Saturday, April 28, 2012

Poetics: Getting my Teeth

street art

It was as if I had only just been able to see colors and shapes for the first time...It was confusing, each sound running into the next sound, like the mingling reverbations of bells, until I learned to separate the sounds, and then they overlapped, each soft but distinct--increasing but discrete peals of laughter...peals of bells

It is like this,

the way Louis describes it, a great awakening
of the senses, which is not what gripped me
at sixteen, the first time i read Anne Rice---it was more
the sexuality~power, puberty's perspective

the taking, quenching the demon within yourself

stick your head in a speaker box, turn the sound
up, if you really want to know---this life
among the cacophony, a clatter, a gong, a screech

stare into a strobe light, flash, flash, flash faster
until your retinas dull, this---life, unending
stimulation, a flip book, blink, fast forward
film reel---until you turn

until you learn to separate sounds,
  moments into the little things, unnoticed

lady in the cross walk on 5th avenue, lay
your tongue along the line from the soft spot
behind her ear to the collar bone, just to taste
her h-h-heartbeat, the black bruise that rests
in her chest, last night, her lover---

pull back, don't take too much, let her live,
breathe, no need to sate yourself on just one---

a man runs the fruit stand on the corner,
gives samples to children every morning
as they wait for the bus, his joy heady wine
almost masking the remorse at the loss of his own,
feel the thrum in his hemoglobin pop along
your taste buds, like too much curry

don't hurry, slurp like some beast, have dignity
for them, but also yourself---pace

the bus comes, a tiny round face in a side window, pink
backpack across her shoulders, silk black hair,
emerald eyes and in them---do you dare taste
what pools there---

a cab driver, a suit-tie too tight-angry, soiled
pup, words wet on the brick, trash caught in a breeze
rising, separate each, sample, loveHATEpainRElief
SEcretsSOCietYsaltGRITgriefSIGHbeauty
pull your pen out, and furious-
ly write poetry---

No better than vampires---taking intimacy,
to quench that which lives within us---can you be-
lieve, do you want to know what i see---
when i look at you?

I heard the night as if it were a chorus of women beckoning me to their breasts.

Oh, Louis, you have no idea.

Process Note: Italicized lines are spoken by the vampire Louis in Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. This series of books was a staple of my teen years.

Over at dVerse Poets today, Blue Flute, who I had the chance to meet in New York last month, is guest hosting Poetics with a prompt I did not see coming, but then again, with Barnabus Collins rising from the dead at the movies, perhaps I should have. See you at 3 PM.

75 comments:

Heaven said...

First ~

Claudia said...

yep..def. one of my favs by you bri... love the sensuality and strange intimacy that comes when we kinda log on to people we meet on the streets, trying to get close enough to feel their pulse, taste their sweat, blood and capture them in our poetry...love the learning to separate sounds and moments into little things-- still need some years in that vampire school of writing when it comes to seeing and sensing the details as lots of moments still blur for me but i got time..right...really loved it..

Heaven said...

I love those books by Anne Rice..it was like heady wine to me and how she describes the intimate details. You do a great job of capturing the scene of the lady walking and man at the fruit stand. I specially like these lines:

No better than vampires---taking intimacy,
to quench that which lives within us

Lovely write Brian and an interesting prompt later ~

Anne said...

I read these as well when I was younger. You've put a grinding pulse into this one Brian, a very sensual one indeed!

Mary said...

All of the seemingly small details all work together in this poem, Brian. It was a treat to read! (Never could get into the Anne Rice books.)

the walking man said...

Brian hell yes--it's all about observation and relation. Giving voice to the inner being and the outer soul who've lost their own. We hit somewhat same themes today...though yours is more impressionistic while I relied on cubism.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

You capture the essence of Anne Rice so well. Once read, never forgotton.

Denise

Brian Miller said...

oh i agree denise....cant stomach the twilight series, it is no where near the same calibre...

Brian Miller said...

fyi--i am working this morning so will have to return comments this afternoon, but rest assured i will be by...see you then...

DJan said...

I read one Anne Rice and it was so strong I couldn't read more. You reminded me why in this poem. Whoa!

manicddaily said...

This a lot of fun, Brian. And scary too! The interweave of your own blood-sucking (ahem) and the Rice text and of course all the different scenes. Works very well. Now I am very curious about this prompt. K.

kaykuala said...

Never did read Anne Rice. I see imageries of urban life. Great verse, Brian!

