************

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Anyone Wanna Play?

This is a test.
This is only a test..............Unless you guys come through with a great poem, in which case I will take full credit for knowing that this would work.

So here’s the deal. We’re going to see if there are enough of us here to write a collaborative sestina. For those who don’t know sestinas, they consist of 6 6-line stanzas, plus a final 3-line stanza. The last words of the first 6 lines are repeated in a particular pattern in the following stanzas. This is the pattern of last words (with each number representing a word):

Stanza 1: 123456
Stanza 2: 615243
Stanza 3: 364125
Stanza 4: 532614
Stanza 5: 451362
Stanza 6: 246531

Final stanza: first line contains 1 and 2, second line contains 3 and 4, third line contains 5 and 6


Yes, there are variations, but let’s try this one. No worries about line length or meter.

Please contribute only one line per stanza. If there aren’t enough of us to finish the poem, then I guess the world will end.

If you add a line in the first stanza, please remember that the last word must be repeated in each of the following stanzas. Yes, I know you’ll be tempted to end a line with the word "sclerotomy," but don’t.

That said, it’s just fine to play with forms of words, homophones, hyphenated words, etc. at the ends of lines.

Please cut and paste the previous lines into the comment when you add a new line. That way, we can easily read the entire poem as it comes together.

I’ll get the sestina started with a first line:

They met at the Bamboo Room

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue



[Although I don't know if there was any music at all in the real Bamboo Room]

J.E. Stanley said...

Oops!
"where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue" was meant to be a single line. It appeared as a single line in the preview, but wrapped down in the actual post.

Shelley Chernin said...

No problem, Jim. It's actually a single line if you open up the full post instead of the little comment window.

mary Turzillo said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark

T.M. Göttl said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath.

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath.

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes

Mary Turzillo said...

as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room,

Mary Turzillo said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath.

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath.

Her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath.

Her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath.

Her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath.

T.M. Göttl said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.

Mary Turzillo said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc

mary Turzillo said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath.

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark

Mary Turzillo said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths

Shelley Chernin said...

Can anyone help? Our Bamboo Room lovers are stuck in the 5th stanza of their sestina.

The one-line-per-person-per-stanza rule means that those of use who have added to the 5th stanza must wait for someone else to complete it. We need a line that ends with the word "plenty."

Coitus interruptus or can we keep this baby going?

J.E. Stanley said...

Hi Shelley,

I don't want to give up on the Bamboo Room. If no one adds a line by, say, August 8th (or any date you'd like to pick) would you consider abandoning the one-line-per-person-per-stanza rule?

Jim

Shelley Chernin said...

Sure, Jim. The one-line-per-person-per-stanza rule was designed to keep things mixed up. Let's just say that if no one adds a line by August 8th, the new rule will be that one person can't contribute 2 successive lines. That'll get things rolling again and still retain the collaborative flavor.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Sounds good.

I like it so far!!!!

pottygok said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

Shelley Chernin said...

Thanks for the line!

OK. Last 6-line stanza. Have fun, everyone!

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue

Anonymous said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth

Anonymous said...

Sorry! Just read your criteria for the last line...ugh, and I can't delete because I'm anonymous! Plus, I didn't want the responsibilty of the ast line...
I think Geoff and Mary should collaborate on it, but I'll try again, if only to make up for the mistake....

Anonymous said...

Wait--is it six line stanzas and a final three line stanza? That's how I'm taking it (whew, now the pressure's off...).

Shelley Chernin said...

All's well and surely will end well, but not yet. Yes, six 6-line stanzas and then the final stanza. Thanks for contributing!

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth
of his sadness, his knowing that this is the last time, that dark

Shelley Chernin said...

Let's get this sestina finished. We're so close.

New rules are now in effect: You may contribute more than one line per stanza, but not successive lines.

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth
of his sadness, his knowing that this is the last time, that dark
notes will blue this melody, and their

J.E. Stanley said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth
of his sadness, his knowing that this is the last time, that dark
notes will blue this melody, and their
song become an endless ache once they leave this room.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth
of his sadness, his knowing that this is the last time, that dark
notes will blue this melody, and their
song become an endless ache once they leave this room.

There can never be room enough, he knows, not ever, but plenty

Mary Turzillo said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
These colors kill me, he says. She says. There, there--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
The color's different, she says, in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do. Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth
of his sadness, his knowing that this is the last time, that dark
notes will blue this melody, and their
song become an endless ache once they leave this room.

There can never be room enough, he knows, not ever, but plenty
of emptiness there, as they vanish into the blue

Shelley Chernin said...

