Monday, January 30, 2006

Poem Ten







“BEFORE CROSSING THE ROAD…”

Children’s traffic park; Pondicherry

If you don’t look left and right
there will be nothing left to be right

for you. Crushed under a demon’s foot.
The traffic such that they blur, left and right.

Asked to leave Auroville for hushed laughter at uptightness,
they left, but it didn’t seem right.

Prohibitions don’t work that way, clearing what’s
wrong away so what’s left is right.

This beach is foreigners only. Rock hard Indian
security men ensure that. Nightsticks. Just

French flour thighs left.

7 Comments:

At 6:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this. Not sure what French flour thighs means. (What it refers to and what image I am supposed to get.)

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous momster said...

That statue is so scary, I think a child would be too frightened to even enter the park! Nevermind crossing the street properly.

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger pete. said...

French flour thighs... Yeah, it's bad. I'm not high on this poem. It's supposed to refer to the racist policies of the beach at Auroville (I wish I knew how to put a link here--to Auroville, not their "racist policies"). Lots of French people (because the Mother was French)and bullying security men kicking Indians off the beach.
Backstory doesn't matter ultimately--I need to re-write the image.

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger DBD said...

I actually like the French flour thighs...maybe as you work on the piece, it will feel more natural to you. I'd be curious to see it incorporate even more kid-style stuff like the first two lines...maybe give the whole thing a children's song tone...I don't know...this probably won't make sense, and I do mean it in a good way, but it keeps bringing the Dylan "Under the Red Sky" song into my head. Why is that? But that's kind of what I mean by a children's rhyme vibe.... I'm afraid this isn't helping at all... but I will say don't totally abandon those thighs.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Slick said...

Pete,

That's *&%*#! excellent. It's got punch. It is punchy.

slick

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger Slick said...

It's interesting to see the pictures against the poems, as it gives me an idea of where the poems are coming from, but ultimately what I'm interested in is seeing the distance the poems take from the "moment" that inspired them. And, while there's surely some fidelity in this poem to the photo and the moment, I like the way the poem starts there and then takes off running. To the beach, in this case.

Do you envision publishing the poems with photos, or the poems by themselves? How about a book in which the first half is the photos, the second half the poems?

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger pete. said...

Thanks...I actually did a major re-write of this poem this morning. Thighs are still in there. You see, I really didn't like this one at all. I had just forced myself to write a couple shorter ones and decided to try my hand at some Ghazals since that's an Indian form. They didn't turn out Ghazals. I rewrote this one using my Oblique Strategies cards that arrived yesterday. I'll post the re-write tomorrow. I like the idea of half-photos/half-poems, but I can't imagine being able to do that...

 

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