Feeling introspective and thinking about a friend of mine. The Bref Double is odd because the rules are not limiting, but I did break one of them by not making the lines a consistent length. It’s sort of a weird sonnet with no meter. Maybe it sounds better in French (bref doo-blay?). I followed AXBC | XAXC | BXXC | AB for this one, but it sounds like there are a few variations.
A Bref Double for My Friend
You are lost. Just a little lost. I know how that can feel. That it hurts, but you can’t explain how. No anchor, no sails, no sunshine.
Brief joy in a hearty laugh or a found high, and you buy those moments at any cost because you know, once it’s gone, you just have to wait until next time.
But I’m happy to tell you that you can get out. The truth is that those moments are not real joy. They are distractions from what life is really about. And it’s your own head that’s telling you that you are not fine.
This shift in your mindset is a bridge you must cross, from the person you will be Then to the You you are Now.
Have to say I loved The Blitz, a 50-line, super-fast, meant-to-be-read-aloud form created by Robert Keim. There is no punctuation and no required rhyme. I could explain the rules, but it’s better to just glean the form by reading an example. Try to read this without moving your lips, or bobbing your head, or getting into some kind of rhythm. It has an inherent lyrical beat that’s hard to ignore.
Come by Day
Here we go
Here we come
Come and go
Come to know
Know your self
Know your name
Name the price
Name the game
Game is won
Game is lost
Lost in love
Lost in space
Space and time
Space and place
Place to stay
Place to be
Be on track
Be on time
Time is mine
Time is money
Watch your self
Watch your step
Step to the front
Step to the back
Back of the line
Back of your mind
Mind your surroundings
Mind your manners
Manners and respect
Respect your self
Respect your neighbors
Neighbors are noisy
Neighbors will think
Think about the future
Think about your family
Forever in debt
Young and beautiful
Young and broke
Broke as a joke
Broke up the day
Day and night
Day by day
Blackout Poetry, or Erasure Poetry, involves taking a segment of complete work and removing a limited amount of words to create a new poem. A Blackout basically takes a Sharpie to a printed work, leaving behind a series of words or characters to make something new. I tried this with a preface page from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I copied an image and added black rectangles in Paint to reverse highlight the words I wanted–it was a surprisingly creative experience! I can see these being really meaningful if the new edit somehow references the meaning of the original text.
The final text reads “Preface: time laughs at Fate | your World was found | human and beautiful it grows”
I didn’t really enjoy my experience writing Anagrammatic Poetry, in which the lines of the poem are anagrams (scrambles) of the title. I hummed an hawed to try to make something that made sense, which isn’t really the point. I started out very ambitious, then tried to just make a sensible couplet, and just could not do it! I might try this again some other time, but for now this was the best I came up with.
I never thought that would happen…
I never thought that would happen…
Put A world though event thin heap
Thorough pet up than held twin wave
Prevent u what tough hate pin hold
Alphabet poetry is pretty self-explanatory. Each line starts with a letter of the alphabet, each word starts with the next letter of the alphabet, etc. I added an element of rhyme to this one, and I actually learned a lot about the zodiac in the process! Much harder than I thought it would be, but this form can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.
Alpha on Zodiac
Zodiac, by definition, is an imaginary belt of the heavens.
You can trace the concept back to Babylonian times.
Xenophiles of ancient Rome recorded the zodiac in essence.
Western astrology divides the zodiac into twelve signs.
Variations of the zodiac focus on animals, elements, or dates.
Universally, the signs are applied to astrological horoscopes.
True believers use these transmissions to predict their fates.
Skeptics dismiss such nonsense as a way to sell dreams and hopes.
Rams are the symbol of the fire sign Aries under planet Mars.
Quick to judge, but warm and vital, an Aries is a natural leader.
Peaceful and methodical is Taurus the bull, drawn to pleasures.
Often reserved, but only to a point, these are stability seekers.
Next is Gemini, the twin sign of the social and adventurous.
Much like Cancer, the loyal crab surrounded by friends and family.
Leo the lion is relaxed and in charge, yet proud and decorous.
Keep Leos grounded, as they can border on smugness or pageantry.
Just the opposite, Virgos are sympathetic, logical, and practical.
Introverted maybe, but always thinking and applying their skills.
Harmony and balance are key to Libras, who are fair and tactical.
Genuine and matter-of-fact, the Scorpio seeks passion and thrills.
Freedom, learning, and discovery are paramount to Sagittarius.
Enterprising Capricorn is ambitious, serious, and goal-oriented.
Decent and generous, yet stubborn, describes humanitarian Aquarius.
Casual on the outside, Pisces is inwardly sensitive yet contented.
By and large, the pop culture of the zodiac is a departure from science.
A glance up to the stars on a clear night can vindicate our compliance.
Talk about a tricky form… The Ae Freislighe is an form is constructed of 4 line stanzas (or quatrains) that follow a tight rhyme scheme. Each line contains 7 syllables, the first and third lines ending in a three syllable triple-rhyme (xxa) and the second and third lines ending in a two syllable double-rhyme (xxb). The last line should start with the first word of the first line. (Who thought of this???) Anyway the form forces some sing-songiness, but I thought it could help loosen up a heavy topic like politics. You be the judge!
Let’s Talk Politics
Three cheers for democracy
A system made by choices.
Now I see dichotomy
and conflict forced by voices.
When stating your opinion,
don’t droll on and on carefree.
You might feign a position
which with others don’t agree.
It might not seem concerning
to not want to look aloof,
but others are discerning
if they do or don’t approve.
It can damage character
and it can hurt your business.
It makes online predators
and turns an old friend vicious.
Our system must continue,
the flipside is too scary.
Just know we all contribute,
Three branches and the many.
I love acrostic poetry I’ve added this element to other poems without calling it an acrostic because I think it’s a fun hidden message for analytic readers (which I’m not, but I like writing that way). Yesterday I wrote an abstract poem, Saturday Morning at the Diner, and I acrostic-ally added the word BREAKFAST using the first letter of each line. Actually, that was how I started and how I decided which sounds to use. These are really fun because they add the puzzle aspect of formal poetry that I really enjoy, but the chance of a reader spotting it is a lot greater than a particular beat or meter.
Can you recall your first great read? An epic novel or time-honored classiC?
Once you crack that cover and read those first few lines—away you gO.
Verse and chapters build a world that becomes TOo real for movies or TV.
Experience another time or place, another life, without having to go anywherE.
Reading: The vacation you didn’t know you needed, the answer you weren’t looking foR.