Greetings Tasters, These days are partakings more language than lemon meringue. Poppycakes, mindful of the white foam of wedding gown, is trying hard to eat less since the gym is like a lost city in her mind, something sunken and inaccessible. It isn't really so, but she is Apriling another way just now and soon, soon, the pool out at Chez Poppycakes will be open and perhaps the morning swim can re-begin. For now, it is all work and plans and the poor daily poemings of this month get skipped. So pre-grading, pre-Sweetcakes phone pow-wow where we discuss our next adventure (stay tuned!) I am going to load up the last several days of glass frog poem.
The thing is with this process is that it reveals every wart (no frog pun intended) and to write off a prompt each day and to post each day's portion of poem is to show the unkissed frog that is the poem and to rarely strike a princely note. I mean it's rough, the roughest of rough drafts because writing requires a certain writing frame of mind. Stolen moments can create interesting pressures and effects but they can also make for writing that feels like pre-writing.
But when there is no time, the only process is to create raw material. To do otherwise is to put off the process. The most valuable thing a writer can acheive is the ability to allow ugly work out in the air. It sounds counter-intuitive but it means that the editor that crosses out each sentence before it is even written, must go on holiday. And it means that to create the clunky, awkward first draft of a thing is valuable. It creates material. No clay, no sculpture. Clay alone: glorified mud. But it provides so much opportunity for beauty because it gives the hands a place to cut in, carve away, polish, refine, smooth. Without it, there is only air for our hands to mold and whatever we create, it looks to the eye that there is nothing there.
Like the skin of the glass frog. And with that I bring you the next five stanzas (gulp). The prompts that I sometimes rather loosely drew from: 6. Post 7. A sevenling poem. (This was fun and produced the kind of haikuish effect I desired.) 8. Instructional (I barely did this) 9. Hunted, hunter. 10. Suffering. I chose to tackle this one in the epistolary form, try to move from facts about the actual amphibians or the various literal nouns that the glass frog brings to mind and into some poems where glass frogs are more figurative.
post climate change
post fungal attack
post so many lost magics
a frog-shaped window
the size of a nickel
how could we make
up this thing?
The clouds outside
the frog cover two trees
in smoke leaves, mouselline.
The clouds inside
the frogs: white eggs, round clouds
shone off a glass pond.
The heavens hung outside & strung inside us.
Little visible universe, what’s clear to us
is trouble. Little world inside a world,
clearly both in trouble. Limbed snowglobe,
the city inside you is ours. What plagues
wander wafty through your rivers
and alleyways, show in you, grow In you,
matter on a glass slide. Diagnostic Divinator,
what your body foretells is too clear. Little laboratory,
you are test tubes and beakers, your life
on display, in despair, the clunky bioindicators
shown elegant and guileless there.
Little world in a world, trouble,trouble toil
and trouble doubles in the cauldron
that boils us quiet, everything hidden
inside our hides of disguise. Only our heart
revealed, worn inside the transparent sleeve of you.
What hunts down the glass frog
is fungus and broken weather.
Hunted and haunted, the hunter, ourselves,
the hunt learns the frog’s hopscotch,
in a half-moon swivel, hops back on us.
Dearest Visionary, I call you Whispertine.
A word for what seeing the entire workings of someone makes me think. Whispertine, fragile, stubborn as prayer in the face of the futility of the thing. A Minnesotan scientist found you rainforested in Cost Rica and enchanted, shaped his life around your species. I know what it is to follow a whim extravagantly, but there is with your dainty-architecture, something touching. A cocktail of terror and sincerity. What it must be to be so revealed. No pithy metaphors for what windows into our souls, no open heart, the lung hangs like a bota bag, we peer inside you and fear our own glass organs, champagne flute-thin, too delicate, tender to mishandling and crying to the touch. We suffer your unarmed suffering, feel for the unwilling intimacy our look-through-you brings. Ours is a painful secrecy, hidden in our hides, we fear such openness. What rushes inside us, as powerful and demolishing as entire seas. But we do understand the path of your wanderings. To live in forest of clouds, your hide a sieve for every weather, to live at the heel of paradise, to only come down for love.