Friday, April 6, 2012

FormForAll: It's just art (on 10th Ave in NYC)

Unrelated street sign

among fearsome masks of all kinds of animal,
one straight jacket face of a child, in the middle,
hangs in the 10th Ave. studio window
through the straps, one wide & pleading eye visible

& i understand his silent scream
i had a mom too, that would always seem
to repeat the phrase, repeat the phrase---if you got nothing
good to say...so i don't, and walk away, thus deem

his plight what? an artist's bad dream
feigning blindness to the scheme
of those whose teeth gleam & pick the seam
like the bones of this child clean

as if it's none of my business, in idleness
blame those that started this mess
dust my shoulders off---it's just art, not REALity
no need to distress, send an SOS, SOS, SOS

cause it's not like they possess your address---right?



Over at dVerse Poets, Sam Peralta is teaching us Rubaiyat, and for the most part i followed the form, which is AABA , but blended in a AAAA midstream and added a single line at the end. Not like i like coloring outside the lines or anything you know...smiles.

Wrote this after an evening at gallery openings in NYC which was interesting on many levels. Ha. My phone was dead, so no pic of the art.

68 comments:

LIza said...

Sounds like a cool workshop. Glad to see your working on your craft.

Goofball said...

too bad you don't have picture of the child's pleading eye...it must be sticking to the mind

Semaphore said...

Whoa, you really did it with this one, Brian. First of all, submerged the rubaiyat so it doesn't feel like one at all (oh, and some would say AAAA is a perfectly good case of AABA) and that final line kicker is a great thumb-the-nose at the strict formality, especially with its internal rhyming - address, SOS, possess - that is both intuitive and brilliant.

Having said that, I always love the way you take subject matter that at first glance seems ordinary - front-loaders, diners, art masks - and elevate them into personal and universal explorations. This is no exception, with it's evocation of terrors, both childhood and grown-up.

Vodka Logic said...

Great as usual and a lesson too.. awesome xx

Laurie Kolp said...

I love the way you made this form your own, Brian... took the focus off the rigid form and drew the reader to the poem itself, the experience. I especially like the second stanza.

Lorraine said...

We cannot be everyone's conscience it's impossible the best you can do, for me at least is to pray, to pray that conscience steps in

Wolfsrosebud said...

... or do they? Fun write today.

Grace said...

An artist bad dream or reality ?

Creative take on the form...I like it when we are challenging the rules ~

Daniel said...

Interesting and somehow manic take in this one. But it's just art right?

janaki nagaraj said...

Nicely done...am still trying to understand the form.

Mary said...

Brian, you have used your words to create your own vivid picture of the art! Interesting how some pictures just capture your mind, isn't it?

Tina said...

I really like learning new forms of poetry. I'm going to try this one. Well, when I'm done with teaching Swedish...
I love my family. Thanks for the letting me cheat on the postcard thing. At least it wasn't vacation pictures!

the walking man said...

Beautifully said Brian, both pieces are great. I know the look in that kid's eye.

DJan said...

Okay... the sign is definitely unrelated. Or is it? I had to read this several times to get the feeling of this. But is it ART? :-)

izzy said...

Oh I want to see it! well you did a fair job of the description-thanks!
My female relatives all drilled us with CHILDREN ARE SEEN AND NOT HEARD.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Your interpretation of the art? Right? I am always interested in HOW different people interpret a piece of artwork and the diversity of it.

marousia said...

Rules are there to be bent :) I enjoyed this poem very much - you always seem to find an edge in the ordinary - the opening lines grabbed my complete attention

Mama Zen said...

Really strong piece, Brian. Makes me wonder about the art!

Gloria said...

Not #%&#???? I cant go there! lol
Nice like always Brian (nice avatar of course)
Have a nice and Happy easter, you have the eggs for the kids???

happygirl said...

