Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meeting the Bar: Go ahead punk, make my day (the science of Clint Eastwood)

from a piece of furniture @ Macy's

It is simple biology. Books
are filled with stories. Stories
of chapters & chapters, sentences,
ending in periods---It's the punctuation
that gets me every time, which is why
I use it sparingly

a lady, driving a Tahoe on the New Jersey
turnpike twists a fat round brush
through her hair, can of hairspray
unleashing great fog banks that roll
along her head & she's talking---
though the vehicle is empty

& this might be the end
because we are doing seventy
& she's right next to me, so close
i can check my teeth in the gloss
of her door, if i want---
at least she will look good for the coroner

i could care-less what they think
when i get there, it's the punK-
tuation that bothers me, creeping on cat feet
to claw the Achilles

hours later, and three states, a roadside billboard
announces, the best barbecue in Virginia
is served at the truck stop, but i don't---

They will say anything to get your attention
& it takes discernment to know what moments
go in the book, the end always coming
with each page turn, paragraph, comma,
colon (see there is biology) but i will not
put a period at the end of this

i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings

and the only one i am fooling,
is myself(period)

Today at dVerse Poets, Charles Miller will be focusing us on exploring the sciences or writing in methods most scientific about processes or...well just tune in at 3 pm EST today and he will certainly explain it better than I. Smiles.

82 comments:

Mary said...

#1

Mary said...

The "end" is always within touch of us...whether it is on the highway, walking down the street. We never know when we are on the last chapter, and it is best we don't know! Enjoyed this, Brian.

Daniel said...

What's that? Science you say? O.K., now I am interested. (smiles)

Arian Tejano said...

I can relate to this, esp:

"It's the punctuation
that gets me every time, which is why
I use it sparingly"

Pat Hatt said...

Preach it! hahaha
The cat will agree with your fit
Screw the period it will not go at my lair
For that means the end is there
And those whack job drivers that do themselves up in the car
Will not get very far
When they go in the ditch
From scratching their itch

AmyLK said...

you know how close you were to my house at the end of the turnpike? :)

mo.stoneskin said...

But did you consider checking your teeth in the gloss of her door? Madness I tell you, madness.

Heather said...

i got the chills when i read the end is coming with each page turn....wonderful!

Heather said...

i got the chills when i read the end is coming with each page turn....wonderful!

Josh Hoyt said...

Cool I like it. Especially the part about the lady and looking good for the coroner :)

Natasha Head said...

Love your poetic punk nation, can do without the punctuation, as long as your words don't fall into stagnation, and that's my say (period)LOVE!

MorningAJ said...

Poetry about science. I like that idea.

happygirl said...

Did you feel lucky? Love the terseness of the writing. I guess that's what happens when you leave out punktuation. ;)

Bossy Betty said...

Great stuff. We'll all been next to the fog-bank-creating woman. Brilliant image.

kaykuala said...

Knowing the end is no fun. Going about towards it creates life's mysteries. Great verse, Brian!

Hank

hedgewitch said...

Love how you weave the woman who is road rage fodder and the idle musings we get driving along looking at the roadside distractions, all pimping their sad stories, into a poem that sees the punctuation we use in our minds. Nice one, boss. I will be checking out the prompt for my Thursday poetry fix.

Claudia said...

hey..i'm glad you're not bowing to the tyranny
of endings..sometimes it's just like leaving alice's at chapter 1...or was it chapter 2 already...and who knows who's turning up next in this rabbit hole..smiles..thanks for making the long way and glad you made it back safely..

ladyfi said...

Wonderful ending in this! Brilliant writing - really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Brian. This is great! I love punctuation poetry. :)

Love these:

"so close
i can check my teeth in the gloss
of her door, if i want---
at least she will look good for the coroner"

"it takes discernment to know what moments
go in the book"

"but i will not
put a period at the end of this

i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings

and the only one i am fooling,
is myself(period)"


Seriously, Brian. This is fantastic.

Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Boy, people love to get that #1 commenter status, don't they? Do you give out a prize or something? :)

Shawna

Anonymous said...

Boy, people love to get that #1 commenter status, don't they? Do you give out a prize or something? :)

Shawna

Daydreamertoo said...

Cray lady !!
What the heck is she doing driving and brushing her hair and spraying it with hairspray! Do you know because of all the traffic accidents here to do with cell phones they banned the use of them apart from emergency vehicles only. And if the cops see you using one they pull you over and it's an on the spot fine! They proved it takes only 2 seconds of being distracted to cause you to have to adjust your wheel. I think there are more deaths now cause through this than drink/driving too. I think if cops see anything (like this woman) they should be pulled over and fined too because, as you say, it's not just HER life she's risking. It could be yours and whomever you have in the car with you.
Great write Mr. No punK tuation Man :)

Gloria said...

ah Brian this is awesome:)
I always see ladies like that sigh!

Magpie said...

