Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.
eliade

a catlike yawn

sparkledark has posted a teaser of her upcoming QAF story. I swear, if this thing had a definite release date, like a book, I'd be marking the days off on my calendar.

kjv31 makes me nostalgic for James Bond flicks. I used to watch them when I was little--they used to play as the Sunday night "movie of the week," a new one every week it seemed like, but memory must be coloring outside the lines. I was into the cheesy Roger Moore ones, because I had been too young to see the Connery ones, so Moore was all I ever knew, for years, until Dalton came along. The Geek Trio's arguments over the best Bond cracked me up. I'm with Andrew: "Timothy Dalton should get an Oscar and beat Sean Connery over the head with it!" So very gay. But come on, Dalton was great. And the second movie of his was all butch and slashy and bloody. I was pleased when Pierce Brosnan finally got his chance, though, because I remember how bad I felt when he couldn't get out of his Remington Steele contract and missed his first shot. (If you were a fangirl then, you know you were all like, "Oh, poooor Pierce!") Plus, his wife died, so he gets a pity vote. He's like one of those polite but steely-jawed vicars with a tragic past, whom you can't help but fawn and fan yourself over. He's dashing, what?

But of course James Bond should really be played by Rupert Everett. Just think how cool that'd be. He'd be so superbly gay and snide and dissolute, passing himself off as a drunken fop, and then sliding out the party, shoulders straightening, stride quickening, gaze darting around to see if anyone has noticed that he's heading off to break into the ambassador's study and crack the safe, and if he got caught, his charming smile--which so devastates the ladies--would uplift suddenly, like a beam of sunlight, reaching his eyes, and he'd take some bumbling baroness's face between his hands, gently, lean in to kiss her--and then twist her neck, *snap*, clean around. And let her drop with a thud to the parquet floor. Then he'd adjust his cuffs, step over her, and make his exit with impeccable savoir faire.

Poem of the day: Meditation at Lagunitas

And because I am so fucked that I will do anything except write, goddamn it, write, I'm going to post an example of something I was talking about the other day, which is first lines of poems. Basically, like the first line of a story, the first line of a poem should grab you and hook you, sink its teeth deep, capture something. It's not true for every poem; at least one great poem begins simply with "I." But it's a good rule of thumb.

None of these are made up by me (the ones I didn't personally write, I mean). Read the lists first without knowing anything about where they came from.



List One

I take out a heaping plate of beans
So long, silversides.
I came here to retrieve a shoe,
After she left he bought another cactus
Unlike Goya, who represented children
The plains-dwelling warthog (normally diurnal)
Tulip, tulip tree
My college roommate
Their udders are swollen
The young sheep try to climb
It begins with water and grease and repulsion
Outside Sarasota, Florida, at this mom and pop
Dan Quayle now calls it "brilliant pebbles,"
I most remember the class where we lie
It was my pool. I had lain there underwater
Somewhere my grandson is writing poems about me.
The world is full of toys, many of them unused
"...in Himmel. Ass mit bayonet I catch
The foreign phrase book says, "How much?"
Her ring is in a safe-deposit box
They were in a big circle.
Four of us piling into the Camaro
The summer I was ten
Bald, middle-aged, tending to fat
Are you okay, she asks

List Two

We sat together at one summer's end,
Whose woods these are I think I know
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Clear water in a brilliant bowl,
She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
The winter evening settles down
Above these cares my spirit in calm abiding
An object among dreams, you sit here with your shoes off
Let us go then, you and I,
In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
And now the green household is dark.
I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
Over the low, barnacled, elephant-colored rocks,
The house was quiet and the world was calm

List Three

of the waiting, the sighing, the everyone
Sitting in winter's shadow
so it's all been said before
Radiant lamp, belief-lit face, dark eyes
key west lingers in one's sweaters
I find you again in an old photograph
Women wake up to find themsleves in kitchens
Night houses sat resting, open-doored
the fruit sleeps
begin the world again
Two ladies in pink, in front of the bicycle shop:
Penelope at the window
The cat's equanimity has been deranged.
time has gone to sleep on the cold hearth
the dead was always there in him

These are all copied from a set of stapled papers I typed out years ago. The lines in the first list are from poems published in a copy of Ploughshares, a poetry journal (not the New Yorker, as I previously said); the lines in the second list are from the Norton Anthology (and are therefore from poems considered to be classics of literature). The third set of lines are from my own poems--not necessarily my best; some of them are actually my earliest (I can tell by the pointless lack of capitalization). Make of it what you will.

My opinion, which still holds after rereading these, is that a dull, clunky first line is usually representative of a poem that doesn't know what it's doing, and also that Sturgeon's Law holds true for poetry too, and a lot of crap is published. It frustrates me, because crap is legitimized and then 90% of *readers* who might stumble across it just don't "get" poetry, which makes "poetry" a trite, Hallmarky-mark word, no longer signifying something glorious.

Not all poetry has to be epic or elegaic or lyrical, of course, but there's such a vast difference between good and bad, and yet to a lot of people, I think, it's all just this amorphous mass of incomprehensible words.



So I have an LJ question. I was talking to anaxila the other day about LJ interests; like, what's the point of them, I asked. Is it primarily a way of identifying yourself to others or of increasing your reading list, or what? Like, at this point, is there any point in me listing interests such as MST3K and poetry and Rothko and dictionaries and black-and-white photography and so on? If I list all these interests, but hardly ever post about them (most of them), won't that be like a gyp to people? I'm brooding dubiously.
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