Hank

Sue said...

This is a great analogy, actually, especially the way you write. It seems you really do taste the things you see and spit them out on paper.

And I think there is a little bit of the (respectful) vampire in you...

;)

Anonymous said...

This is a great line: "the sexuality~power, puberty's perspective" Love the allit.

"feel the thrum in his hemoglobin"

"pace
the bus comes, a tiny round face in a side window"

There is a lot of stimulating sound within this piece, Brian.

"pink
backpack across her shoulders, silk black hair,
emerald eyes and in them---do you dare taste
what pools there" More good stuff. Love the depth and intensity of the word "emerald" contrasted with the innocence and youth of "pink."

"a suit-tie too tight-angry" More delightful sound. This is a playground for the ears---a nice accompaniment for your opening quote.

"No better than vampires" Ooh, nice way to close this out going back to the opening. And yes, we are blood-thirsty for stories. (I LOVED that book series.)

Wow, nice closing quote as well.

You don't give much away about the prompt. :) But I'm hoping my newest will work.

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Bossy Betty said...

I was never an Anne Rice fan, but I just may go back and try again....As always, some wonderful images here.

Daniel said...

This one kind of has a heart-pounding allure and sensuality to it. Good stuff.

Laurie Kolp said...

Whew... a very sensuous, evococative piece, Brian.

momto8 said...

my daughter is an Anne Rice fan...just couldn't bring myself to ever read it...

Myrna R. said...

This is so much YOU. I perceive you like, a vampire, who separates, sucks each morsel of life you encounter and write furiously.
Great write as usual.

Now I'm really curious about the prompt today.

hedgewitch said...

Great take on poetry(and art as well I think) being that sort of feeding through the normal into the paranormal. I loved the LeStat books but gave up on them when they picked old blue-eyed Tom Cruise to play him in the movie--my disbelief can only be suspended so far! Anyway, there are some gorgeous lines in this brian--it's excellent writing and the metaphor is served chilled and very apt.

Wander said...

Brian,

I am not sure how many times I read that series. Rice's ability to sexualise Vampires hasn't been done better by anyone else. good poem, sometimes we take a drop from those around us...salty sweet!

Wander

farmlady said...

Wow! I feel like I've been aTTacked... and liked it.
Stunning!

happygirl said...

I love how Anne Rice returned to the Victorian sensuality of vampires. I think you captured some of the revelation of life.

Gloria said...

Bri9an always you write is interesting:)

Rachel Hoyt said...

Very fun poem! I love how you ended it. Your lines flow quite well with the quote. We are more like vampires than I thought. :-)

Daydreamertoo said...

I never read her books but, saw the movie, what a fabulous write from you AGAIN!!
LOL

JeannetteLS said...

I hate you, Brian. There. I have spoken it aloud. I have NEVER had the desire to read these books. Ever. NOt until now. She should post your poem everywhere there are books.

Great. Now another bunch of books I have to read and it's all your fault.

Friko said...

vampires were not part of my reading diet, they came a bit later than my start-up years; people watching and people sorting is a bit like blood-sucking, getting into them, ferreting out their innermost selves as they betray themselves by tiny signs.

flaubert said...

Very evocative writing,Brian, and did I read (correctly) you were only 16 when you first read Anne Rice? Lor' you are young!

Pamela

Heather said...

oooh this is awesome...send us more of these!

Heather said...

oooh this is awesome...send us more of these!

Goat said...

Still am not tempted to read vampire fantasy, but I love the poem. Love the way it overtakes the lovely quote at the beginning. Your usual engine of rhythm totally working the street. The last line--BEGS for more... perfect way to make readers hungry for your work.

S.E.Ingraham said...

Isn't it funny when a reasonably good writer makes vampires soooo alluring, then Hollywood seems to miscast them in the movie (I feared the worst until I saw the flick, again again again) and at once, just as you have so skilfully demonstrated with your pen Brian - the ordinary become extraordinary infused with so much sensory overload and all you want is everlasting life puhleeeze ... more of this if you will ...

Pat Hatt said...

Look at you getting all sensual at your bay
With a vampire display
Even though this YA crap has ruined anything vampire for me
I see them and want to call Buffy
Or maybe Blade
To make them fade
But he's in jail
For tax bail
So I guess Buffy it is
With this vampire biz

Glenn Buttkus said...

