I have to admit I put this off all day. I think I get an A for following the form, following Agha Shahid Ali’s lead in dealing with the exigence of ordinary life, managing to rhyme (though not internally), tossing off a political reference and sneaking my own name into the last couplet. However I get a D-minus in lyricism – no graceful gazelle-like poesy here! Furthermore, I didn’t begin to touch Patricia Smith’s elegant little rap. Her cleverness and composition blew me away, not to mention the sheer joy of it. Nevertheless, I did it! And Agha Ali’s correct:
… once a poet establishes the scheme—with total freedom, I might add—she or he becomes its slave. What results in the rest of the poem is the alluring tension of a slave trying to master the master.
I want to try the form again, but meanwhile for NaPoWriMo Day Thirteen:
The Sound of One Wrist Knocking (on Wood)
It’s hard to wrap a silver lining round a broken wrist
difficult to wash this cup with one unbroken wrist.
I can’t spread jam upon my toast, besides the lids resist
jar slides and scoots and skips away beneath my wounded wrist.
My arm is cast in grassy green, the healing to assist
I’ve bangled silver bracelets around the healthy wrist
inveigled cute young men in bars to sketch down to my fist
their flash art, drawn graffiti-quick, now tags my aching wrist.
Another perk – the gods preferred fracture to a cyst
my domineering hand’s intact, I love my healthy wrist.
Some claim lightning struck the left, in a Trumpian twist
but southpaw fingers curl and rise in spite of my skewed wrist.