Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poetry in Response...

In past blogs we have talked about the muse, my muse, and how she guides my pen. Through the years, I have learned to force her participation as sometimes she gets distracted and forgets that I still need to write. One of the tools I developed is called poetry in response. It is based on the concept of a Renga which is a series of Haiku between 2 writers, except “In Response” I do not force a form. When MySpace was the thriving center of Social Networking life, I created a group called Poetry in Response and we would do this dance with strangers. It was beautiful. However, the dance is always better with someone that knows how to move.

My friend Caroline and I go way back, met while I was home from A-School before I was shipped overseas, Became pen pals painting pictures of the life that neither could see. As should be expected, crushes grew and then dissipated when life provided new direction, only to be actualized some 15 years later and then smashed by separation, she in California and I in Misery. Still, we are bound by words, and that is something we will always share.

Caroline getting ready to watch me play and write of course:

Recently Caroline has been dealing with some things, so she stripped down and put it on paper. Since I have been feeling the need to write, I took her words as inspiration and wrote a response. With Poetry in Response it is important to understand that it does not have to be a literal continuance of the plot line. It may be a phrase, a word; could be anything from one poem inspiring the other.

Here is her piece:

The strange split
of the man
with two faces:
one turned towards
love absolute
unquestioned --
and the other
turned away
my existence
so shameful
it is unknowable
until I
become two --
the believer:
gazing upon
all that I want
and the realist:
seeing all
that I cannot have...

And my response:

And I know my two faces
as if formed from marble of ancestors living in a different reality.
He stood silent
dry eyed
at the news of last grandma’s passing
shrugs shoulders at death
as if his understanding of life cycles is too advanced for tears.
The other:
his mother’s son
with wet cheeks and glassy eyes
shutters every time a fictional character learns of love
as if the surprise of love is so overwhelming emotions cannot be controlled.
The same self
stoic self
regains composure with knowledge of negative news
as if pain is expected.


  1. That's really awesome! I love the interaction and the results. Very cool!

  2. Thanks Rachel. Caroline started a blog too, so hopefully we can do more of this.