I scare people off. i wrap myself in thorns and wire And kiss off anyone who offers a soft word. They think that I think myself to be better than them But I compare my being to the very dirt that I stamp under my feet. I have placed a blade to my skin many times But there are no scars to be seen. I shrug off the feelings of love and warmth And embrace my own demise Because I’ve never wanted to shine. I fear their touch Because they’ve never touched anything like me. I burn and sizzle and I fear that I’ll scorch their spirit and soul. Don’t come near me, I don’t want you to end up a charred mess as well.
Daniel Moysaenko is the author of the recent H_NGM_N chapbook NEW ANIMAL, which you can read and download here.
What is poetry? Part 2: why do you write it?
Poetry is a concentration of language. Many settle on that definition. Poetry is the poet speaking to him or herself, one philosopher concluded. One school asserted that poetry is a transference of the poet’s energy to the reader. Poetry ends like a rope, one poet ventured. Poetry is the space between a sleepwalker’s outheld arms, another poet claimed. All these definitions seem appropriate to me. I can draw from consensus or criticism. I can reach after poetry as it reaches with the highest degree of language after humanness. And by language I mean song without instrumentation. I mean a yawp or articulation of intelligence, feeling, and cadence. Poetry as such—contemporary poetry—is not the poetic genre. It’s not Sappho’s or Hafiz’s poetry, though they share characteristics. Lumping centuries of art under one umbrella is problematic, it seems. Readers define writing as poetry once it enters the realm of their experience with previously defined poetry. Poetry’s definition, then, favors effect over adherence to compositional rule, the private manifestation of ancient habits. It’s the moment a child puts a plastic shark into his or her mouth to explore it.
I write for no conceivable reason. People may scoff at this, comparing it to absentminded worship of art or mysticism. But despite familial, financial, intellectual, or physiological concerns, I still write poetry. It’s the way my brain operates. So I don’t have a reason or reason not for writing poetry. It’s a way of being.
What makes this a chapbook & not just a pile of poems?
These poems revolve around, not an aesthetic theory or determination, but a naturally acquired syntax, image system, and logic. Many of these poems funnel into a larger collection. By collection I mean (as many early poetry books advertised) a selection of poems on various subjects. But these various subjects arose from considering what it is to be possessed by something. The chapbook might read as a mind’s revolutions, its crests and eddies, which may look like a pile or a trajectory depending on where you stand.
Are there any particular pronounced influences / guiding lights for the poems in this chapbook, or is it just the usual jumble & tangle (also, if so: what IS your usual jumble & tangle)?
There are many influences, so I’m not sure how pronounced they are, or how pronounced I’d want them to be. But I can point to Eastern European verse, prose poems, the French surrealists and symbolists, mid-20th-century United States lyrics, criticism on the English Romantic pastoral, Japanese tanka, and aphorism, as nodes in a constellation of influences on this chapbook.
These are guiding lights that function as a tangle. And I don’t have a usual one. I’ve started writing a new collection with its own set of concerns, its own peculiarities regarding speech pattern, form, and mood. A collection’s paths tilt, working now or later or requiring refashioning as you step back and walk around to determine what needs space or density. The collection, I think, should be a tangle, but in some spots it will be such a thin tangle as to be a line. I’m looking for a variegated terrain within one landscape.
I've read almost all your poems and they are so beautifully written!! :D I'm thinking of studying poetry in the future, but may I ask you one thing? The poems I've read don't rhyme.. do they not have to? I love your blog soo much <3 keep writing!
First off, thank you! That’s very sweet of you to say. If I can put in my opinion, I think that you should definitely study poetry. It’s a fascinating tool of expression, and it’s something that interests me as well. :)
I don’t write rhyming poems, but because no, poems don’t have to rhyme! While I don’t typically format mine in any expressly technical manner, (I mostly lean towards free verse poetry) there are several types that don’t rhyme.
Haikus and tankas, for example, rarely rhyme. Cinquains don’t often rhyme, though they certainly can. Diamontes don’t have to rhyme; they don’t, most times. Free verse poetry, which is the sort that you see the majority of on my blog, doesn’t have to rhyme or follow a whole lot of set rules. (I promise, I do know the rules, I spent months learning them, I just don’t like them for most of the things that I write about)
Limericks (think goofy poems) and narratives (think poems that tell a story, like The Raven) often rhyme. Ghazals rhyme, if I remember correctly, correct me if I’m wrong.