Life can be quite scary...especially on American freeways. Periods really aren't the end...they are just there so we can a breath and begin again. :)

Margaret said...

really enjoyed this and I hate grammar and punctuation too but SPELLING is my nightmare :)

...at least she wasn't putting on mascara

turtlememoir said...

ah, very nice and I'm glad you survived that close encounter... I like "punK-
tuation" and

"i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings

and the only one i am fooling,
is myself(period)"

hehe, me too

Sue said...

Oh, yeah.

When you speak in this voice, I always want to jump on board.

(Guess that free spirit is alive and well in me, somewhere...)

;)

flaubert said...

Brian, excellent read and the ending really caught me by surprise(period). LOL

Pamela

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh my, that lady reminds me of so many I see applying make-up each morning in their car... I could so easily picture this. And the colon-- period cracked me up. Really love this one (I always say that, but it's true)!

PattiKen said...

Ha, yep, you know it.

Imagine it. Every female auto commuter in LA will look good, the 405 being the dressing room of choice for many. And the guys? Well, they'll all be up on current events. The LA Times is a big paper, but the commute takes a long time, so it's all good.

Maggie said...

haha NICE!! Sometimes we must have an ending to have a new beginning.

Fred Rutherford said...

Lots of cool bits in this one Brian. First off, i think those people not paying attention on the road bother my just as much, you do get an any minute now it'll be over premonition when driving beside one of these folk. love the idea about the punctuation, although, I do use it a lot in my blogging, I totally appreciate the non-punctuated pieces, I guess in blogs I try to write as if I'm reading the piece, and where I'd like the stops to take place- but reading this does make one wonder as to if this process has the positive effect or if it just distracting, perhaps even a bit unintentionally condescending, as if the reader can't read it without your help- obviously you got me thinking here…

also, your note on the best bbq, love the message you put down in the following stanza. Great write. Thanks

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Firstly: Its always the little things that make your writing pop for me. For this one, it was punk-tuation. Love that.

Secondly: What piece of furniture was that? It looks quite bizarre.

Myrna R. said...

I just left a comment for Chaz about my intimidation in writing something that ties in poetry and science. It intimidates me.

But you, you have done a marvelous job. I think this is one of your best.

farmlady said...

That a boy! Make their day... or don't
These are your words... your life

The woman on the turnpike is multi-tasking herself to death...for some reason that...
I love your punK-tuation
Crazy good

ds said...

Love it, punK-tuation and all!

chromapoesy.com said...

'i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings', the metaphor of punctuation, and bringing us full circle to the (period) at the end, pure genius. I feel like a kid in a candy store with the prompt today!

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

i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings
and the only one i am fooling,
is myself(period)


Hi! Brian...
Tks, for sharing your very well-written, very descriptive poem
I too am [so] glad that you want bow to the tyranny
Or did you?
[Oh! yes, something is missing at the end Of my comment...LOL]
deedee ;-D

Adura Ojo said...

It's Ok not to bow to the tyranny of endings. And I don't think you're fooling yourself, Brian. Period. Do I still need to put period after period(.?)

Really enjoyed reading "the science of Clint Eastwood."

Maggie May said...

Who needs punktuation with a poem like that?!
Very good.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Wander said...

You will find that in my poetry very rarely will you find any punctuation. I find that I just don't wana...

Havent had any time to write the last few days...got to do some tonight, I hope!

Wander

Daydreamertoo said...

RYN: My own thinking is, his mom is trying to cope, to justify, and find reasons for the insanity of the way in which she's lost her son, even maybe she is hoping it was an accident.
They must have more information now to go on to have charged him with 2nd degree murder. Let's hope the whole truth comes out. Yes, I pray justice will prevail.

Yousei Hime said...

I'm going to have to come by early to read, because I'm always quaking trying to figure out what there is left to say. You had me at Clint, of course. ;)

FrankandMary said...

You're allowed to organize the variables of your poems..& to an extent, your life...any way you see fit. But do bounce some of the life stuff off the wife, just in case, uhm, she's already decided exactly what you need to be doing for the next 3 years...

Beachanny said...

Poetry, punctuation and science swirling down time's highway as billboards and phone(y)broads pass by. I think if we're still passing folks we can deduce we're alive. Loved the lack of (punctuation)!

m said...

Punctuation is highly overrated and I don't much concern myself with it spelling is irrelavant as well who gives a big rats ass how you spell stuff but don't say bad words that'll never do do you agree

Great write, Brian. Love it!

Marbles in My Pocket said...

dang! I hit the wrong button and don't know if my comment got published. No way I can duplicate it either!
Good write, Brian!

Marbles in My Pocket said...

okay, it got published. I'm "m" right above comment number 2. Jeesh!

California Girl said...

I'm still thinking about that car & driver with the can of hair spray.

Ryan Taylor said...

artist.

Wolfsrosebud said...

very cute... glad she didn't have a cell phone

Charles Miller said...

