So I've been getting into this poetry shit more and more lately. Started when I decided to write a poem for my girlfriend on our anniversary and, upon looking at the result, decided it was formally a little better than it had to be, not just the unstructured sentimental crap I was expecting I'd put out. I'd been intimidated into not even trying for too long by the disastrous rubbish I put out in my teens, not to mention the intimidation produced by by genuine poets who had a better grasp of meter, villanelle forms, etc. That, and Dan Schneider's fierce but accurate criticisms of anyone and everyone.
But I realized that if I didn't worry about whether what came out was going to be crap or not, things got a lot easier. This approach is what eventually led to the Xiaxue poem. I saw Xiaxue towering in my mind as a colossal figure, so in order to assess the impact of this, I decided I needed to go for the most overblown classical metaphors and phrasings possible. Even the abca rhyme scheme allowed for the delayed release of the buildup of long lines. It was self-consciously ridiculous excess, and while the resultant poem wasn't what I'd call great, I will say that motivating its production was probably the most important thing Xiaxue will accomplish in her life.
At any rate, here's a new one for you all. Oh yeah, and if you get a chance, check out some Mina Loy poems. Amazing, amazing stuff.
Conceive of me as a fatted shadow
pranced on piebald puppet-screens
Better an anti-shadow: I am the doppelganger
of nothing. I haunt it
as time haunts a pocket-watch. A mirror looks at me
I do not age
as you age.
I counter-recede into
the uneventuated horizon.
In me a thousand sepia suns never set
And in me the tip of the subconscious iceberg
protrudes from an in-ground pool.
Boys and girls are the snakeskins
of my fashion whims
the attention of imitation stokes my chameleon womb
and it opens like a nacreous nightflower
like a dryad nested in the bark of sleep
like the lunar echo of an x-rayed skull
I cry only opals.
You who watch the waver of a marionette string
with such detachment - I watch you turn
a blind eye to the shared source
of that suspicious umbilicus.
You circling sharks around my diving cage of
dreamless hopeless unsleep
I play your Panoptic prisoner:
your shark-eyed cameras' Argus eyes
set to soft-focus.
It is necessary
that I am viewed as a product.
So that you will not see
That I have produced you too.
Our shared complicity
Keep one eye on the split seams
That I show you
As I spill my clockwork guts
and cover the floor with a bed of roses
With the other eye watch my face
of star-fired porcelain and
watch my mouth: