Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Poems for lunch -- September 25

The Persona Poem... what lies between the lines...
Sampling from Mo ’ Joe Anthology, compiled by John Roche, RIT
“There are many Joes throughout the galaxies of Poetry”
Cup a Joe – John Roche
Joeness is -- Carol Moscrip
Joe Wrote a Poem -- Dane R. Gordon
Joe becoming – Paulette Swartzfager
Joe the Photographer – Kitty Jospé
Joe’s “March of Time” -- Larry Belle
Post-Gas Wells, Post-Nuclear Missile Silos -- Karla Linn Merrifield
Siren Song -- Margaret Atwood
Strugnell's Haiku by Wendy Cope
+ links to two others.
A Rune Interminable -- Marie Ponsot

I explained how John Roche's anthology "Mo' Joe" came about -- the fun of the reading at BYQE bookshop..
Mike shared a "joe story" about superstar Joe Montana from work where there are a lot of Buffalo Bill Fans...
in his words:
" when a game is coming up there is usually a flurry of e-mails discussing the game, mostly good-natured kidding like “our team is going to demolish your team;” “Oh yeah?! Your team is so bad that [fill in the blanks]” and the like. Once, Buffalo was hosting a team led by an acclaimed superstar named Joe Montana. He was so well-known that people didn’t need to say the full name, they would just say things like “Joe is going to storm into town and take apart your team.” It was all Joe this, Joe that.

One of my friends responded with a short poem that he made up on the spot as he was responding to an e-mail:

Here comes Joe
The Bills welcome Joe
Joe now sad

The response was overwhelming. All these guys who never gave a thought to poetry were suddenly analyzing and deconstructing this poem:

“The symmetry!”

“It starts small, builds up, then fades into an anticlimax.”

“The first line says it all: ‘Joe.’ That’s what the buzz is, the popular sentiment: Joe can do it all, ‘Joe’ is all you need to say. Then, Joe is coming to your town! Watch out! Everybody go hide!! Then the Bills’ response to the hype: Yeah, so he’s coming to our town; big deal. We welcome him. We’re up to the challenge. Bring it on. We’ll give him our brand of ‘welcoming.’ Then: Joe now sad. Three little words that sum up the outcome of the game: Joe’s team lost. He’s sad. His team and their fans are in mourning. Finally: ‘Joe’ again. A single word summing up the disposition of all the sound and fury. Look at Joe now; see what became of the mighty Ozymandias Joe.”

It was just a funny, interesting little interlude that we still remember and kid each other about."

Indeed -- we enjoyed hearing the story!
We discussed what made Joe special.. the humor of Joe who misspells, his journey, the nature of "joeness"how maybe "Joan" the poet would pick up on the O of hope and pOet.
I appreciated that people like Joe the Photographer... his unflinching desire to capture and convey what he sees in spite of the danger.

In contrast, Atwood's siren song, which repeats the word "song" as it wraps around the secret of the ego... and co-dependence, draws us in with the first line:
"This is the song everyone would like to learn..." the voice is universal, seductive... only you-- only you can help-- coupled with "you are unique" -- aren't those two things we'd love to believe? Boring song... and darn it, it does work every time (to our unspoken down fall).

We had fun imagining Strugnell... we read it line by line and played around with reading only the first lines together, the second and the third to see if that might help out his Haiku... a fun teaching non-haiku poem,
rather Falstaffian.

The Rune, Interminable -- people picked up the key of "unhurrying", the timing of time, both as first forms of life, in seed, the winter/spring of wintergreen as the poem's rich rhyme, the O's of first word "low" and last word "lost" against the tick of the I.

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