They met at the Bamboo Room;
there's no bamboo there, but plenty
of privacy, in the booth there
where smoky jazz tinged the air a translucent blue.
A guy could get lost in the dark
while fumbling for a last-chance breath,

her grass skirt rustling like when the wind breathes
as the guy gasps for air, give me room, room
to move, space to roam. She looks back, her eyes dark,
wide, an open field with plenty,
like a vast sea of ionic cobalt blue.
"These colors kill me," he says. She says. "There, there"--

and takes a drag from her cigarette. Their
lips meet. He savors the rum and the smoke on her breath,
recalling last-night's dream, somehow crystalized and blue.
"The color's different," she says, "in my room.
There's wine and sad music and plenty
to do." Her pink orchid lei smells like dark

blossoms opening, like night flames for Jeanne d'Arc
and he's burning, they're spinning, they're
adrift in blue oceans; mad, mad. But plenty
of heat. Fevered moans erupt in gasps of rhythmic breath;
for every bride, a groom, and every room
inside their bodies sings with music Coltrane blew.

He shakes his head, steals her cigarette, and says "We blew
hard, baby, like a storm, like thunder crashing through the dark
like soul pirates," in his eyes betrayal of rheum.
Still blazing, she licks away his tear, melding their
...their what? Silence, then. Then only their breaths,
and the subtle whisper from the bass. That's plenty

of cool to heat two hearts, plenty
of fire, enough to singe the cold white moon. Blue
are the scales he knows, blue the width and breadth
of his sadness, his knowing that this is the last time, that dark
notes will blue this melody, and their
song become an endless ache once they leave this room.

There can never be room enough, he knows, not ever, but plenty
of emptiness there, as they vanish into the blue
shadows together, dancing to the dark beat of her breath.

mary Turzillo said...

Wow. This is a really cool poem! Thank you thank you, Shelley, for starting this!

I learned a lot by doing this, too.

J.E. Stanley said...

Shelley,

Yes, thanks so much for starting this and sticking with it. Thanks to all the other contributors, as well. I really like the way this came out.

Plus, it gave me the chance to collaborate with five writers that were already on my list of favorite poets (probably more than five depending on the identity of "Anonymous").

Trying to write a sestina has been on my list of things to do ever since I read Joe Haldeman's sestina "Saul's Death," a decade or two ago. But, me being me, I've never gotten around to it.

Any chance that "Anonymous" would consider revealing his/her/their identity or identities? At one point, based on the style and syntax of a couple or the lines, I was sure that I knew who one of the anonymous contributors was. But, I was wrong.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

A lot of the contributors tend to show up at the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour reading, in Strongsville-- let's do a reading there!

Next Deep Cleveland will be October 9.

Shelley Chernin said...

Thanks to everyone who participated in writing the sestina. I found the process entertaining and challenging. I enjoyed it tremendously.

Mary, you mentioned that you learned a lot from this. Are you interested in talking about what you learned? One thing that I learned is that we Cleveland poets are a damn cool bunch.

I think that what we did best was to create and sustain a mood throughout the poem. A sort of sad, erotic frustration is what it feels like to me.

Parts of the poem work better for me than other parts. For the lines that I added, the ones that worked best attended to and flowed from what came before. The lines where I tried to push the poem in a particular direction didn't work as well.

Any thoughts about trying another collaborative poem? Another form poem or something else? I'm open to suggestions.

Geoff, Strongsville is a schlep for me, but I've put the date on my calendar. It would be fun to do a collaborative reading of our collaborative poem.

Thanks again to all who contributed to the poem. It's awesome that we stuck with it for more than 3 months! Like I said, we're a cool bunch.

mary Turzillo said...

Hi, Shelley et al.

What I basically learned is:

Sestinas and difficult forms are possible and actually fun.

Choosing end-words before you start really helps.

It is possible to get people to take a project like this seriously and not write stupid lines like "Oh this poem makes me want to swear blue" which sometimes happens when you play Exquisite Corpse or other writerly games.

Somebody called anonymous, plus six other Cleveland poets are really good wordsmiths.

Poetry need not be a lonely art form.

I hope we can get a group reading on the 9th -- it would be fun.

Shelley Chernin said...

Thanks for sharing, Mary. That's a lot learned. I'm so glad you had fun. I did too.

I like to write form poems. I find that they spark my creativity and take me in directions that I probably wouldn't go otherwise. They're especially good for getting through dry spells. I pick a form, try to sink into the feeling of the form itself, and then write a form poem in the spirit of that feeling. It's a personal exercise. Works for me.

I'm assuming more than one person used Anonymous. I believe in a couple of early stanzas, before we loosened the rules, Anonymous wrote 2 lines in the same stanza.

Maybe we can play "To Tell the Truth" on the 9th. Will the real Anonymous please stand up? Or we can play "What's My Line?"

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau