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tatterdemalion dreamcoats

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Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:15 am
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paperforest says...

Is this title too highfalutin for the likes of me? Yes.
Is tatterdemalion my new favourite word? Probably.
But does it accurately state my theme for this NaPo? ...
Do I have a theme for this NaPo? Ah! Well, you see, in life, one must be willing to, er, um... I'm not actually sure where I was going with that.
Anyways, I'd heard of NaPoWriMo before, but this will be my first attempt at it! I'm giving myself (and my prompt hat) free rein with subjects/themes, but going into it I guess sort of a past/present/future, hopes/dreams/memories idea works well enough with both the title and my current brainspace. (Spring is coming!)
Oh, and I also give myself permission to switch to a half-NaPo or weekly NaPo if other things in life interfere, but don't crush my current high hopes, future me! I'd rather post a bunch of short, unedited poem things than only one finished poem, so this month is about quantity with the hope of spilling out something of quality, not the other way round.
Alright then, I guess that's all there is to say until April starts!

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Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:22 pm
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paperforest says...

(My main goal is to do 30 poems this month, but just for the record, in the very slim chance that I write a poem every day, I did start this last night. If that counts.)

vertigo, or missed chances

some nights the sky lifts up its darkness
and the stars hang close (spinning
in the empty air)
suspended on fishing wire
from hidden wisping cloud rafters

if i climb the thunderstorm tree,
could i touch them? (would they flutter
soft on my open palm?) should i
untie the fishing wire, not knowing if
they love the sky and the toss of waking winds
or if they, like me, find the distance between

and ground
too far for blue-green love to grow?
perhaps the air up there is too cold
and all they know is frozen breath
and the darkness of closed eyes

will they forgive me for not climbing?
when the thunderstorm tree is too high and loose and
i stand in the cold so long deciding
that the clouds move in with darkness
and the stars soar away again,
folding back into the flattened sky

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Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:46 am
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alliyah says...

This first poem is lovely paper! I'm really looking forward to reading your NaPo poems!

The feeling of "vertigo" paired with "missed chances" set the tone for this piece - and I read it kind of in light of someone standing up too fast and feeling dizzy. I think the comparison of vertigo to this hedging back and forth works really well. I tend to find that "question poems" are sometimes difficult to put keep content/concrete imagery/narrative in - since a question can turn into a lack of content - but you really were able to tie this to a lot of neat imagery which made the poem feel more rooted rather than just a philosophical musing.

Oh! Also want to say loved that stanza-break drop between heart // ground right in the middle of the piece - it was a nice formatting nod that created a nice reading effect too - as I sort of paused looking for the rest of the line, then had to jump to stanza 3.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan

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Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:54 pm
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paperforest says...

Thanks, alliyah! I hadn't thought of it in the sense of that dizzy lightheadedness, but it definitely works - I love seeing what people take away from what I write, especially when I didn't mean it but it still makes sense with what I did mean. :) (and you noticed the heart/ground thing! That might be my favourite part of that poem!)

EDIT: I got this published! Whoo! And I'm slightly paranoid about legality stuff so I'll just quietly take it off from here...
Last edited by paperforest on Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:33 pm
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niteowl says...

Hi there NaPo buddy! Finally getting around to commenting. These are both such gems! I love the idea of the stars hanging from the fishing suggests that the speaker wants to get behind the scenes, to what's really behind the universe (a god/creator of some sort? Or maybe the Matrix is real and we are all just a simulation). But then ultimately the speaker doesn't get there...they are too intimidated by the thunderstorm and paralyzed by indecision to even reach for the stars.

The city one is just magnificent. Going through my old NaPos, there's a strong theme of city imagery and loneliness, but mine never got this rich in imagery. It's a concentrated run-on, much like the city itself.

So are you going for quality over quantity, or are you going to end up like me and write like five poems on the last day (I've def done this before lol)?
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci


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Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:55 pm
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EditorAndPerks says...

