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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Poem Written While Waiting Online at Staples

So this is pretty interesting.  At least to me it is.  I went to buy myself a new notebook this afternoon around the corner at Staples.  And while standing in line I wrote a poem.  I've never quite managed that feat before - in one clean shot a poetic composition complete, ready to stand on its own, without further adieu.  Not only that, I went home right away and published the poem via Twitter.  I wasn't sure at the time I wrote it how many characters it would be.  In other words, it wasn't initially written pursuant to a formal notion or constraint of 140 characters. Rather I wrote the poem I wanted to only subject to the constraint of standing on line at Staples and it just so happened that it fell under Jack Dorsey's prescribed limit to be publishable on Twitter.

In any case, here is the poem I wrote and first published on Twitter together with the photo I took while standing in line.

Now once again
I've returned to
The scene of
Previous mention
In line at Staples
Except this time
I manage to go through
With the purchase

I imagine some of you well might think - it's not much of a poem.  And no doubt that's quite true.  But please bear in mind the circumstances under which it was written.  And also please take a moment to read the poem I wrote immediately prior to this (which you can read by clicking here) to which this poem directly relates if not answers.  So in a sense I suppose it may be cheating slightly - as this poem is formally constrained to being 140 characters or less but it does in part derive meaning by reference to a slightly longer prior poem.  (In fact Haiku originally developed in a very similar manner through a tradition of linked short poems known as Renku or Renga - so there is even good historical precedent for that poetic business model as well!)

In any case, whether it's a good poem or not is utterly besides the point.  What is of note here is that I have made a discovery for myself.  It's such a good idea I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't a number of other poets out there exploring similarly how to really use Twitter instead of continuing to resist it.  So far I have only seen poets using Twitter in the usual ways - as a means of self-promotion, casual banter or snide asides.  But getting beyond such banalities there is no reason we can't someday hope to see a genre of poetry spring up here too, like a modern day version of Haiku or better yet Renku!  A new journal or two from some hipsters in Brooklyn is surely soon to follow and what more after that do you suppose? Just wait until next week ...     

Poem Written in Line While Waiting at Staples

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