The green story is the only story.
Or maybe it’s the second story, green
or greener, step by step to a
green top. It’s waiting. It won’t
go a bit more green, already
green, you know,
green to the tips, the very
green top, fantastic banners
of unpleasant green snapping
out breezes that goad green
clouds toward green mountains,
their greens the skills they’ve
practiced for green years.
Even today when your thumb, still green
after years of thumb-sucking, green
stubborness clinging, green as
a pendant of grief, greasy green listening
while the rash breakage of evens goes greenly
on, odds on, favorite son, green
on a green hill, where the
steps dragged their planes, green faces
cut into green slopes, a wet flat
old blue through which green shows,
younger than you but green too,
greening to get that way. On a shy
tongue a green drop, on a long delay
a steady green fuzz. What cups
sat in the sun bearing green
waters to the future? Green ones.
Green, the price of entry,
shuttered citadel on green hill,
spires tangled with sagging green
that the wind ties up with green
string stolen from the red talus green
gave way to, one slender green
blade laid next to a frail fork, green
face turned down, hypothetically, her green
heir to the green-wet synthesis that
puts green to hunger and
green to sleep, the coming
green not so green as you expect, a horizon
lined up for the sun’s trick drop, the green
sparkle snapped up by green-vacant violet, if you’re lucky
and who isn’t lucky, the green under fingers
absently plucking, the shine of nap greening
toward black, sheen after sheen sanded by green
ridges. What green knows
green learns late – too late? – some say so,
but isn’t it green to say so? doesn’t it reveal,
green under white stone, that black
has green in its road, the road, moreover,
cutting through green already pass-tangled,
green-fangled, speckled with eye,
green-dyed claw, a green the jaw grinds.
Green built in law of jungle courthouses
a green justice,
green script illuminating brown
muds and black muds, green
fighting back green-yellow and
yellow-green and blue-
green and
far greener. Poor kid,
green as he’ll ever get, already breaking
out in other colors. A sugar green needle,
the hour not green either, the stutter
green suffers, hue gone to cry, gone
to whimper, the rarer green raised
to a new position over vulgar green,
green all the same? all the same!
Green meat, meet
green fly. The happy gallows’ good
green creak, the long shadow
you miss as much as mother, her green
felt hat and the green feeling
you returned to to stain green
blond feet, to green the knee
and green the sea that never
looked green, did it, except when
it broke and spilled your bruised green
dream, hissing over seagrapes, green
until they dry on a green-papered shelf
in a green room painted with pictures.
You stored a green kiss for years.
How many green years?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

comments on “Green Spree”, version 3

When last I read version 2 I hated it, its beginning. After it got going, maybe a third the way down – somewhere around the clouds? – I started to like things. I started version 3 thinking I would just cut off the beginning of version 2, cut to what I liked. I didn’t do that. That may have been the right idea. I don’t know.

“Green Spree”, version 3

Up old green steps,
up steps, green and older
than green and
greener than maybe you’d like
green to be, ever, even today
when your thumb, still green
after years of thumb-sucking, green
stubborness sticking to its green
guns, the drop that clings to a green
leaf or falls or doesn’t fall or, green as
a pendant of grass, listens
to the rash breakage of evens, greens
into burdens, odds on green, favorite
of the other, the mother in a green blouse
on a green hill, where the
green steps dragged their planes,
cutting slopes into green faces, flat
and wet, especially when green puddles
set up in green middles, the old blue
older than you but green
younger and younger and greening
toward birth or away from, green come
not to stay but to stray, green in travel,
all the green gravel passed
through a green mouth,
a green trembling on a tongue
no longer looking green except
to a justice in uniform, green issue
fitting native green

Friday, August 08, 2008

comments on “Green Spree”, version 2

In thinking about this form – green having to appear in every line, providing the poem its spine – I’ve been torn. Do I make it make sense? Is this a narrative, a proposition I’m arguing? Over time and a lot of poem-reading I’ve grown less interested in the proposition poem. It tends to take a wisdom pose, as though modeling for a statue, stiff and important and cold. It wants that Ah! from the reader – O, how wise, what authority it bespeaks. I’ve never felt particularly wise and the wiser I’ve become the sillier the wisdom pose of other poets has come to seem. Phonies! As far as narrative goes, I’ve become more interested in the dream version. Everything seems to be connected, but when you try to explain those connections, they turn out to be strange, they turn out to rush down convoluted paths, sometimes they turn out to run right past or around each other and don’t connect at all.

“Green Spree”, version 2

Up the old green steps to
the green pension, an older thumb
still green as the tongue
pressing a green drop that fell
from some mother, some green gumdrop’s
other wuther, the green of a nice ice,
the green of a bride’s pretty price,
her yet-unentered citadel on a green hill,
spires green with pennants flapping
or greenly sagging or slapping
the red-tinged green of their gay
tatters on new clouds and old clouds greened
by brushes with green peaks,
that which green seeks being only
one drawer away, one slender green
blade laid next to the fork, the green
lace and the green face turned
down toward an earth, hypotethically, her green
heir to the green-wet synthesis of drop
and hunger, the coming green on a horizon
lined up next to a green flash the sun,
escaping the day, tricks into that green leap,
that green sparkle you get if you’re lucky
and who isn’t lucky, green felt by fingers
absently plucking, the nap greening toward
black, shine after shine lost as green catches
ridges and green knows
what green learns is learned
late, too late? -- some say so – but isn’t it green
to say so? doesn’t it reveal, green under
white stone, that black has green in its road,
the road, moreover, cutting through green
already pass-tangled, green-fangled,
speckled with eye, green-dyed claw,
a green leaf and a jaw grinding
a nip of it, what green built in law
of jungle courthouses and wrote in green
script across ill-lit muds, green competing
with green-yellow and yellow-
green and blue-
green and
than what you see splashed, green
by green,
over and under the wander some sucker, green
as ever a kid’ll be, got sent on, the green
beans already in his pocket cuddled by a green
foul of threads and furze, evergreen
as ever was green and ever will be
(she said, plucking her lute under a green
bower), the hour not green, brown
rather or browning, green shifting,
hue a cry gone to whimper,

Thursday, August 07, 2008

comments on “Green Spree”

I’ve had this one in my mind since I wrote it (& it failed to satisfy me). The version you see here is already an edit of the long list poem that appeared in my 1985 notebook. I want to use and reuse one word. Why green? Not sure. It’s a nice enough word. Has more than one meaning to start with. In a way – because I’ve been thinking about how to do it perfectly for so long? – I’m feeling more than the usual trepidation about working on it. Suppose it turns out crap? Well. Suppose it does?


green freeze sneaks into me
green release

green eyes
green cries
green surprise
green flies in the face
green lashes and tongues
green lips
green lids

green meat
green fruit
green buds
green break
green made too bright

green flecks
green fingers
green trembling in bushes

green track
green attack of
green tension
green suspension
green gallows
green grass

green to kiss
green to list
green to miss as much as mother
green to love another
green to fuss
green ability
green tranquility
green seizure
green pension
green retention of old
green steps