Experimental Poetry Form: cutting a deck of cards

This experimental poetry form is based off of the idea of cutting a deck of cards.  The base of the poem is five lines long.  Each line is different.  The base could be represented as:

A
B
C
D
E

After the base is written, the first two lines are moved as a set to the end of the poem and the poem is written out again.  It could be represented as:

C
D
E
A
B

This movement of lines is then repeated and the poem is written again as:

E
A
B
C
D

The movement is then repeated one last time as:

B
C
D
E
A

 

All of the pieces should be written as one poem, with each piece serving as a stanza, such as:

A
B
C
D
E

C
D
E
A
B

E
A
B
C
D

B
C
D
E
A

 

The main difficulty in the poem is finding lines that make sense in all the rearranged orders.  To help with that, punctuation, capitalization and indention can change from stanza to stanza.

Rearranging the lines as shown is not the same as mixing the lines up.  All that is happening in each set is that some part of poem is moved from the beginning to the end.  In each of the sets, there is one movement that would put the poem back in order.  For example, in the set EABCD, if the E line was moved to the end, the poem would be back in order.  This idea is part of the poetry form.  The idea is to examine moving lines instead of mixing up lines.

The main idea of the poetry form is to see how the expression changes when the lines are rearranged.  The tone of the poem can change depending on line order, and this change is part of the idea.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

The heat beat down,
upon the worn shape,
as images of collapsing filled the mind,
cars drove by,
and one took pity.

As images of collapsing filled the mind,
cars drove by,
and one took pity –
  the heat beat down,
  upon the worn shape.

And one took pity –
  the heat beat down,
  upon the worn shape,
  as images of collapsing filled the mind,
  cars drove by.

Upon the worn shape,
  as images of collapsing filled the mind,
  cars drove by,
  and one took pity,
the heat beat down.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: No, you see

Today’s post is the twentieth and last post in the post series: poems with explanations.

Hopefully readers have enjoyed the series.  Hopefully all of the poems were enjoyable to read by themselves, but also, hopefully, the explanations expanded their value.  Hopefully readers learned more about poetry through the series.

If you liked the series and like poems with explanations in general, then please consider purchasing a copy of M. Sakran’s self-published eBook, Understanding: poems with explanations.  The eBook is a collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them.  It is available for a price of $0.99.  It can also be purchased with currencies besides the U.S. dollar (see near the bottom of the post, Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Obstruction, for a list of usable currencies and links).  Again, if you liked the series and like poems with explanations in general, then please consider purchasing a copy.

The last poem and explanation of the series is below.

No, you see

What’s the matter?

You tired?

Alright, take a rest.

  Standing.

  Standing.

  Crouching.

  Left over middle.

  Right over middle.

  Left over middle.

  Right over middle.

  Picking up one.

  Picking up two.

  Standing.

Hi.

Hmm?

Oh, nothing, you see …

No, wait, you don’t understand.

No, you see there,

  One, two, three.

No, you

 

This poem is about someone getting shot and killed.  There are three beings in the poem: the person who is shot (the shootee), the shootee’s dog, and the shooter.  The poem begins with the shootee walking their dog and coming in front of the shooter’s house.  This poem is about misunderstanding and overreaction.

In the first line of the poem, the shootee asks their dog What’s the matter?.  The dog has stopped walking and is panting by the side of the street.  It is early morning.

In the second line of the poem, the shootee realizes that their dog is tired and asks their dog a rhetorical question about it.

In the third line, the shootee tells their dog to take a rest.  Where the person is walking, there are ditches in front of the homes.  In this line of the poem, as the shootee lets go of the leash and stands by the side of the road, the dog walks down into the ditch and lays down.

The next ten lines are indented.  These lines describe what the shootee does while their dog rests.  At first the shootee just stands.  The dog is resting for a while and the standing feels like it goes on.  The shootee’s legs get a little tired and so they crouch down.  They find some pine needles and start braiding them together.  They then stop this, and pick up a couple of pebbles and move them in their fingers.  After this, the shootee stands up again.

When the shootee stands, the homeowner comes out of their house.  The shootee says, Hi.  The homeowner (the shooter) is upset that someone has been standing in front of their house and asks angrily, “What are you doing here?”

The shootee is taken aback by this question and emotion and responds, “Hmm?”

The shooter then asks the question again, as they move closer and more angrily toward the shootee.

The shootee realizes the misunderstanding.  They realize that the shooter can only see them and not the dog, because the dog is in a ditch.  They understand the concern of the shooter.  They try to clear things up and explain by starting “Oh, nothing, you see …”

The shooter interrupts the shootee.  The shooter yells to the shootee to get away from the house.  The shooter moves closer and more angrily.

