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[personal profile] dave_bonta
I'd hoped to share one more poem here today, but I'm afraid I'm coming down with something that makes sitting upright nauseating, so let me try instead to sum up.

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[personal profile] dave_bonta
Purple Sea Urchin

 

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

The urchin uses its spines as feet; for it rests its weight on these, and then moving shifts from place to place.
Aristotle, The History of Animals

Spines have more uses
than one would think.
Sure, they defend against sea otters
and the voracious stars.
Ball-jointed, they swivel to catch
pieces of floating algae
for the shorter, two-
fingered pedicellines to convey
to the bottom-scraping mouth
& its five sharp pyramids.

 

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[personal profile] dave_bonta

How Glass Breaks: Four Theories

1.
Brittleness
on the macroscopic scale
can be deceiving. Measured
in microns, the fracture surface
resembles the long-lost, infinitesimal
twin of a rent in metal -–
that famously elastic break.
So too, then, with glass:
cavities as narrow as a few nanometers
open ahead of the crack,
not-glass
flowing together
in the last fraction of a second before
the wineglass shatters under
the bridegroom’s shoe.


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[personal profile] dave_bonta

In their kivas at Shiwanna
the medicine priests preserve
their most arcane chants
in a foreign language, songs
attributed to the ancient Founder
of the healing arts: a gambler,
a vagabond chased from town to town
by stone-throwing children,
disappearing at last into the invisible
realm of the spirit animals
in the mountains to the east:
Shipapulima, city of mists.

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[personal profile] dave_bonta
Hello! Thanks to [personal profile] jjhunter for the invitation to play poetry host this week, although I am also of course your guest -- an interesting combination of roles. I beg your indulgence as I try to figure out how things work around here. (I just got an account on Saturday.) I have an online bio if you're interested in publications and such.

As my blog Via Negativa and the literary magazine I edit, qarrtsiluni, both testify, I have a weakness for themed series. So this week I wanted to post a series of poems illustrating some idea or approach that might be of interest to working poets at all skill levels, and what I finally settled upon is poetry and research. I'll share examples of poems I've written that required varying amounts of historical or scientific research to write, and talk about how creative writing can actually assist the process of investigation, leading us to insights we might not otherwise have had. Along the way, I'll recommend other authors and books and invite you to share your own recommendations and experiences.

My original thought for this week was to write about what I know best: the online culture of self-publishing, sharing and collaboration, with examples of poems I've written or envideoed that wouldn't have happened if I were still confined to typewriter and print publication. And I still think that's an interesting topic -- one which I'd enjoy hearing from y'all about, actually, because there are so many inspiring stories out there. How has writing here, or being on the internet generally, helped your work? Or do you have to unplug from the internet to get anything useful written? (That's my situation sometimes, I must admit.)

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