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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let's Dance

I'm sorry that I've neglected (our collaborative nested meditation). I believe it still has potential to dance a bit more, and I'd like to revive it. Please check out the original post for rules and instructions for contributions.

If you recall, we finished a first stanza and began a second. Here's where we left off:

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

Let's fly.

19 comments:

Shelley Chernin said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

T.M. Göttl said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow.

J.E. Stanley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.E. Stanley said...

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow,
beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods.




Extraneous information: The upper boundary of the exosphere can be defined theoretically by the altitude about 120,000 miles, half the distance to the Moon. . .The exosphere is a transitional zone between Earth’s atmosphere and interplanetary space.

Shelley, feel free to delete my line if it takes the piece in a direction you’d rather not go. Plus, for me this seems to have become two separate poems.

Shelley Chernin said...

I'm amazed and delighted by the course of this poem, Jim. I wouldn't dream of changing a thing. Personally, I'd book the first available seat on a flight to a place beyond the stinky exospheric breath of silent gods.

Is it 2 poems? What do others think?

I see a relationship between the poems. I might number them "I" and "II," and think about starting "III" if there's interest. "I" and "II" feel complete to me.

After we finished our last collaborative poem, Josh pointed out to me that there are journals that specialize in publishing collaborative poetry. I never followed up on that, but I could. How do those of you who have participated in these collaborations feel about publication beyond this blog?

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

#

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow,
beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods.

#

Let's burn.

pottygok said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pottygok said...

As a response to "seperate poems or not," I'd say no. I see these as potential meditations on mystical or ecstatic experience, and possibly different sections in one greater piece, focused on a greater overall theme.

pottygok said...

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones.

T.M. Göttl said...

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces.

T.M. Göttl said...

Re: Publication
Go for it!

Re: Separate or not
I'd say they seem more like different movements of the same piece. To break up the family and place them in separate homes would be cruel and unfair.

Shelley Chernin said...

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces
less shadowy than original skin.

J.E. Stanley said...

I.

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.


II.

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
where our memories and dreams can't follow,
beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods.


III.

Let's burn

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces
less shadowy than original skin.

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces,
less shadowy than original skin,
beautifully metallic, stainless and eternal.


Shelley,
Once again, feel free to kill this line, or any future line I contribute if you wish. One of greatest joys of writing has been the incredibly talented poets with whom I’ve collaborated. But, I also seen collaborations go haywire. So, at least as far as I’m concerned, if you’d like, feel free to act as editor here.

And yes, as far as publication, I think we should go for it or to put it another way, "Let's."

There is a relationship between the poems and if they’re numbered I, II, III (and maybe even IV, V, etc.) as you suggest, they do work well together. I’ve taken the liberty of doing that, but feel free to change it.

Just a thought, and a minor one at that (as Joanne Cornelius has rightly pointed out to me, I think too much), do the rest of you have any opinions on switching lines 4 and 5 of “Let’s fly” i.e.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind,
beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods,
where our memories and dreams can't follow.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Three parts, each with five stanzas-- I think it's done. It's a poem! I like it!

And, yes, as to the question "one poem or three?" I agree with the others who say it's one poem with three parts. I also think Jim Stanley's suggestion to swap the order of the last two lines of the second part is a good one.

As for publication-- absolutely! Especially if you can find a place specifically looking for collaborations. Go for it!

Shelley Chernin said...

I'm not comfortable taking on the role of editor of this poem. It has always seemed to me that it evolved organically -- each additional line adding a new revelation to the communal consciousness.

If there's a consensus to swap the two lines in Part 2, I don't have a problem with that. If anyone does, please say so.

If there's a consensus that the poem is finished, that's fine with me, too. It's a lovely poem. If anyone feels that the poem is incomplete, please begin a new part.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. I like this poem, and when we agree that it's complete, I'll look into submitting it somewhere for publication.

I wonder whether it's considered "previously published" since it's been on the Internet.

J.E. Stanley said...

I like this poem A LOT and, unless someone really wants to take it further, I'd call it finished.

Re: "I'm not comfortable taking on the role of editor." No problem. It's just that some of my stuff has made people cringe. If I offend someone in an audience, that's fine with me. But, when it comes to a collaborator whose name will be associated with the work, that's a different situation. Just wanted to let you know that I'm open to change.

Whether it's considered already published depends which editor you ask. This has been debated (too many times, in fact) in the science fiction poetry community. When I recently submitted the poem inspired by the "beatnik ramble," I tole the editor that an earlier version appeared as part of a blog exercise. Maybe, we should do something similar here - disclose it and let the editor decide. I don't know. Hopefully, another contributor or two will weigh in on this question.

And Shelley, thanks so much for starting this. I'm very happy with the way it turned out and very glad to be a part of it.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I like the poem a lot too.

For what it's worth, the line "where our memories and dreams can't follow," was contributed by me, and the line "beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods" was by Jim Stanley. Since he suggested it, yes, I'm fine with switching the order of those two.

Shelley Chernin said...

Here is the poem, with the 2 lines switched. I also added some missing punctuation.

Two questions before I shop it around.

1. Title?

2. Credit? I suggest the following:

A collaborative poem written at www.clevelandpoetics.blogspot.com by Shelley Chernin, Joshua Gage, T.M. Gottl, Geoffrey A. Landis, and J.E. Stanley


I.

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.


II.

Let's fly.

Let's fly
away from here.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind
beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods.

Let's fly
away from here
into places of crystal and wind,
beyond the exospheric breath of silent gods,
where our memories and dreams can't follow.


III.

Let's burn.

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones.

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces.

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces
less shadowy than original skin.

Let's burn
the flesh off our bones
to build ourselves new faces,
less shadowy than original skin,
beautifully metallic, stainless and eternal.

Cited...

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