The shootee tries to explain again.

The shooter then repeats the demand that the shootee get away from the house.

The shootee tries to explain again.  As they do, they motion with their arm at the dog in the ditch.

When the shooter sees the shootee’s arm move, they assume the shootee is going to do something violent.  The shooter pulls out a gun and shoots the shootee.

The shootee hears three shots.

The shootee tries to explain as they die.

 

This poem is about a misunderstanding and overreaction that led to a shooting and killing.

The shootee in the poem was innocent.  In some sense, they made the mistake of loitering outside of someone’s home, but they had no criminal intent.

The shooter in the situation, was not really bad, but simply saw someone standing and waiting too long outside of their house.  The shooter never saw the shootee’s dog, which was in a ditch.  They felt threatened by the situation and even more threatened when they confronted the shootee and the shootee did not immediately leave.

This poem that is about a simple situation that escalated and went in the wrong direction.

One interesting aspect of this poem, in terms of its presentation, is that there is only one focus.  In the poem, the dog’s actions are not written out.  Also, the voice of the shooter is not directly articulated.  Only the words, and with one exception, only the actions of the shootee are shown.  The exception is the three gun shots.  These are articulated by the count in the poem.

In terms of form, in the poem, actions are indented two spaces (the actions of the person as they wait for their dog, and the gun shots).  Also, the last line ends abruptly, even without ellipses, to signify the shootee died.

Poem Series: Dogs: Why to walk

To smell the grass where paw-steps fall,
and see the sky that’s way out far,
and pass by trees that are so tall,
to smell the grass where paw-steps fall.
To hear the birds as they do call,
and see by light from a bright star,
to smell the grass where paw-steps fall,
and see the sky that’s way out far.

 

P.S. Today on MSakran.com, there is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction.

Poem with an explanation: Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  he sure is sweating.

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  that rain is falling hard.

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  oh, that car shouldn’t have splashed him.

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  he really should be wearing a coat.

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  see how the wind is blowing him back.

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  it looks like that fall hurt his leg.

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs,

  oh wait, that other dog is going to bite him.

Hey look, that guy with the dogs didn’t walk by.

 

This poem is about noticing, but doing nothing.

In each of the eight sentences, two people on a porch either notice a guy walking dogs walk by, or notice that he didn’t walk by.  In the first seven sentences the guy walking the dogs encounters: heat, rain, carelessness, cold, wind, a fall, and a dog attack.  In the last sentence, the guy walking the dogs doesn’t walk by.

In each of the sentences, the people on the porch notice the man or the lack of him.  In none of the sentences, do they do anything for him.

Additionally, the man’s name isn’t known.  He is referred to as “that guy with the dogs”.  The people on the porch, never wonder what his name is.  It, in some sense, isn’t significant to them.

This poem utilizes repetition as a poetic tool.

 

P.S. Today on MSakran.com, there is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction.

Poem: Summer, Fall

In the summer,
steps could hardly be taken,
the heat pressed down,
the sun glared,
and as life seemed to drain away,
a respite was imagined.

In the fall,
steps went on for miles,
a coolness flowed in the breeze,
the sun shined softly,
and as life seemed to pause and breathe,
a respite was experienced.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Simple Rhyming Pattern: Walking in the heat

There’s something about walking in the heat,
the feeling of the miles that are measured in feet,
the steps that are taken as the sun glares in the eyes,
the feeling of sweat soaking into the shirt,
the moments where the remaining distance is contemplated,
and there is a strangeness that with all this nothing seems to hurt,
the feeling is just overall,
it’s just a feeling of wanting to fall.

 

(9/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Simple Rhyming Pattern

Bilingual Poem: Turning empty

The dog loved walking,
but turned back because of the heat,
  a cat drank from the bird bath.

El perro encantó andando,
pero volvió porque del calor,
  un gato bebió del bañera de ave.

P.S.  Today on MSakran.com, there is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction.  The photograph is of an insect and the artwork is of a miner.  The poem is about both the insect and the miner, and the fiction is about the insect.

The photograph and artwork, can inspire poetry and the poem can be read.  As it relates to this blog, it is noteworthy, that the fiction story was written in a poetic manner.  It was influenced by poetry style.  In addition, the story itself can inspire poetry.

As a side note, the type of insect in the photograph, has not been identified.  It appears to be some type of wasp.  Should any reader know the exact type of insect that it is, please let M. Sakran know by using the contact page on this blog or on MSakran.com.