ModPo & Experimental Poetry
Within this tiny darkened space
Infinitesimal myriads race
Inside and out
To confound about
They tumble here and stumble there
And to my ire aloud they shout:
“He said this, she whispered that,
They bumped you there and tipped your hat,
What of, what if, who, what, where, when...!”
And when they finally come to rest
Like snowflakes from a blizzard's wrest
To snowflakes wafting slowly down
If I don't plow away the mass
Deluging clouds will soon befall;
To ice will snow be soon amassed
And then come myriads racing back.
The very many saplings that here dwell
Who with dreams of becoming trees
For abundant fruition one day
Grow gray, gray, gray –
Before fruition, they wither away.
Observe all the wrinkles
The discolored leaves;
Though the young sapling tries to heave
His listless young limbs and broken boughs
'Tis impossible, thus his head bows.
And when the sap runs down his flesh
He blinks to catch a glimpse below
To see what lies before him, deep and low
To grasp why his roots are numb and unsound.
To his astonishment and torment he found
That he had been planted in barren ground.
Thus did all saplings raise their voice
Moaning in sorrow did they curse their growth
And the day when their sowers sowed seeds of lust
Where they'd been thrust.
Molecules of differing
Which stem from
Scenarios in a fluent
That is only understood by
All I can hear is Ralph McTell's Streets of London
Though in this moment the stars still shine
and on a distant planet aliens are listening to a conversation
every child has had with his mother over the sound of warplanes
en route for that very particular mission
light then silence the language tossed like sand into the cosmos.
Deafening dark strata irradiates the universes de-vacuuming hiss
I feel relieved of this, that sentient shamanic outpouring,
the puzzle that vacillates.
"I'll show you something to make you
change your mind."
The Rubix Cubes undoing, dart boards in the attic, a hoopla hoops perished orbit
I'm hoarding my own Death Star from a near/far car park
this out of town urban centre the future Palmyra like Dali's timepiece eroding.
Am I the Aztec gunman with my Nazca lines fuzzing north?
Who will sing of "from there to here" ?
I will never leave this place alive only my words on 45,the aliens with turntables,
cassette and MP3 players,
slack jawed like Napoleon beholding the Rosetta Stone,
an unreturned lend from the library of Alexandria.
Fallen drones carpet the way.
my life has fallen apart
slowly, over months and years
but in these few seconds
all my private fantasies
and my gyroscopic body
came in touch
with the reality of the moment.
Mi vida se cae a pedazos
despacito, durante meses y años
Pero en éstos pocos segundos
todas mis fantasías privadas
y mi cuerpo giroscópico
vino en contacto
con la realidad del momento.
COUNT ONE— FOUR
Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo works at the Department of Humanities of the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
*erasures of the criminal complaint of the United States of America v. Artem Vaulin.
Better than Starbucks began wholly as a creation in my mind. Now the wonderful collaboration of four dedicated editors is creating a monthly magazine that I could have only dreamed about when I was starting out as a one person organization.
Having said that, there are no direct connections between U Penn, Al Filreis, KWH (Kelly Writers House), ModPo (Modern & Contemporary American Poetry), or any of the actual affiliated programs to ModPo and this magazine, other than I have been a part of ModPo for several years now. There is, however, a strong spiritual and intellectual connection between BTS and ModPo.
If I had not gotten involved in the larger community of ModPo, I don't think I would have restarted a literary publication. I am certain I would not have added a Formal & Rhyming Page, and probably not a Translations page. I have a pretty narrow preference for poetry, but the course and the people at ModPo have expanded my view of poetry to the point that I decided if I could find good people to help me do it, we would make BTS as broad of a source of styles and genres as possible. We have been fortunate to establish a team of talented editors and are in the process of an ever expanding quest to find poetry wherever it may be.
Thus, it seems fitting that we dedicate a page to my fellow students at ModPo, and/or anyone who wants to share experimental poems. The thing about experiments is, they often fail, but as the point is to learn, not to create perfection, even failed experiments, in the lab or on this page will offer something for us, if we will find it. and when the experiment doesn't fail... well, you will see! - Anthony Watkins