Thursday, June 28, 2012

FormForAll: The bellman

a mosaic mural, d'town Lynchburg, VA

The bellman of the Parkview sits,
bellman jacket pressed, patch emblazoned, bereft
of pressed service, alone, abandoned guests.

The patch a-lone remembrance, his, since
Parkview inBlazEnd abandoned his city/life distant,
sits bereft guests since distant ages. 

Over at dVerse Poets today, Sam has us writing square poems. If it works it can be read right to left and top to bottom. It is a beast to try and do, honestly. Below, I have spaced it to make reading it top to bottom easier.
 
the           bellman      of              the                    Parkview      sits,
bellman   jacket         pressed,     patch                 emblazoned, bereft
of             pressed      service,      alone,                abandoned    guests
the           patch          a-lone        remembrance,   his,               since
Parkview inBlazEnd abandoned his                     city/life        distant
sits           bereft         guests        since                 distant            ages  

I wrote this about a guy I met today. He sits on a planter, still dressed in his bellman's jacket outside the abandoned burned out hotel formerly known as the Parkview.    

78 comments:

Susan said...

Did you work it across and down at the same time? You have indeed created one that makes sense! I'm on my third--but I really have nothing to post yet!

Mary said...

I enjoyed this. Not a very easy thing to accomplish. Kudos to you!! (It's a rather intimidating form for me.)

zongrik said...

i guess no one wants to cross that bridge. maybe they need to burn it...ooops that's a whole other poem. ;)

Pam Rosep said...

This is touching, sentimental and pure ... really clever too.

hedgewitch said...

I'm impressed, bri--I took one look at the form and grabbed my head. This makes writing a sonnet look like a piece of cake. Also like your subject--as always quirky and real.

Pat said...

I am really impressed! How the heck did you figure this one out? Yowser!

California Girl said...

One thing's for sure...you'll never get Alzheimers.

Pat Hatt said...

Wow look at that
You impress the cat
Surely not a square
With such a task at your lair
Down and up
Must have had plenty of coffee in your cup

Chazinator said...

I still don't know how you did it. It takes a brain like Mozart to work upside down and all around . The story is sad. You have that magical gift of meeting the most interesting people. Now we know how you can write poetry in Escher Land, huh?

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Looks like I got to do some soul searching before attempting this. Great one on yours!

Hank

ipenka said...

This is very creative & clever.

Along these lines, I've been meaning to read that book by Jonathan Safran Foer? Supposedly the words in an existing book are cut out to create a new one...

Gloria said...

Very creative Brian LOL

Anna Montgomery said...

Oh, I am loving your wordplay! I took mine too seriously and wish I read some before writing. Wonderful and impressive.

Daniel said...

I bet this took some of the rubber off your eraser as you worked through it. However, even beyond the technical aspects of the piece, the story is so sad in its telling. Yet, I am like this in some ways. Living still as if there are two when there is only one.

Grace said...

Nice capture of the bellman in his jacket Brian ~

Sad to see him outside in the abandoned hotel ~

Daydreamertoo said...

Awwww... on the guy
I am not even going to attempt this prompt. It's doing my brain in just reading some of them.....LOL Yes, as Mary said 'Kudos to you' :)

Betsy Brock said...

tough assignment, but you pulled it off nicely! Bellman not quite ready to move on..., kinda sad.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I bow to you in humility. I haven't done this yet.

manicddaily said...

Well done! Great example! I have been busy but mulling it over - but yours is wonderful and very inspiring. Thanks. k.

Natasha Head said...

Poet...you do the form and maintain the Brian...you can do no wrong! Loved it

Steve Piper said...

You made this look so easy! And you had time to throw in nice nuances like "inBlazEnd," awesome, dude, it rings so true, too.

Vicki Lane said...

Yikes! -- bravo for making the effort -- and it works!

turtlememoir said...

wow, Brian - I am totally impressed... and thanks for making it easier for me to read top to bottom - kinda sad about that bellman though...

bodhirose said...

Oh, you did a great job with this form, Brian..so creative. I love how you write from your personal experiences.

TALON said...

You have the patience of a saint, Brian. This was very cool.

Vodka Mom said...

i adore this..

but especially..."The bellman of the Parkview sits, bellman jacket pressed, patch emblazoned, bereft of pressed service, alone, abandoned guests."


adore adore adore

Semaphore said...

As always, you take a form and make it your own - emblazoned, inBlazEnd; city/life, and all the other wordplay that you sandwich in - all these make it uniquely your own, while staying true to the form.

ginn3music said...

Reading in just one direction--a beautiful, touching poem. Being able to read this in a second direction makes you a kick-ass poet in my book!

Annmarie Pipa said...

I have a husband and a daughter who would love you for this accomplishment. they are both engineers.

Claudia said...

wow..good job.. really well done bri..i'm im(pressed)...smiles

farmlady said...

It's like two dementional Scrabble.

Steve E said...

Hey, you playin' wit my Brian, brain...Mind boggling!

This is where the wall thickens between pros and ams. I am definitely an 'am'--grin!

I DO admire good work, though, whether poetry, sculpture, dancing, painting, or composing or performing a violin concerto.

Yours is the best!

ladyfi said...

Wonderful writing.

Zuzana said...

Wow dear Brian, this is impressive, it would take me months to get anything like this written.;)
Have a great weekend.;)
xoxo

Fred Rutherford said...

wow. how in the world were you able to incorporate your usual voice within the parameters of the Square poem. I'm in awe how you told this story through this form. So impressed. Great piece. Thanks

Jenny Woolf said...

