National Poetry Writing Month 2019 Day #11 (pt. 1)

Here is my poem for Day 11 using the POETRYisEVERYTHING prompt: Use book titles in a poem: 4 or 5 in a poem at least 8 lines long, 6 in a 12-line poem, or 8 in a 16-line poem.

Here, in order, is the list of book titles I used:

Cocteau’s World — Jean Cocteau (anthology; Margaret Crosland, editor)
Seven Types of Ambiguity — Elliot Perlman
The Unbearable Lightness of Being — Milan Kundera
Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights — Salman Rushdie
Holy Robots — Vasilina Orlova
Through a Quiet Window — Steve Jansen
Hailstones and Halibut Bones — Mary O’Neill
with a grain of sand — Wisława Szymborska
What Is All This — Stephen Dixon
The Festival of Insignificance — Milan Kundera
The Coördinates of Yes — Janeé J. Baugher
The Hanging on Union Square — H. T. Tsiang
The Body’s Physics — Janeé J. Baugher
Hypergraphia — David Sylvian
The Purple Wash — Minnie A. Collins
Wishes sometimes have consequences — Kevin J. O’Conner
The Endless Talking — Haruomi Hosono

1
What was it like to live in Cocteau’s world?

Me, I have to take seven types of ambiguity a day
to cope with the unbearable lightness of being

But two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights later
I still see holy robots through a quiet window
next to an old copy of Hailstones and Halibut Bones
a sight that most folks would take with a grain of sand

2
I keep thinking: What is all this?

3
I got lost at the Festival of Insignificance

We promised to meet at the coördinates of Yes
but I got distracted by the hanging on Union Square
an odd piece of art supposedly representing the body’s physics—

despite the artist’s advanced case of hypergraphia
the significance of the purple wash was never explained

4
I know that wishes sometimes have consequences

but—my God—the endless talking…

(10 April 2019—posted April 11th)


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