I wonder what kind of art would evoke "an artist's bad dream
feigning blindness to the scheme
of those whose teeth gleam & pick the seam like the bones of this child clean"

I like pretty art. but that's just me.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

I honestly didn't realize you were rhyming until the second verse. Nice job. It's always a pleasant surprise when you rap. Hope you and your family have a good Easter weekend!

Bodhirose said...

This makes me wonder what that artist had in mind to "strait jacket" a child with one pleading eye shown...would love to see that. So enjoyed this, Brian.

Baur said...

Sound good! Have a great easter!

Geraldine said...

Some images...stay with us, long after the fact. And we all carry around some of the bad stuff from our childhood, to rear it's ugly head at times.

Interesting and thought-provoking words as always here.

http://www.myreallifereviews.com/2012/04/april-prize-draw-at-my-real-life.html

^.^ said...

I'm lookind at signs similar to this one ... in my job, on the street, listening to a to a neighbor, to some dude on the street, to my child ... trying to decipher, trying to ungerstand, trying to understand where they are coming from ... and even if I don't get it ... at least I listenend ... Nobody listens anymore, Brian, but everybody has something to say ...

flaubert said...

I like how you approached this prompt, Brian. I am loving your poems related to your trip to NYC.

Pamela

Bonnie said...

RIGHT!

You just get better and better. How is that possible?

Pat Hatt said...

Bah I never followed that rule
I found it uncool
Let loose what I had to say
To my mother's complete dismay..haha

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh good grief. I don't understand following the 'rules' of Poetry. AAA AAB ...it means nothing to my brain.
So, good for you for having a go Brian. You're a better man than I am Gunga Din ;)

chromapoesy.com said...

I agree with Samuel but find myself lacking eloquence at the moment (ok, honestly will be quite a few moments); great write.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Wonderful excursion into masks,
the Greek ones, the Commedia
ones, the real ones we see all
about us daily, the ones we glimpse
in our mirror. As an actor we had
to wear a neutral mask to rid ourselves
of personal physical tics, to find
and dwell in a neutral state; no
easy task. The silent scream is
one of the most potent of images
and fine work on manipulating the
quatrains.

Claudia said...

those were some fearsome masks indeed...and honestly i prefer beautiful art...but re-thinking it, i think there has to be art that talks or screams about the ugly, the things we run away from, confronts us with those ghosts and political or social injustice and the things we don't want to see...maybe we have turned away too quickly

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Clever adaptation of the form

Natasha Head said...

picking the bones...seriously? The fact you maintained your voice while daring form is to be commended. Find I always loose mine when trying to fit structure. pretty smooth sell on this one for a Poet who normally doesn't "do form" Dreaming of a dead cell phone battery... :)

She Writes Here Now said...

I love what you did with this. The repeating line of your mother's repeated phrase... the result of learning to say nothing when perhaps we should because none of it is good... the plight! and picking the bones of a child clean...And naturally just art, not reality. Hmmmm. Of course we all know better--art imitates reality.

Really, good.

Sue said...

And you said you didn't like forms!

pfffft.

;)

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Your [poetic] words are very poignant with a double meaning perhaps?!...
...I must/will try to go over and take a "peek" at the [poetic]form called:Rubaiyat... too!
Tks, for sharing!
deedee ;-D

Jackie Jordan said...

A very cryptic poem. I don't quite understand the form, but after reading it a few times I get the concept. Well done ...

Fred Rutherford said...

Nice piece. I didn't even notice you deviated from form til you told us. I like how the piece just moves, no real stop/start type of action. and from my limited understanding of the form, I think that's exactly how it's supposed to be. I didn't get a chance to do one, but I read the write-up, which was very good as well. Don't you just love that, when you want the old cell it's down to a bar or so of battery- just hate that.. anyhow, really digging these NYC writes…thanks

Tara Miller said...

Nice poem but it gave me an uneasy feeling as I read it. I don't think it's just art....it may come from the artists imagination but there has to be a story or emotion behind it, right???