I think things jam into each other is such curious ways that they will drag us into the absurdities we find and live by. Who could state all those things that drive us to do what we do? Books or biology? It's a great conundrum to accept, deny, or maybe even accept.

Is it biology that drives us through three states with what might have been a crazy woman. We just have to face the fact that sometimes life happens outside or inside or around us, and it looks like a lot of times we don't control what we think we do.

What I think your poem says, if I got any of the spirit of it, is that when we think we're in control but we're not, and seeing it that way, and maybe even accepting it, will put the periods in place, the words in order, the sentences and paragraphs that maybe help us define what it was we did do.

Great poem, man. I really think you always bring together those divergent things or events that one would least expect to hang together, but showing how things do hang together even though our logic might not ever understand it, why or how. Cause that just is life.

Heaven said...

If we could only write our endings, things would be so easy isn't it?

I like the ending line, I will not bow to tyranny of endings...very passionate write ~

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

you scared for a minute, almost seeing mc reflection on her glossy car. but I had a bit of a laugh too. Glad it didn't end bad, and maybe that mc needed to see his self through that car.

Christine said...

I would love to live in a run on sentence world the possibilities are endless

Kamana said...

not a big fan of silly punctuation. just get on with the words, i say.

Vicki Lane said...

I think I need to share this with me writing class...

amyjosprague said...

Having trouble commenting. Keeps erasing. Anyway, fabulous write! I love how you. Ero in on moments (so closely!!) and then zoom out, zoom back in. Love it.

Goat said...

Last 4 lines--brilliant.

Lisa Golden said...

Okay, seriously. How do you DO this with words?

xoxo

zongrik said...

but did it really end? does it ever end?

Semaphore said...

I can picture you grinning as you wrote this poem, as you pondered whether to punctuate or not, as you moved on to the next unpunctuated sentence, and as you parenthesized that final, ironic 'period' - triumphant.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, love the rebellious part of this, and yet I read the lady with much sadness, because, as you said, she'll look good for the coroner.

As to punctuation, what to do? Can't live with it, can't$ live! without, it?

wink. Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/04/10/my-irish-roots-long-ago-and-far-away-prose/

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Why, yes, I think I will take a little pop culture with my poetry. Today. Thank you very much. You are brilliant. Period.

Ed Pilolla said...

your playfulness is infectious. this little rebellion against punctuation and the way it's supposed to be is such a profoundly charming voice. he knows. that's why so many follow.

manicddaily said...

Okay, in favor of the playfulness, and love the gloss of the door mirror, but I really am pro-punctuation!

Your poems work very well without it, but....

Well, mine wouldn't!

K.

janaki nagaraj said...

Wonderful Biology, English and philosophy here.

Dave King said...

They will say anything to get your attention
& it takes discernment to know what moments
go in the book, the end always coming
with each page turn, paragraph, comma,
colon (see there is biology) but i will not
put a period at the end of this

i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings

I don't believe you're fooling yourself, not unless you're telling yourself that this is not a work of genius. For me, it's a top write.

poemsofhateandhope said...

it's the punK-
tuation that bothers me, creeping on cat feet
to claw the Achilles

so creatively put. this wa san intersting one- can we really escape the core processes of writing? of language? I think we can- but there is something universal in punctuation that underpins it all- of course- only because SOMEONE decided that it should be that way- whose to say it shouldn't be re-written? maybe the only end here should be tradition (that wasn't meant ot rhyme- i'm no PATT HATT!)

Blue Flute said...

That lady with the brush stuck in her hair will definitely need some scientific attention at some point...

Nice way to capture the moments and use of irony. Why am I hungry for ribs right now?

irene said...

Cute ending!

Brendan said...

For your sake - and mine - I sure hope the angel at the Pearly Gates isn't like my eighth-grade teacher who believed that punctuation is all. But then, that's you're point, right? What would biology if it had to follow the rules of punctuation rather than life? And what would drivers do these days without their endless distractions? You raise so many questions, and we don't even get to noodle with the question marks

sharmishtha said...

loved your use of period.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Punctuation is my bane as well!
Except for the exclamation point...I use it all the time!!!!!!
Love it
Hugs
SueAnn

Valerie V. said...

Love the description of the lady driver. Who hasn't seen that woman engaging in her dangerous morning ablutions?

James Rainsford said...

Masterful as always. To end on that enigmatic 'Full Stop' Simply brilliant Brian.

Tara Miller said...

Ok, I know there's a LOT more to this one that just what's on the surface! Going to have to go back and dissect a little more. Nice pace to the read love. ;)

haikulovesongs said...

brilliant!!!

haikulovesongs said...

brilliant!!!

poeticlicensee said...

A 75 mph moving parking lot...

Syd said...

Science has built in chaos which I call variability. Randomness is a cool thing, although it can wreak havoc with some systems.

Goofball said...

I do think you've missed the BBQ of the centure. what a pity