If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little – somebody who is obsessed by Making.
Yesterday I got distracted and didn’t write a preamble to my odd poem. I chose ee cummings to emulate because he was the first massively neologisim- ic (having an affinity for erotic slang, he would have made much of that word) poet I encountered. I loved him from the first line and his poetry continues to delight me. There are few things that evoke the response of a first encounter, but cummings’ work continues to evoke the same rush of pleasure and surprise, even after all these years. He didn’t so much create new words, in the sense our prompter spoke of, more often he gleefully enjambed them. But his poetry is all about neologisms – new way of arranging, crafting and using language that recycles and repackages old words in new configurations that enhance or expand their meaning.
My neologisms included ‘inkddles’ meaning ‘puddle of ink’
and ‘trinkling’ from ‘twinkling’ and ‘wrinkled’
I also enjambed a lot. It was great fun and extremely liberating!! I’m so glad to be reminded to leap around outside the box more often!
NaPoWriMo reminds us often not to take ourselves so seriously, to enlighten our work with humor, so today – which should have been yesterday, I went to Coyote, my dear trickster and totem, for inspiration and wrote the following ballad, staying in the tradition of Coyote teaching tales and neologism by setting an implied moral while incorporating elements of Native American stories inside an fresh work of imagination.
Ki-ote Sets His Tail Straight
There’s a hundred different tales told how I stol’d the sun
burnt my tail tip black as sin, while he had me on the run.
But it ain’t true, the tales they tell up here in colder climes
‘cause all took place in warmer spheres of coconuts and limes.
Truth is Sun’s a gambler, vain and proud as any other star
easy mark, lesson one, in any trickster’s repertoire
I was hangin’ with some cronies, below the Mason Dix,
tradin’ funny stories ‘bout ‘bad’ wolves, pigs, bricks and chicks.
Sun, he overheard our talk – soon as he got fully set
hurried up to join our group, we hailed him happily met,
knew a mark when we met one, none had ever shone so bright.
Out came the dice and then the deck, we gambled till first light.
“I’ve got to go!” The sun jumped up and headed for the sky.
We bared our teeth and growled our threats and told him, ”Bye and bye.
There’s scores to settle, debts to pay like any honest dude.”
“You’ve taken all the gold I have, don’t know what I can do.”
I dipped my tale in blackest ink, said, “Sign an IOU,
promise me you’ll shine six months, where I direct you do.”
A sleepy bird sobbed in its nest, confused as all get out,
sweet dawn had failed to show her face. Cries echoed all about.
Sun had no choice, he writ his name and signed five months to us.
We rent him out to folks up north, who make a perfect fuss
over his broad beaming face and all the warmth he showers
on once frozen lands that now, can grow fresh food and flowers.
It’s a win-win situation, fairly won, not stolen
Sun gets all the credit, but – to Ki-ote you’re beholden!