The more attenuated my longing, the less I see. Clear root of appetite, filament, figure against whatever suppositional ground: only in your sturdy grosgrain can one resist the constant impulse to diversion. What originates as a kind of shorthand for desire soon becomes the single most combustible fuel for turning desire into ash and shadow into hollow glare. Something goes awry in our looking that has nothing to do with the seen, like a fruit bred to be free of any seed.

Built around the first ten words generated for me by the Random Prompt Generator at Poetry Thursday: attenuated, root, figure, grosgrain, shorthand, single, combustible, shadow, awry, seed.

I must say, though, the word “prompt” itself is stranger and more intriguing to me than any of these. Hmmm…

13 Replies to “Undone”

  1. I like this little bit of prose. One of my favorites. Maybe because it’s one of those writings you have to go back and read again and again. At least I do. And the more I read the more I discover.

  2. On a side note – Plummer’s Hollow has inspired me to write poetry again. Hopefully I will post soon — though I’m much more shy about that. My poetry tends to be a bit “confessional”

  3. Hi Gina – I’m glad you were able to get something out of this; I feared it might be a little too telegraphic. Interesting example of how my blogging has changed over the years, though. Back in the fall of 2004 I did a lengthy, five-part series on the same subject.

    I’m glad to hear you’re writing poetry. Sharing it may or may not be important, depending on where you are with it, but there’s no substitute for the practice.

  4. You suggested in your comment on Poetry Thursday that you felt it wasn’t appropriate to post prose! Not at all, its a prose poem! A very good prose poem i think. The last sentence is amazing and so true.

  5. I enjoyed this prose poem very much. I agree with Gina; each time I read it, I get something very different. It’s so interesting how you craftily put together the words from the randomizer. I’m still working on mine…got tectonics, twice! (hard one)
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I like this…you made me work…my brain needed the exercise!

    Are you familiar with the old DOS program Racter? It was an artificial insanity program that randomly generated words. Lots of fun. There was even abook that grew out of it. ” The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed”

  7. Thanks for the comments. I suppose it might qualify for a prose poem – lord knows I’ve written plenty of them – it just seemed a trifle didactic to me. But I’m glad it’s given y’all a workout.

    Fred, I’d never heard of that. That’s great! I must say that the introduction of a random page generator function at WordPress.com really revived my interest in the two book projects I have there (Shadow Cabinet and Spoil). But I love the idea of artifical insanity – as opposed to artificial intelligence, I guess.

  8. This piece is like a wonderful labyrinth in which one can wander and depending on the turn, in this case, the selected of multiple definitions, one can find a way through to shed light upon numerous possibilities, any one of which can be held accountable in the light of interpretation.

    I LOVE it!! Brilliant Dave!

  9. I like how Rob described your poem as a labyrinth, and all of it’s numerous possibilities. Very cool.

    I especially like this phrase, “Something goes awry in our looking that has nothing to do with the seen.” I can build a new poem around a line like that!

  10. Yes, I liked this very much, especially the line January quotes above. On its own, I like the word grosgrain best of all those you had, (I had a blue 1950s grosgrain dress from a fleamarket years ago), and it seemed to me to match the texture and sheen of the gossamer strands in the picture.

  11. Oops, I see I forgot to ever answer these comments. (Could’ve sworn I did!) My apologies. Much appreciated, as always.

    Lucy – I’m glad to hear that you liked “grosgrain” there, because to be honest, I’d never heard the word before.

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