Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bouts-Rimés project poem the third: Christopher

My friend Christopher sent me several eclectic lists of rhymes for my Bouts-Rimés project.  I decided to do something a little different.  Rather than choose one list, I cobbled together a few of the lists to create three sets of four rhymes and a final set of two, which as far as I know is not an established form, but rather feels like one.

What emerged was a set of words which, to me, seemed to paint a span of time and space.  A few languages and one specific dead city suggested themselves.  Initially I thought of a person who had been alive far longer than a human ought to be, but when it came time to put pen to paper (which, believe it or not, I always actually do in the poem writing process.  I don't know why.  It just feels more written to me when I do that.) I found a rare love poem coming out of me, in some repressive, ragamuffin world.

I feel that the end result is one of my stranger efforts, but I found the creative process to be highly satisfying with this one. 

The Reach
by Paul Mathers

She and I were a digraph.
Leaving 'twas my life's great gaffe.
All action since, not much chaff.
Like Tantalus or a giraffe,
I reach back to those days in Edo.
We kept our love so incognito.
Her grandson called me 'abuelito.'
Oh, those scornful looks from Padrecito.
He caused all hospitableness to pickle.
Goaded the gossip's ears to tickle.
This sailor's dollars weren't worth a nickle.
We lived off tossed out pumpernickle.
I fled by night on my tricycle.
Was ever love so farcical?


  1. Hrm. Looks like I failed at making your brain explode with my apparently-not-so-impossible lists. Drats.

    How's the reading project going?

  2. I am still on Augustine. Every few weeks I have a moment where I go "Doggone it! I am not going to let Augustine derail my reading project!" I take the book back up in earnest and then peter our again after a few days. I have not had this hard of a slog with a book in a long time. I think Thoreau was even easier for me.

    Having said that, I will have a lot to say about it when I'm finally through. I keep looking forward to those wonderful Greek plays in my future.

    Proust is sort of my "treat" book right now although I'm also occasionally taking the bubble gum of The Andy Warhol Diaries over the past week or so.

  3. I admire your tenacity. Right now I'm enjoying The Magic Mountain, Doctor Zhivago, Samuel Johnson's essays, Robertson Davies' essays/speeches, and Figes' history of the Russian Revolution.

    I'm thinking about a major re-reading of Dostoevsky next year, but we'll see. My plans rarely amount to much.