Monday, December 14, 2009

In which I invent the term Fractured homophone.

This two stanza poem, by me, "Ode to Bookstore and Dinner Out, in Spring," is a fractured homophone of the two final stanzas of Keats' majestic "Ode to Autumn."


Ode to Bookstore and Dinner Out, in Spring


The author haunts inside the stone store,

brick and mortar. I look for her to find,

caressing pages on a beige/blue carpet floor,  

her soft hair lifted by no window but by the wind

of a door revolving.  Others are found asleep,  

drowsy in fumes of coffee, as piped songs hook    

like twilight shadows of twin-stalked flowers crook

an urban elder.  Old New Yorker.  A gleaner keeps 

re-shelving.  Kids returning.  Laden cart, each book

confected by a press, with painted look,    

pimps my loyal roost. Each someone’s child.

You’d think I rooster, hour by hour, but I run.


Here is hungry Spring. When are harvest days?

Don’t think of them, we have our corner diner too.

Above dinner, tight clouds vice to a shatter or a fake.

No way in this wet season to not begin to be.

“See, son, rivers, Hudson, Seine, Tigris, mourn  

that human fish who hopes moss only grows north.”    

Over-thinking our clues to what lives or dies

is frowned on by my cool-bodied gulls just born.      

Idol contestants sing; and now with treble soft  

your waitress whistles at a sketch of Lara Croft,    

as, outside, bluebirds dive bomb from the skies.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;  15
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, 
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers: 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
Steady thy laden head across a brook;  20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, 
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours. 
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? 
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— 
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day  25
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft 
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;  30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft; 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

1 comment:

Peter Harter said...

When I read this poem I was listening to Monk's Dream by Thelonious Monk (at lala). You ought to try it. Two thoughts went through my head. Have you read Mina Loy lately? And the second thought was "Why does my brain always reference poets from the modern period when reading JMH?" And the answer may be that JMH has a lot in common w/ modern poets, esp. new york poets--in that metropolitan, salon visiting ear before WW1.