Friday, April 20, 2012

Napowrimo April 19

Lots of food for for thought, which I just typed as "foot for thought"
as in kicking ideas around.

I had an idea of connecting the inevitability of war with the French saying, "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose" and further, to look at that expression of despair/resignation in front of disappointed hopes as an invitation to reflect on kindness.

Although I was chided that the expression is an invitation to... giving up (une invitation à baisser les bras)
my idea of reflecting on kindness asks that one look at all that is cruel, horrific, injust... to tap into a different part of "being human" -- accessible to all...

I felt chided for using the word "kindness" with a call to looking at the book "Killer of Angels" to which I answered:
It troubles me to feel chided so for using the word "kindness".
Of course war is not kind -- but is it too naive to say, I want to extract myself from fatalism, fight against the historically proven inevitable nature of man which leads to war, and say, what if, with an understanding, if not of love, at least a kindness in action in one's own personal life?
Of course, the Civil war was brutal, and Crane shows it. And the book you mentioned sets the record straight about it. Much of the "battle art" of the 19th century shows bloodless war, such as Benjamin West and the depiction of a swooning, heroic general being held up, surrounded, revered by his men. Fact is he probably died alone, under some bushes in a pool of blood, screaming in agony.

This combined with looking at the poem below, provided me with a rough draft of a poem.

Prelude by Oliver Bendorf (posted in Linebreak)
what kind of

if just two neckties,

what kind of ship,
and markless.
my body yearns
for animal
and I wake
on dampened sheets—
what kind of
if tampered

what kind of
cockcrow dawn

is this new me

from your frets
and bow.

I have chosen
the name
you once chose.

and when I arrive
fashionably late,

when Odysseus
between my olive tree limbs,
his guile hanging lower
than his brawn,

what kind of

with two small hands—

what kind of

My poem:

Repeated Prélude

What kind
(of man)

if the detail
is buttons,

what kind of
if war’s called kind

what kind of tone
in “nothing changes”
when bitter
etches cross, skullbones
all by itself,
as reminder
we lose
find again
until something
kindles the hand
to sew on the lost button
found in some sunken valley.

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