Using puberty as catalyst for this vampire
romp is delicious, letting imagination run
the hillocks of hemoglobin so freely;
another very colorful and unique read
from the fevered mind of Miller.

Tara Miller said...

I'm not big on vampire anything as you know, love. But it was fun to read your take on this. You do it well. Wow!

Natasha Head said...

Thank you ;)You have done the series, the characters, the senses, proud...a worthy testament to my own misadventures :)

Steve E said...

oooh this is awesome! THERE Heather, that makes THREE TIMES! And awesome it IS. Brian, you suck the life out of the Uni-verse.

On the farm, we only had to concern with 2,000-pound bulls, runaway horses (with me on top, holding on for life itself!), pedophiles in the neighborhood, and an ax-murderer living a mile away (Near Cincinnati OH).

If I piled on Ann Rice, I'd have never made it past 5th grade...

One of YOUR BEST, IMO!

Blue Flute said...

Very sensual, seductive and scary at the same time. Great description of the woman walking down the street. Still some hint of New York in your poetry ;-)

pandamoniumcat said...

Loved this...and re-visiting the best of Anne Rice...what fun...I do miss a good vampire tale!

Fred Rutherford said...

Very cool Brian. Love the inclusion of Louis in here. Very neat take on the prompt. Great read. Thanks

Adura Ojo said...

Your take on the theme is impressive, Brian. It's not just vampires but vampires with curves and a twist.

adan said...

"No better than vampires---taking intimacy,
to quench that which lives within us...." -

super tight grip on my attention brian ;-)

really satisfying roll of the poem!

i think i tasted the blood of words that cut themselves into you, yes, nice....

chromapoesy.com said...

I think it was Shaw that said a true artist consumes those they love most for their work so they become half vivisector, half-vampire. This is amazing, loved it.

chromapoesy.com said...

I think it was Shaw that said a true artist consumes those they love most for their work so they become half vivisector, half-vampire. This is amazing, loved it.

PattiKen said...

I love that you made writing analogous to being a vampire, sucking some of the life force from 'subjects" (but not all, because we mustn't be gluttons...). I've often felt that, as I study them, make notes, and then write them places they never intended to go. And writing them is vampire-ish enough, but when I take pictures of them... Even if they have given permission, I always wonder if they miss that bit of their soul I've taken away with me.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

I too was Anne Rice fan. Her vampires seem so realistic to. So your work was something that I enjoyed i could almost see New Orleans, B street.
http://leah-jamielynn.typepad.com/

Sheila said...

a vampire poet - awesome! this is one of my favorites of yours. you had me at h-h-heartbeat, and then the reveal of you as the "vampire" shocked the bejeezus out of me. brilliant! and what a perfect juxtaposition.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, brilliant. I remember my first read of "Interview," and this brought back imagery, romance, the "don't be greedy just yet" aspect. All of it. Tom Cruise was horribly miscast in "Interview," but then... he's horribly miscast in half the movies I've seen! Max Schreck's Nosferatu scared the crap out of me. But the movie with Defoe based on the original movie, superb. Great write, Brian! Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/04/28/red-roses-dverse/

Semaphore said...

"Interview with the Vampire" was also one of my touchstones, the high point of the modern vampire, and you've done it justice here in your re-interpretation of the vampire for contemporary times. Chilling.

Rimly Bezbarua said...

First of all congratulation for the Sunflower Award, Brian. I have read Anne Rice and your poem really brought out the essence. I have always been fascinated by vampires and their soulless lives and their seductive power. Great poetry.

http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/04/dusk.html

Henry Clemmons said...

That's what we do researching, or being observant as writers, suck life out of what we see and turn them, unbeknownest to them, creatures of our own that live only at night and instrument to recruit others to our dark lil workds.

ladyfi said...

Wonderful!

I remember devouring these books too.

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

"No better than vampires---taking intimacy,to quench that which lives within us---can you be-lieve, do you want to know what i see---when i look at you?"

Hi! Brian...
What a very descriptive poem that let your readers know:"This [was a] series of books [that] was a staple of [your] teen years."

Brian said, with a prompt I did not see coming, but then again, with Barnabas Collins rising from the dead at the movies, perhaps I should have.
[Laughter!]
Tks, for sharing the street art and the title which is very apropos...LOL
deedee ;-D

wood said...

i have missed reading your work. its good to be able to do so again.

