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Selfportrait as Murder Mystery

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Selfportrait as Murder Mystery 

A Multimedia Poem in 3 Acts


Act 1 (Inciting Incident)

“Why the introduction of the raven / where there had been crows?” -

Media: Found Poetry A. Baez / Doc Concrescence Authors


Where did he go? Inspector Raven asked

as he shooed away 

the murder of crows

leaving an absence

where a Crime

should be


The truth is he said

people always expect it to go

god god god god what have I done

all nice and 4/4 isn’t it?

more likely ¾ like

red red red stab

red red red hit

red red red push

red red red poison

red red red whack


That’s more the way of it

truth is you walk up to the scene

and it’s a right mess blood everywhere

or eerily absent and you wake up one day

and the You that loved rhythm and form

has scampered left without a forwarding

address or a by-your-leave sometimes

driven by passion a breakup or a birth

or even a death you think the Other

killed part of you never to return

but they just took their part

the silly third the created

character when you and 

me always creates 3

little like a Reader

and a Writer


create the Book he said

as he scratched his feathered brow

beneath the moss-colored hat

Without either it doesn’t

exist don’t it? except as 

a doorstop or an agg --

regation of atoms maybe 

photons or whatever

the kids create and cleave

these days but more often

and if I’m wrong I swear I’ll

go self-carrion and eat 

my own flesh slowly over 

Time until naught is left

but dust and rags like

the Old 

Scarecrow over there 

right by the unexpected line break


He goes on on on and on

getting the gist 

after all he did but digress

his charnel-house-chatter

dismissed nothing at all a

stream - of - consciousness

signifying what?

a monologue

predictable and dull

like awakening

and still being



I should take over:

the question that needs answering

I said is How did he do it?

a disappearance of

absence of

kidnap of

murder of

misidentification of

a fundamental lack of

not poetry but a description of

outrage of

crime of -

- of narrative structure

a motif a thematic plot

Self as beginning-middle-end


We have a Witness he said

who says they saw it as 

more a topology

whose texture is

driven by trope


Nah that’s not it


That’s why you’ll never be more than a Sergeant

Inspector Raven said

You don’t even know what you’re looking for

using big words

like that 

means something

when really you’re 


Lost lost lost lost 




Act 2 (Identity & Essence)

“I think you'd be able to get away with it better if there were more clarity ensuing. But why the phonetical constructions, anyway?” -

Media: Discourse/Critique  A . Baez. Dr. Con authors


back again back back

to the swoosh of the real

never to be represented

adequately except as Art 

by its very nature creates

IT (the representation

of the window opening

past midnight in the 

over/over/cast dark

redolent of The Mystery


will never fully capture

the see-saw trill Mrs.Crow’s

Heart made when occupied

in her aptly cast role as

Enforcer & Spy

saw the goat

legged Abyss stare

back at her from the 

mist draped hedgerow


What was she doing

You might rightly ask

middle of the night

What time do you call

This? O’clock


hoping to capture

a tryst a sordid affair a witness of

a presenting of evidence a 

Uh knew he was up to na’good

a story  a piece of gossip

she could barter

for a satisfying

once and for




and although the house

formerly a museum

had stood empty for many

many many many years

(Too many! unless you meant ⅘)

she looked to a Me

who was too long long gone

to provide it)


I once was a victim I sd

didn’t know I 

spoke and 



‘til it was pointed out

You have an unusual way of saying things

like you’re smarter than us she sd


/Reference The Black Mountain School for

contraction of said although I’m doing

It all wrong and NO I’m not going to call

on LANGUAGE poets to defend myself/


Your Honor I sd

I didn’t understand the context

It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone’s

feelings it's just the way I translate




What does that have to do with the case

in question? Or the preposition of

You and Me?

Not I? I sd.

at depth 

and at length


To summarize the prosecution's case in one sentence:

Is the subject subject to the objectification of its nature as object?

I mean you might as well ask

Transubstantiation anyone?


Act 3 (Climax/Lives transformed)

“The very specific, personal mental associations that you have, and that you undoubtedly take for granted, may not feel at all natural to a reader, who may well come to the page with a very different range of life experiences. ” 

Media: Photograph -- Paint -- Print -- Fair Use -- Perspective -- Reflection -- Selfie

Juris Ahn artist


To summarize the Defense:


On day 2 

of the sesshin 

Roshi told us

If you find yourself

with legs cramping

tempted to break

silence frustrated

remember you’re

doing this to yourself

You chose to be here.





As Robert Creeley said to the class

(Name drop much? Have no idea why

I put up with this pretentious REDACTED all the way to the end)

about a piece I’d written

“Is it Poetry?”


Remembering this now

from the dead eyes gazing

at me from the bottom/left

of the frame


the only reasonable answer

NO it was Murder!


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This is meant as a bit of fun! It is not meant to offend - I was struck by Baez's comments on   /kyärəˈsk(y)o͝orō/ and realized how it really didn't bother me, rather, I found it inspirational and deserving of the kind of bardic smackdown poets are wont to do;-) Many Thanks for the inspiration! Had a great deal of fun composing this.

Dr. Con

Join the Voodoo rEvolution. Classes forming now: http://www.integralvoodoo.org/

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A. Baez

😃 🤪 😳 🥶 🤡 🥵 🧐 🥺 👾

No words! No words!!!