There is, of course, so many other types of poetry forms out there, but to list a few in demonstration of the contrasting sides to what rhymes and what doesn’t, there are a few. :)
I’m definitely not stopping writing anytime soon haha! Thank you for dropping by! <3
“A blended night sky of the lightest hues
of the the darkest colors,
splayed with the stars
of unimaginable galaxies
and their moon that turn,
indefinitely revolving around their planet.
How long will they turn?
One day, perhaps when the time of days is ended,
the moons will float
through the stars,
Perhaps these moon will become their own planet,
each with their own blended night sky.”
The way my professor wants us to write poetry is making me hate poetry.
Like I’ve already a gripe against it coming into the class. But when her definition of “good poetry” involves capturing a moment in time, with little room for abstraction… Fuck.
It’s that much harder to describe things. That much harder to depict exact thoughts and intentions. I bitch about not being concise all the time. And now it’s like I’m being forced to deep throat the dick of brevity every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I struggle with rigid definitions and fixed lenses. I really do. Certainly, there are standards that separate genres of writing and differentiate the generally good from the generally crap. And I know this class is great practice since I tend to stray from writing so literally (that sounds weird). But fuck so much of the fun is blending worlds together and making the images difficult to understand. The pieces I’ve had to reread over and over again just to understand make me appreciate that moment so much more than shit that is obvious and immediate.
The definition of internet poetry would, for me, be something like the reading of text, whether personally created or originally written/typed/texted by someone else, in conjunction with some type of visual display, including montages, video clips, and perhaps even the auther his/herself. The video format helps the reader/writer/performer convey their message through an acccessible medium for all internet participants to view.
"iPrincess" by Kate Durbin explores the themes of American female sexuality and representation with her poignantly named video poem. I find this poem to be very moving because, although extremely self-critical in nature (using the internet to convey an idea about the terrorizing effects of the internet/ modern technology on the young American female pschye. This is relatively clear when the props and physical appearance of Durbin’s video are takin into consideration. The constantly recurring image of the toilet with the sloppily written "iprincess" in lipstick on the lid of the seat mirrors struggling young females own battles with confronting a sexually driven, princess-ideal like society in which we live in. Durbin’s make-up only furthers her goal to show young girls how ridiculous, unappealing, and straight up desperate these people look when they conform to the digital standards that seem to lead 21 century digital communication. A link to this fascinating video poem can be found here!
someday you wake up and try searching for the meaning of love— reasons… may be under the fridge— the place your hand does not go or like your favorite paperback you could not remember where you put it last time, and suddenly you see it there, vivid around the corner lying quietly by the narrow side of your bed you know the story you know the lines you marked, you memorized in your heart— you know it exist its true but you cannot touch it reach for it right away—
why you love me? why do i love you?— one way or two…
silence spreads into ether melts— yet the air around me shimmers with love your love for me and my love for
Most definitely! Not all relationships, for sure, but good ones are! Relationships can be awesome :)
40. Have you ever written a song or poem for someone?
I don’t think that I have. I mean, I’ve like made up songs on the spot for people and I rewrote words to songs for Kyla a lot last year, but that wasn’t really the same. This is sad, I should! Although I am most definitely not good at poetry.
61. What is the first thing you notice in someone?
Physically, their nose. Lips too. And if they have freckles or not. Personality wise, I notice their sense of humour and I try to judge how much of my personality I can show to them without them getting freaked, haha!
14: Do you prefer to read poetry, write poetry, or neither? Read poetry, definitely. Though in high school I won a poetry contest and my piece got published on a local book, woah!
18: A random memory from you childhood: I don’t know why I thought of this, but here it goes: I remembered that time me and my best friend (I was 6, he was 7) built two wands (they also had a kind of core!) and pretended to be Harry and Hermione. Oh, I miss him so much! And I also miss being 6 very much, too!
41: When was the last time you got really really happy and why? Christmas, probably. I got to spend it with three amazing girlfriends and we had a FANTASTIC time! That same night we kinda cried too, because we were hella drunk and full of emotions, but still.
46: Do you have a bucket list? Not a proper one, but I have things I really want to do. I want to visit Athens, Vienna and Cracow again; I want to buy a house; I want to go to Russia; I want to go on a cruise… There are so many things, and most of them require mONEY. Ugh.
My name is Jordan and my definition of slam poetry is performance poetry in which you get up in front of your audience, possibly scare them a bit, and slam your hand against the board behind you yelling “Damn it” and mentally curse yourself for how much pain you’re in while you struggle to keep reading your poem.
Definition Of Poetry by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) - Reader Unkown:
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it.
Source: Emily Dickinson - Remark to Thomas Wentworth Higginson dated 16 August 1870 - The Letters Of Emily Dickinson - Edited by Thomas H. Johnson 1958 - Letter 342a