Wanted to pop by and say that these two poems are really interesting! Your style of narration with imagery works well, and the dashes/format in the second one is pretty fascinating. Nicely done!
The only thing we're allowed to do is to believe that we won't regret the choice we made.
- Levi Ackerman

Castle Grounds Consultant

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Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:53 am
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paperforest says...

Ah thanks for the words niteowl and fraey! I was intending to do quantity over quality, but then the perfectionist took hold. So I'm going to try to keep up (I wrote a bunch today so I'll type that up tomorrow), but I'm also going to try to write something good(ish). I'll almost certainly end up in a mad rush at the end of the month though! :)

(enspoilered because it's annoyingly long and angsty and I don't want to have to scroll past it every time I go to post something else here)

Spoiler! :
sometimes everything comes into my head as words
all of a life broken down and flooded in as countless
variations on twenty-six letters plus assorted punctuation
rendered on imaginary tickertape in a font made from
chemicals and electricity
neurons speeding in and out flashing
like fireflies - never seen again
when everything is words then every friend is a friend and
it becomes too easy to think that one might be worth
as much as another because every letter is interchangeable and
the word friend is the same no matter if
it's in comic sans or times new roman
words on a screen are too easy to delete, to forget,
to relegate to a buried folder in the back of my memory where
it's too easy to let go
shoulder-shrugs and scuffing feet - there's always next time
sometimes it's better (easier) to just start over again
somewhere new
someone else
do over, do better, i can do it right this time

second chances are things of the past
i've had eighteen years of third and fifth and
seventh chances and there's no sign of stopping
words last forever and they never run out they are
everything in my head pulled constantly from the air
and their infinity is the only reassurance when
all the moments are too precious to hold and i cannot
move for fear of doing it all wrong
so i do nothing
and the moments move on and all i can say is
maybe next time

i'm too fine with this, aren't i?
it hurts inside my lungs to think that this might be the only, the last,
the door-closing moment when the choice is speak or not speak and
i have all the words to choose from piled high upon my tongue
but i cannot pick even one, so i get used to letting go
and pretending it's ok -
the only way to bear failure is to say it doesn't matter,
there'll always be another chance
just open up another story, just
choose another name, just move on until
the sting wears off and something new has begun
(just enough to hope it lasts but not enough to
love so much that it hurts to move in case the move is wrong)
but my hands grasp at the air and sometimes i close my eyes and the words
slow a little as a symphony of sound washes away everything and
i realize that maybe i don't hold on when i should
and i'm afraid i've forgotten how to stay attached when
it's so much easier to detach and seal off and forget what made me love
this person, this friend who is so much more than the word friend,
who is not infinite, and because of this their beauty scares me
because if i hold too tight then one day something else
will make me let go and i won't be ready
i'll never be ready

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Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:20 pm
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paperforest says...

april showers

mist pulls out the distance
trees fading away in onionskin layers
a shadow puppet forest

early morning overcast, street lights still
glowing like washed-out eyes, cloudy grey in the
rain-spotted streets

red brick and greystone houses, worn out pink
umbrellas and green paddington bear jackets
warm air and cooling raindrops

first day without a winter coat, don't step
in sneaker-damping puddles (don't
listen to last year's laughter
echoing stale in your empty umbrella)
summer is on its way

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Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 pm
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Cadi says...

Oh, you've got some good imagery going here, paperforest! I love the "thunderstorm tree" in #1, and the streetlights "like washed-out eyes" in #4. Also, I agree with alliyah - that heart/and ground break in #1 made for an interesting pause as I was reading the pome out!
"The fact is, I don't know where my ideas come from. Nor does any writer. The only real answer is to drink way too much coffee and buy yourself a desk that doesn't collapse when you beat your head against it." --Douglas Adams

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Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:38 pm
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paperforest says...