:stare into a strobe light, flash, flash, flash faster
until your retinas dull, this---life, unending
stimulation, a flip book, blink, fast forward
film reel---until you turn

until you learn to separate sounds,
moments into the little things, unnoticed"

well said. this seems like great advise for artists. as a poet (and an artist, and a musician for that matter) i had to learn to slow down time (in my mind anyway), seperate the sounds from the images from the meaning, understand each rhythm, examine each picture, find the intent, the soul of it, what was relivent and what was not. then, let it all fall back together, move forward at normal speed. a hard trick to do, but you do it so well here. very well demonstrated here. great poem, really enjoyed this.

wood

Valerie said...

Never read Anne Rice, but taking a leaf out of your book I really must open my eyes more when I'm out so that I can see what you see... maybe.

Dave King said...

lady in the cross walk on 5th avenue, lay
your tongue along the line from the soft spot
behind her ear to the collar bone, just to taste
her h-h-heartbeat, the black bruise that rests
in her chest, last night, her lover---

This is so good - as is the whole of it. Fantastic read.

Lorraine said...

Oh my gosh Brian, have you been watching Buffy too, wow you say so much better than I do

Lydia said...

don't hurry, slurp like some beast, have dignity
for them, but also yourself---pace

the bus comes, a tiny round face in a side window, pink
backpack across her shoulders, silk black hair,
emerald eyes and in them---do you dare taste
what pools there---


The first two lines that are more a part of the stanza that precedes them than the stanza that follows are astonishing exactly because they precede the stanza that follows. What a juxtaposition. What a poem, Brian. I just commented at Claudia's that her vampire poem is my favorite of hers, and this is definitely one of my favorites of yours.
It is also one hell of a New York poem!
(Never read Ann Rice. Am I too old now?)

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

As always... Nice write!...

Have a great week ahead Sir Brian!..

JJRod'z

Lady Nyo said...

Oh, Brian....you brought back to life "Interview with the Vampire" for me. Amazing film.

Your poem....and the linking of blood lust with poetry....with a pen....not fangs....LOL!

And the separating of different sounds, elements of sensations, etc...as we come across them daily.

Bravo! My husband worked on "Interview" in New Orleans. He built the dock scene (and others) where they burned it down in the beginning of the movie. 5 months in the heat of NO through August then, and we never went back. But that city is amazing, haunting, and I can see why the movie began there.

Anne Rice generated much of us as writers back then.

Lady Nyo

Pauline said...

well! when you stop to listen and look, what things you see and hear!

Mama Zen said...

I love what you did with this, Brian. Brilliant take.

Mary Mansfield said...

A brilliant write! I've often felt like a bit of a poetic vampire, absorbing the pain of others to feed my own self-indulgent needs. And like many of the other posters, I think I will be revisiting the work of Anne Rice. Very well done!

De Jackson said...

Love the pacing of this, the inspiration it came from, the voice. Perfect.

SueAnn Lommler said...

The din can be overwhelming as you so skillfully point out. Yes...we need to learn to separate to enjoy little by little.
Brilliant piece Brian
Hugs
SueAnn

Charles Miller said...

This is very powerful in its grasp of the essence of the vampire myth and its ability to capture the imagination. Alive to life itself in all of its vibrant essence, blood flow thru the veins, people in motion animated by that pumping red fluid thru veins and arteries, and staying alive, supremely alive to the life force that sustains us. I also found your analogy between the vampiric activity and the act of poetry quite intriguing.

Susie Clevenger said...

As always you haven taken the prompt to unexpected heights. There are so many thoughts in this one..the blend of Ann Rice with observations of moments others would miss...Great work!

ayala said...

An awesome write, Brian. :)

poetcolette said...

Such truth here.
However there can never be too much curry, imho.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

First, I read your post titles and try to guess what you are writing about. Second, as I continue reading your post you surprise me every time! Third, you amaze me. Fourth, I realize you amaze me every time I come here. Five, I wonder why I am always amazed. Shouldn't I be expecting it? Sixth, You just keep doing it! (Thank God). What a gift you have. Thanks for sharing it.

Goofball said...

wow don't think i've ever had such an awakening. I feel left out now

Secret Agent Woman said...

I know I am in the minority, but I have never gotten the appeal of vampires. They creep me out!

william said...

wow this was rather warm lol, excellent useage of words here friend, hope you and the family are well..

Syd said...

I read a few of the Vampire books. Very deep south and spooky. We cut our teeth on some good flesh when we're teenagers. Later we realize that there is more to living than sucking the blood out of someone and then casting them off.