When I wrote my book about Lewis Carroll one of the most interesting bits was about the acrostics, and double acrostics he did. They look fiendishly difficult but he also managed to make them enjoyable, expressive and sometimes funny, and something about his complicated mind really related to them.

Wyeth Bailey said...

a beautifully crisp portrait even aside from the challenging form

Wyeth Bailey said...

a beautifully crisp portrait even aside from the challenging form

Leovi said...

Yes, these poems interesting squares.

Valerie said...

Sad tale about the bellman. Aside from being mighty clever, I'm not sure I see the point of 'square' poems. Do tell.

Dave King said...

This is brilliant. I penned a few lines and gave up! I did get as far as writing the poem, but couldn't make sense of what to do next. Another master class, for which much thanks!

Matt said...

Love the style of this one, I thought it was a bell shape at first :)

happygirl said...

Square poems. I can't imagine... Fine work squaring a tale of the bellman with rich imagery. I saw more than the square, I saw the scene. :)

Mrsupole said...

I think you did a great job of showing how sad the times are today with so many without a job. We all need a reason to wake up each day. And another great job with also writing it in the style required.

God bless.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

THAT IS COMPLETELY SWEET!

Lorraine said...

you always amaze me with your twists and turns, you are so proficient in words and feelings

Eva Gallant said...

That was a challenging assignment that you managed to carry out extremely well.

My kids have been telling me I write square poems for years.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Holy moly! And yet you tamed the beast in less than a day? There is no other word for that except "genius"!

Kavita said...

It's amazing how found a live muse for this form of poetry! And even more amazing how much sense the poem made!

You rock, as ever, Brian! :)

JANU said...

Wish I could some up with something like this...Nice.

Old Ollie said...

that is a new style for me - thanks Brian

Archna Sharma said...

Wow, again, right out of your day. That square was really difficult to fit into but these edges are nicely creased. I'm sorry for his loss here.

I'm enjoying the Pub and thank you for your encouragement.

Magpie said...

It must have been a challenge to write because I'm challenged just trying to read it. I get the spirit of what you're saying though and it is a sad picture.

Tara Miller said...

YOU are good, my love! That's sad about the man who still sits outside the hotel....

Rebecca S. said...

Oh, that would have been a tough assignment! Your poem made me think of a friend of mine who was once the Assistand General Manager of a large high class hotel until he had a nervous breakdown. He loves that hotel still and while he lives on a meagre disability pension, talks about the glory days of the hotel and when he was well. Loved this poem, Brian.

aprille said...

Every visit I make confuses me more. And yours doesn't help either :-)
Nice story though about the poor man.
just wondering when a bellboy changes into a bellman. Probably very gradually.

CiCi said...

Such a bereft picture in words, my heart goes out to the leftover bellman.

Polly said...

Sad, sad bellman = clever, clever poet

adan said...

that's some heavy duty creative form effort, kudos to you guys, it made my head hurt just to "begin" to think how to do it ;-)

much better enjoying ya'll efforts and results, thanks brian ;-)

^.^ said...

... I always pay attention to the bell man ... when ever I travel ... they sure are special people ... they are willing to pose for a pic (NS, Can) ... they are willing to make you feel better (Seattle, USA) ... they are smiling and promise heaven in Jamaica ...) as long as you have the money, honey ... they'll be there ... Love, cat ... sorry, if I missed the point, B.

ayala said...

You did it!
Sad to see the bellman outside the abandoned hotel :(

Goofball said...

oh my gosh that is so cool...how long did that take you to make? this is poetry sudoku

Myrna R. said...

You created something out of a sad scene.

I wouldn't even try to do this. I think I'd get frustrated. You did a really nice job.

jane hewey said...

fantastic mood and depth. nice job on this incredibly tricky ride!!! ~jane

Jennifer Dougan said...

Oofta! :) What a quiet, sad, loyal image of him though.

Regarding your comments on my site, "Settling for" is the right term too, huh?

Credit at a used bookstore is always great too! :)

Thanks for stopping by,
Jennifer Dougan
wwwjenniferdougan.com

Laurie Collett said...

Very cool!! Reminds me of some portions of Scripture where the first letter of each line is the Hebrew alphabet in order.
God bless,
Laurie

Chris Okelberry said...

That's a fun/creative form to write with. Tough to get things to fit and still flow. Nice job.

rosemary mint said...

Great job, Brian. Of course, you made it your own, as always.


Love the sound in the ending:

"inBlazEnd abandoned ... sits bereft guests since distant ages"

Beachanny said...

This was the most difficult poem in many ways we've been challenged with, I believe. The perpetual school girl, I wanted to accomplish the initial challenge and ended up not nearly so poetic as you have done here. The images so embossed in one's imagination, and the form so fluid working both directions. Yes, well done and sensible!

Mama Zen said...

Holy hell! That does look like a beast to write. Great job, Brian!

Dark Angel said...

Nicely done... I didn't even try :P

ds said...

Wow. Not only did you make the form work (scary!), your bellman stands without it. Bravura performance, sir. Thank you.

Jyoti Mishra said...

awesome write up... one of the best :)
a lot to think n muse..
superb read !!!!

marousia said...

Well done you - after three failed attempts I have givn up for now :)

Geraldine said...

how cool is that!

C Rose said...

loved how you played this form Brian, you nailed it! ~ Rose

Cressida de Nova said...

This was a challenge .You nailed it.
I think I going to try another one.

Sue said...

Well done. I wouldn't touch that form with a ten-foot pole.

Reminds me of geometry.

;)