Anonymous said...

Very powerful piece, Brian. Love these lines:

"one straight jacket face of a child"

"& i understand his silent scream
i had a mom too, that would always seem
to repeat the phrase, repeat the phrase"

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

hedgewitch said...

See, I knew you could do it. And you made a strictly brian miller poem out of it, too. Your versatility only grows, my friend.

Goat said...

pleasurable rhyme that picks at the mind of the reader....nice.

Great image/metaphor

Blue Flute said...

This was quite a form I missed
If it wasn’t for my vacation I’d be pissed
I like what you did, the SOS
Surely for what you saw that was the gist

New York made quite an impact, I guess,
And wandering from home is good for stress
In a different place, each culture’s midst
Which you expressed with nice finesse

Cressida de Nova said...

Sounds like a rap song to me!

Beachanny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beachanny said...

Yes indeed, you did it again. And yes, sir, see how you can bend the rules, make it unique and still pare, still manage all those personal techniques that make your poetry unique. Taking the details and blowing them up life size to show us what we the readers missed. That defines art to me in its entirety and I will say, Brian, you are a consummate artist

emmett wheatfall said...

There are some great lines of verse in this poem Brian. This was just excellent, from start to finish. This should become a classic of yours.

Wander said...

The poem is great, but what does it for me is the caption under the photo

Unrelated street sign

It is always good to have you visit Brian, Thanks!

Wander

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for making us think Brian.

And, nothing wrong with coloring outside the lines; it makes life that much more interesting.

manicddaily said...

Hi Brian! First - like your new profile pic.
Second, like your poem. Yes, our mother's words reverberate. A long time. Even words meant well. K.

Magpie said...

Art is such an objective thing. What some like, others don't. Me, I'm a lover of pretty straight forward art.You have a true understanding of poetry in so many forms...me, not so much. But, just like art, I know what I like. I like your work.

Shockgrubz said...

Your prose gives me such bright and vivid imagery! Love this piece.

Charles Miller said...

I have a theoey that art must be mundane anymore to shock the observer into seeing what's in front of them, the reality that sleeps there. You bring a renewed life to this form while bringing out the reality that lies beneath the surface of things.

Jyoti Mishra said...

his plight what? an artist's bad dream
feigning blindness to the scheme..
loved these most..

yet again an awesome post frm u :)

adeeyoyo said...

Sometimes art exhibitions should be 'feel good' to balance the (sometimes) ugliness of reality.

Valerie said...

AAAAs and AABAs are totally lost on me, Brian. But I see what I see from your words. I'm kinda glad you didn't include a picture.

Dave King said...

Oh, this is glorious stuff, the nitty gritty of what art should be about. Thanks for helping to keep us all on track.

kaykuala said...

Bending the rules here is a measure of creativity, Brian. There is enough discipline in trying to keep to the rhyming which you did brilliantly. Great!


Hank

stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

Ha ha ha- you bet your ASS I couldn't stay away. This is great- I like a little bit of bending the rules! Loved the imagery of the child - I could just picture his face- and yeah- I remember being told the same thing myself! Maybe a message here about constraint - and how creativity shouldn't be constrained- and cleverly you have got this across in this poem. You've made me think about exploring form but maybe just applying a touch of 'flexibility' as well

otin said...

I suck at following form..:)

zongrik said...

i like how you have all these explanations for what this is, but you really don't explain it at the end

Madhulika said...

nice read as always.. and yeah i liked your new display picture ;)

Rachel Hoyt said...

Cool form including your scribbles outside the lines. :) I always love your message and admire your skills.

James Rainsford said...

An intriguing and accomplished response to the Quatrain challenge Brian.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Beautifully done, as always.

william said...

wow this was very deep, but none the less as usual a great post :)

poeticlicensee said...

Yes, it's just art. Mother's advice is a good reminder, too. Nice poetry...