|20 December 2004
|Since kashi and I have been budgeting so tightly this past year, we decided it would be best to eschew the gift and card-giving this year in favour of something a bit more frugal and, happily, more personal as well. Friends and family ought by now to have received our virtual card bearing kashi's design and my poetry via email (yay for no postage cost!). However for the blogosphere at large I thought I might post the poem* I penned for the card that it might be perused by all. So, without further ado, here 'tis. Enjoy!
As winter's shivery spirit and nettling wind
Trespasses our marrow, a brush of candent grace
Hails the crown of the ember's unseasoned patron.
Grave leaves inked in rich dreamfire, a visitation
In the faint light of quiescent grief's most chill hour,
And one tender plea to stay yesterday's disease,
Surrender tomorrow's passion, and animate
This frame with hushed fealty. In sorrow and wonder,
Favoured herald and watchman, this crafted summons
Uproots the arrant edge, purloining the rimed dross,
The glisk of dark that would have devoured our promise.
Rosettes of whetted breaths fuse vital tinder and
Whisper hope past the strain of years in gilt barrens.
Fears of Hell's maddened and pestilent flattery
Are dandelion floss in this steward's ministrant
Arms. Like quicksilver dew nursing withering grains,
The sentinel surrender and his lily verge
Bestir the aurora of consummate mercy,
Wreathed in gentle honour of the waking vassal
Beckoned to deliver this October vintage.
*No title as yet, alas.
|Jelly Pinched Wolf 7:05 AM
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|16 December 2004
|Cue Johnny Nash*
|After going far too long without a check-up, I finally made it to the optometrist this weekend, and got a new set of glasses yesterday. Wow, what a difference a day makes.** I can see road signs again! Well, I could before, but they tended toward great blobby blurs until I was nigh past the things. The change is pretty dramatic--so much so, in fact, that I realise I was remiss to wait so long (alas, I've always been bad about making appointments for important things like this). I'd known my sight was slipping, but I don't think I'd fully realised how badly. But the world's in focus once again, and I am enjoying it. Huzzah for sight!
*Johnny Nash sang "I Can See Clearly Now," in case you were wondering.
**Seems to be a song reference day--"What a Difference a Day Made" is a Bobby Darin song.
|Jelly Pinched Wolf 7:07 AM
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|10 December 2004
|Browning and Blue Eyes
|Posting early, since I'll not be able to get online again until Monday.
Sunday, December 12, is the anniversary of Frank Sinatra's birth and Robert Browning's death.
Sinatra should be made patron saint of crooners, in me own humble opinion. As cool as Bobby Darin, Dino, Sammy, and the rest are, Frank will forever be king of them all. If you have the wherewithal, throw on "The Way You Look Tonight" or "My Way" this evening and raise a glass to the Chairman of the Board.
Browning, while technically a Victorian poet, has always seemed to me out of step with that era. He's got far more in common with the Romantics, which I certainly approve of. Granted, I've always been terribly bored by Byron, and Shelley makes me ill, but Keats pretty much makes up for all the others. And musically, you can't go wrong with Schubert. The Romantic period may have had its problems, but it beats the Victorian handily.
Anyway, I've always loved Browning. It may be because he tends toward long and wordy. Can't imagine why I might approve of that.... Also, his poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came is the biggest inspiration for Stephen King's Dark Tower series. And we all know what I think of that particular work. The poem is long, but well worth the read if you've got the time. The first five stanzas follow:
Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came
My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.
What else should he be set for, with his staff?
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All travellers who might find him posted there,
And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh
Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare,
If at his counsel I should turn aside
Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly
I did turn as he pointed: neither pride
Nor hope rekindling at the end descried,
So much as gladness that some end might be.
For, what with my whole world-wide wandering,
What with my search drawn out thro' years, my hope
Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope
With that obstreperous joy success would bring,
I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring
My heart made, finding failure in its scope.
As when a sick man very near to death
Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end
The tears and takes the farewell of each friend,
And hears one bid the other go, draw breath
Freelier outside, ("since all is o'er,'' he saith,
"And the blow falIen no grieving can amend;'')
Robert Browning, 7 May 1812 - 12 December 1889
|Jelly Pinched Wolf 3:46 PM
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|03 December 2004
|The Long, Slow Road
|Since it's been rather a bit, I thought I might do a novel status update. Many moons ago, when I last posted on the subject, I'd just begun querying agents. Well, multiple rejections later, and I'm still at a standstill. The first round of queries is pretty much now cleared up, and I'm gearing up for round two--most of which are my second-tier choice of agents, or those requiring outlines and summaries and such, which I seem to be having a major blockage in composing. I can expound upon the story at great length, but to come up with a punchy one or two-page synopsis that covers the entire book? Nope, that's too elusive. Also, I'm far too easily distracted and generally a good bit more lazy than I ought to be.
But that's all right. I reckon it'll be a long wait to get this one published, and that's okay. The first big task is done. I've written a 187,000 word story that I'm proud of. It's finished. Heck even if it's never published, at least I've accomplished that much. And in the meantime am I being idle? Nope. I've been revising short stories, banging my head against the poetic wall in a new bit of verse, resurrecting an old nine-part poem with far better language and form, as well as a deeper and tighter thematic element. And best of all, I've begun the second novel (which, if I may be so bold, is going to be very cool). And all this while being repeatedly distracted by Civ III, needing to keep the home from descending into squalor, and keeping my wife fed well enough that she might have the energy to finish her animation schooling. Is there any wonder the blog has suffered of late?
So, that's where it stands. Crimson Light will find a home someday. I will continue to query agents (I've also got a few mid-sized publishers not requiring agents in mind), and see where it goes, and while I'm waiting there are so many other avenues to follow. kashi's got the expansive seas, I've got the long roads. Either way, methinks my travelling shoes are going to get a workout.
|Jelly Pinched Wolf 1:44 PM
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