Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: poets

If Poetry Is Dead, So Am I . . .


This post is about poetry but I need to get to that subject by asking you to take notice of my on-going survey to discover what You  want to see on this blog.

So far, there are 76 votes and the top selection is a desire to know more about my writing life.

I’m extremely certain (but would be fascinated to be proven wrong) that the top response will change when more folks vote

My writing life, right now, is full of blogging four days a week, writing a new Fantasy Short Story every Friday, editing about 40 posts from Behind The Scenes into an expansion of my short novel, Notes from An Alien (still Free), and preparing to write a second book of poetry ( the first book of poetry is also free :-)

Oh! I also pen some verse every Monday to read at the Poetry Slam at Raglan Shire in the virtual world Second Life

While there are pundits who brazenly attempt to demonstrate that poetry is dead, there are plenty of articles defending the idea that poetry is very much alive

I only have 18 posts on this blog about poetry, a mere 2.2%.

Does such a low percentage mean I think it’s of lesser importance than my fiction?

Hell no—my second book of poetry will be a distillation of what I’ve managed to learn in my nearly seven decades of life in this body that’s driven by a soul

The first proposed etymology of the word “soul” ends with “of uncertain origin”.

That uncertain origin of the word soul seems to hint at the purpose of poetry, which I could characterize as helping us discover those feelings and thoughts that seem to hover just far enough beyond our conscious minds that they can often feel like something we just don’t have time enough to consider seriously

Let me demonstrate with one of my poems:

In the beginning,
I rush towards
Reunion—my inner
Eye spies a
Gleam that
Dazzles into
Words that
Fall

Far short…

I wrote that poem about my attempts at writing poetry

What could that Reunion I seek be?

What is that Dazzling Gleam?

Why do the words feel like they fall short?

It’s been said that poetry is the form of writing that expresses the unexpressible

Perhaps another example would help:

Warping
Heat; opposing
Passions—space is time and
Time is lost.
Blood should flow and
Brains should shatter—
Heart is dead but beats in
Pain.

What are the passions producing such heat?

How could space be time and what made me lose time?

What’s with the figurative reference to blood and brains?

And that last line, Heart is dead but beats in Pain:

Ever felt your heart is dead?

Painful feeling, eh?

If you’re someone who loves poetry, my questions might be interesting

If you feel you can do without poetry in your life, those questions will, hopefully, encourage you to reconsider—perhaps explore a bit—familiarize yourself with the valuable attempt to express your unexpressibles

I’ll leave you with a poem by William Wordsworth, written in the early 1800s but, to me, powerfully applicable in our excessively materialistic culture:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

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A Tribute To My Virtual (Real) Friend . . .


Regular readers of this blog know well my work on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

Some of you have read the guest post I did for Joel Friedlander, Second Life: Virtual Book Promotion and Word of Mouth.

Some folks claim that friendships in virtual worlds aren’t real

I would say two things:

They didn’t use the right virtual world.

or

They’ve never been in a virtual world.

Perhaps a quote from that guest post is in order:

“If you’ve never experienced virtual reality, the first, obvious yet often-overlooked, fact is that there is a real person behind every virtual person. You may be sitting in a fake coffee house, ‘drinking’ fake coffee with a 3-D representation of another person, but that other person is ‘there’, responding to you

I have a friend on Book Island named Donjuan Writer.

He’s ultra-intelligent, from the UK, living in Sweden, writes awesome poetry, and is looking into making films in Second Life.

I’ve had many amazing conversations with him.

Recently, he told me he’d had a “breakout” event—performed some of his poetry in public.

There’s a video down there with him performing the poem and I’m going to put the words here, too.

First though, I want to give the definitions for a word used in the poem—bollocks:

1 – the testicles.

2 – [treated as singular] nonsense; rubbish (used to express contempt or disagreement, or as an exclamation of annoyance).

War On Bo**ocks

Ladies and gentlemen,
Brothers and sisters
Children and animals
Flora and fauna,
rent boys and feminists,
movement-makers and cynical bastards,
people of the world,
I declare a war,
on Bollocks.

Let us not be mistaken
this is not a war on dog’s bollocks.
“Dog’s bollocks” is our unifying cry.
No
it is bollocks
and bollocks alone
that calls us to action.

For too long,
bollocks has paraded itself as reality.
Broadcasted bollocks
has been viewed by our children.
Bollocks has been exposed to the peoples of other cultures,
even the very notion of culture,
has become bollocks.

We have no idea to what degree bollocks may have infiltrated our borders.
We can never document how much bollocks has gone unchecked.
And while the bollocks that springs to mind
hang before our opened eyes,
the untold bollocks beyond our peripheries,
aside from our focus,
underlying the fabric of our cares,
hanging there in the gob-smacked vacuum of the truth-filled cosmos,
continue to taunt and dare us.

There is so much bollocks in our midst that it is fair to conclude that the world rests on the top
of almighty bollocks.

To the bollocks, I say “bollocks”
and take back what’s rightfully mine;
my bollocks
my business
and the bollocks of men, women and children
are their own bollocks.

The bollocks we rise against
are the bollocks that would destroy us.
the bollocks that would enslave us,
the bollocks that would have us teetering on the edge as we slave away in a rut that has us pummeled and bombarded by bollocks
day in
day out,
the bollocks belligerently bashes, beats and bastardises
our rights to just hang about and talk bollocks.

Our rights will be etched loud and proud on our collective, human constitution,
the right to bare bollocks
in the name of world peace
space travel,
clean energy,
healthy food
affordable medical care
access to education
and the longevity of life;
the ability to travel the globe
with a smile on our faces and to smile without fear in the face of a new endeavor
an endevour into the future
the future that is free
from this bollocks.
Brothers, sisters, hermaphrodites,
hear my plea,
Bollocks to bollocks
it’s dog’s bollocks time!


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