Except, I notice you didn't credit me for my quote introducing Act 3. 😉

And, who needs drugs when we have Dr. Concrescence?




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TY! AB --- a really great compliment and a nice picture;-) I can add you as author to part 3 but I did see it as a progression From the initial 'Found Poetry' and Dr. Concrescence to the personal 'real name -- Juris Ahn, at which point its not as much about 'your' critique but my personal reaction to it -- Hence the Media listed as 'Fair Use.' I can absolutely give you credence if so desired, originally, rather than Fair Use, I was just gonna write 'plagiarism' which I can also do;-) !

Much Gratitude for your kind response and 'good sportship'



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A. Baez

I'm actually getting a lot more out of this this morning than last night. Now that it's starting to seem coherent, it's starting to seem brilliant.

I love the concept of the poet being put on trial within a poem of his own, about his earlier poem, which featured a murder, and which, a critic (who has been summoned to testify) alleges killed something poetical in the process. I'm thinking Italo Calvino, or...have you and Carroll ever sat down for tea?

"It's just the way I translate silence:" as in Joyce, a pure and classic jewel sloshing amidst the stew.

About the "fair use" designation, I see!


I can absolutely give you credence

Ha! I guess so, since the verdict came out in my favor. But credit isn't needed. I'd like to think that those words I uttered spoke for more than just myself.

"Is it Poetry? No it was Murder!" Hilarious. 🤣



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A worthy collaboration! (And now they're bickering over credits, for the royalties I presume.) :laugh:

I wasn't there, Juris, but you were ... Would be very interested to know in what context Creeley asked his question. Was it rhetorical? Was he asking someone's genuine, subjective opinion? It's not necessarily a negative ...


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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A. Baez

Yes, Tony, this postmodern-feeling enterprise definitely has sparked my imagination! Creeley's question sounds like a simple echo of the hallmark question of modernism, "Is it art?" People began to throw around that question in almost any context that presented starting in the mid-forties, when the prevailing trend became to philosophize, more deeply than ever, on what the fundamental attributes of art were and how many of its traditional elements could be stripped away while still maintaining that designation. Of course, similar trends swept across all art forms, including poetry, and I imagine Creeley was simply picking up that thread. I'm sure that someone somewhere along the line asked, "What about one single word, or letter--is that (or could that be) poetry?"

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Yes AB You have the scene fairly correct;-) Tony, it was not meant to be a negative thing, but it happened at the end of class, and so the 'teaching moment' it was meant to be, was lost and I ended up with a great deal of self doubt and loathing;-) Mind you this was 30 years ago? But it took awhile before I began to write again -- The context (If your interested) was I had been reading Richard Brautigan and was feeling rather inspired by his poetic vignettes and was attempting to do (I found Leslie Scalapino in '"Considering How Exaggerated Music Is" to be a master at) was do a form of prose/poem and was a bit of a druggie/geek/hipster surrounded by non-literature majors who were baffled by the beats but needed an easy credit -- I assume Creeley would have argued that it was poetry- But I never found out. HA!



Join the Voodoo rEvolution. Classes forming now: http://www.integralvoodoo.org/

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Thank you A. Baez, for your thoughts and Juris, for the anecdote. I'm no expert when it comes to art history, to all the various art and literary movements. But I do think it's possible to like samples from more than one, even many different ones.

I took the tour when visiting the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I remember the tour guide recounting that one of the reasons Dali painted "The Basket of Bread" was to silence the critics who opined that he only painted in his usual surreal style because he lacked classical skill. I saw the work up close, and the detail was exquisite. 

I'm excited by all the different styles of poetry/art, and I have found works I love in a mutlitude of styles. There will always be naysayers, closed minded haters, etc. I came across Whistler's "Nocturne in Black and Gold" recently while engaged in some art appreciation online. It has an interesting background story. The work was controversial, despised by many! How ridiculous. I happen to love the painting.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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A. Baez

Juris, I hadn't been at all sure whether the Creeley episode you recounted was a real event or part of the sprawling mythological web you were spinning! How amazing that you got to study under that luminary! Now, I'm not big into modernist poetry, but I know enough about it to know that Creeley is a big name.

Tony, I'm no expert in art and literary history, either, but I did take a class in college called Art and Criticism 1945-present, so I do feel as though I have a key to modern art and modernism more broadly that many people don't seem to have. I learned to see this art through a different lens than that of other art and not judge it very much by traditional standards, which in many or even most cases were simply never meant by the artists to apply. Your anecdote about Dali is a case in point. (I went to that Dali museum too!) Similarly, Picasso was adept as a realist before he started going in very different, and more famous, directions.

I love Nocturne in Black and Gold! The use of negative space here, accentuated by the "negative" quality of the black sky, is so effective. Personally, I would think that Whistler would be quite a safe way for people to tip their toes into modernism, because he still had a fairly firm foot in tradition. I live very close to the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, where my mother was a docent for years when I was a child and which houses a large Whistler collection. I spent quite a few hours as a young person tagging my mother in that museum, gazing at the Whistler works there and once, listening to a long and detailed lecture on this artist. So I feel a special affinity for him.

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