Thanks, Cadi! Imagery might be my favourite part of writing poetry.

learning curves

clumsy fingers
clumsy tongue
i'm used to sharp clean origami creases and
spinning notes out into the air like gold
i'm used to tilting sentences this way and that and
knowing how every change will reflect a little differently
the way light bounces off a mirror
(if you line the words up just right, they refract into rainbows or
focus into a beam of morning sun)
in this new language i do not know how others hear my words
(my reflections in this mirror are more like dark-blurred silhouettes)
in this new music, i can spin only tired straw, splintering and slow
no golden threads in sight
i have no godmother to iron this dress
(i guess i'll have to learn to do it myself)

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Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:13 pm
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paperforest says...

I think I got a bit carried away, this was supposed to be a short poem...

hung-up sneakers

I've always wondered about the shoes.
The obvious question is how
did they get up there? Telephone wires
are higher than you might think.
Maybe the fact that they're tied together creates
a sort of spinning momentum that not only
gets them up there, but makes it easier to catch on the wire?
To be frank, I haven't tested this. If I have to
throw a pair of shoes, I'd be doing it barefoot.
The next obvious question:

Why? Scientific research by those who have
more shoes to spare than I
seems unlikely. I suspect it was a trend
when I was too young to count
how many pairs of heels and boots and sneakers
lay piled in my neighbour's mudroom.
That, or it's some obscure drunken tradition
(shouting into the night "watch this!" - fun until
it works and the shoes dangle in the wind and
the realization hits that now you're walking home
shoeless) Some accompanying thoughts:

Were the sneakers really
that bad? Did you wait until the heels were worn and
the soles peeling and you had a new pair to wear home?
Did you ever come back for them, or walk past and
look up and remember that triumphant toss
and the taste of winning the game and losing
the shoes at once? Did you forget about them completely,
or did you wonder if the birds would
pick them apart for nests, or if orange-vested
hydro workers are tired
of finding perfectly good shoes
lost and ruined by the rain?

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Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:40 pm
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paperforest says...

An attempt at a syllable and rhyme format with mostly assonant end-rhyme. I'm not sure if I like it or not, but it was a neat challenge.

coracle, or leaving home

cold rain on an ice-crumpled sea
pattering quiet in the slowly lifting tide
anorak yellow hood crinkles in my ears
crunch-sand pebbles beneath my feet

rain moves on, the wind is a sigh
in my ears - i am afraid of the heartbeat sea
yet every island calls and time sweeps on like tide
i cannot see the seals if i stay by your side

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Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:58 pm
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paperforest says...

I wrote this late at night sometime last week, and I don't know what it means so I don't know how to edit it right now. But I kind of like it and I am trying to catch up so here you go.

molten stardust, hot and slow and sticky, trickles through my veins - body is
world is sun too bright to look at - this hair smells like warm bread spiced like
cinammon hearts on a frozen-mud valentine's day - body is world is sun warm
on a sweatered back before the wind blows in cold - lone raven soars above
the pines, sap sharp-smelling jewel encrusted sticky seeps into bones grown
strong on blood-iron and tear-salt and weak winter sunshine - i hold onto my
leaves because someday summer will return

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Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:29 am
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paperforest says...

Another poem! Will the miracles never end? :) Anyways, not sure about the title, but otherwise I'm very happy with this.

there is no pot of gold at the end

waves thunder, crashing white onto
quiet rocks as the sea splinters
into spraying mist, catching
the light all green and silver and blue
sun-golden shining

we sit at the tidemark among softly damp logs
and whitecrusted seaweed and fish bones
and gull feathers, pinions tugging free
from the magnetblack sand
in the wind

you and i, we are driftwood,
shipwreck debris sent spinning
out into the waves, hung up on this beach to watch
rainbows together for a moment before the sea
steals us back

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Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:35 am
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alliyah says...

Still enjoying your poems Paper! :)

The final stanza of #9 was really strong,
you and i, we are driftwood,
shipwreck debris sent spinning
such a great line!

I also like in some of these last poems where your imagery turns in really unexpected ways - especially in #8 & #5 which I think are some of my favorites! :) Keep it up! There's a badge for 15 poems - and you're just about there!!
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble.
— Rudyard Kipling