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Poetry Magnum Opus

Of dust, paper, and steel


JoelJosol
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-------------------------------- version 1 -----------------------------------------------
There is silence in the white space where there are no words to read,
unsure where is here or there, the near or far, the up or down.
Only stillness where time appears congealed, undefined. Am I
floating? The pavement, unseen, sticks to my feet.
What is the sound of black smoke when a poem burns like Twin Towers,
its lines give up, collapse into a heap of bodies of pages, dumped
from the sky, into that open space, with unfinished thoughts?
On the ground, the words had split apart, paper from meaning.
Is there art in twisted metal, shooting from piles of concrete and shards
of glass? Or in the new daylight against pale walls and broken windows,
piercing the left-over mist among the quiet dead? Here, the brave
races to a black door, to enter into white, undefined spaces
where no sound escapes, no colors are seen, no memories
of black smoke and the weight of onrushing ground.

 

 

 

----------------- version 2------------------

Is that silence in the white space
where there are no words to read,
unsure of where is here or there,
the near or far, the up or down,
or only stillness where time appears
congealed, undefined? Am I floating?
The pavement, unseen, sticks to my feet.
What is the sound of black smoke when
a poem burns like Twin Towers,

Its lines collapsed onto a heap of bodies
of pages, dumped from that sky?
On the ground, the papers lose their meaning,
the words had split apart. Is there art
in twisted metal, shooting from piles
of concrete and shards of glass? Or
in the new daylight against pale walls
and broken windows, against the remnant
of left-over mist among the dead?
Or in derailed lines of thought,
scattered on the dust-covered ground?

 

 

* Hi guys, this poem was inspired by the book American Photo 9.11.01. Glad to be back to share this inspiration.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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A poem about writing poetry about a photo and the struggle of capturing that wordless sense in words and communicating that inspiration as only a poet can...

 

Well executed& I love it!

 

Juris

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.

 

Gate(less.png

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Is that silence in the white space

where there are no words to read,

 

 

Difficult to progress from the beauty of such an opening.

 

I prefer the longer line format you've used at pc

 

badge

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in the white space
where there are no words to read,

Concur. Fabulous. I once read: 'The poem is the shape AROUND the words...."

 

Is there art in twisted metal?

 

Another intense line. Must have been difficult to compose this. But it works.

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Thanks, DC, for the read and feedback.

 

Badge, I did struggle in the format in trying to create a visual impact after "white space" but I did sense something was lost when I broke it up compared to the original long line.

 

DCmarti, those are the two lines I held on to to build the poem :-)

 

9-11 photographs from the book gave me the stirring inside to write again. I will come back shortly.

The site sometimes reject me from accessing it with a 'forbidden access' message. I'm glad Alexandra has somehow got around it.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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"Is there art in twisted metal, shooting from piles of concrete and shards
of glass?"

 

A well formulated piece that leaves me with a feeling.. that words alone perhaps don't do justice in the depiction of certain things. You handle this very well however.. and I also prefer the longer lines. B.

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I found a new way to write some lines of the poem.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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I love the poetic pictures you painted, but I hate the memory of that day. There is little room left in my brain for scenes of terror. Strange, maybe, but I prefer the compactness of version 2.

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I have done a good deal of ekphrasis, but have never tried to tackle this subject, should it be defined as art,or not.

 

I am, I suspect, still too conflicted about this incident and what happened before, during and after.

from the black desert

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I greatly appreciate your words, in both versions and do not wish to comment on which is what, but I will tell you, you brought me back the TV set, I could see from my desk, on the phone with my husband and the horror and disbelief...

 

Difficult for me, still, although I have learned to more than believe it. You've done an excellent job with either/both versions, Joel. You've probably done what you intended with the piece, you remind us what it feel like. I could feel the emotion in your words.

 

tammi

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I like this a lot, Joel, especially version 1. I think you should cut the 'had' from "On the ground, the words had split apart, paper from meaning."

 

Good to see you back and writing so well!

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Hi dedalus. Thanks for the feedback. I will consider that.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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