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Perpetuum Mobile

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:18 pm
by Joao
We had long left the mantled side of alchemists.
In the distance, they still gleamed, candled
in the copper burnish of their alembics,
cloaked in damask and incense,
while we sat in our garages, or queued
with carpenters at the hardware store.
Behind the wheel, we gazed benignantly
into the morning skyline, having visions
of celestial cities, of colossi erected,
mouthing acceptance speeches. At work,
we contrived the end of all work,
one toilet break at a time.
Tuning out of our children's chomping chatter,
we built, under the spousal eye,
clandestine prototypes of fork and knife.
The hearth could not keep us. On the marital bed,
we nightly bestowed our dead weight.
We swept aside the litter in our lives
and stuck to our fateful place amid scraps
of coil and Popular Science. There,
alone at night by the workbench,
we could sing aloud our daily murmur.
Every turn of a screw would ring as a chord,
sure to lead to the next, and on, and aloft
towards the chorus of the Universal Waltz.

On starry nights, we still step outside
to look up at the finished artifact.
The correct angle used to be there,
somewhere. We’re no longer sure.
Peering inside our emptied homes,
we wonder if it might be true, after all:
that the wheel is condemned to the crank;
that our work must forever turn to hot air;
that, in the end, the stars themselves
shall sputter and scramble
and come to an icy,
everlasting
halt.

Re: Perpetuum Mobile

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 4:13 pm
by HonourStedman
This is a very difficult poem to come to terms with, especially at the beginning, but clearly a theme develops so all is not lost. There are some powerful moments in the poem but also some overly obscure elements and language, so a mixed bag then. One thing I do like is the final stanza - a poem in itself really.

Re: Perpetuum Mobile

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 6:31 am
by Macavity
Hi Joao,

Lovely poem. Connected with the distance between aspiration and reality. Thanks for introducing me to alembics. Like how you use the hard c to cut the emotion into the write. Love the daily murmur.

muchly enjoyed

mac

Joao wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:18 pm
We had long left the mantled side of alchemists.
In the distance, they still gleamed, candled
in the copper burnish of their alembics,
cloaked in damask and incense,
while we sat in our garages, or queued
with carpenters at the hardware store.
Behind the wheel, we gazed benignantly
into the morning skyline, having visions
of celestial cities, of colossi erected,
mouthing acceptance speeches. At work,
we contrived the end of all work,
one toilet break at a time.
Tuning out of our children's chomping chatter,
we built, under the spousal eye,
clandestine prototypes of fork and knife.
The hearth could not keep us. On the marital bed,
we nightly bestowed our dead weight.
We swept aside the litter in our lives
and stuck to our fateful place amid scraps
of coil and Popular Science. There,
alone at night by the workbench,
we could sing aloud our daily murmur.
Every turn of a screw would ring as a chord,
sure to lead to the next, and on, and aloft
towards the chorus of the Universal Waltz.

On starry nights, we still step outside
to look up at the finished artifact.
The correct angle used to be there,
somewhere. We’re no longer sure.
Peering inside our emptied homes,
we wonder if it might be true, after all:
that the wheel is condemned to the crank;
that our work must forever turn to hot air;
that, in the end, the stars themselves
shall sputter and scramble
and come to an icy,
everlasting
halt.

Re: Perpetuum Mobile

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:48 pm
by bjondon
Really like this too Joao . . . don't yet have time to do justice to it
but hope to come back.
L10 - is the ambiguity intended? i.e. it could be either the collossi
or the N mouthing speeches
That's the only niggle I can come up with!
Jules
. . . just a thought - I'd be tempted to remove the comma after icy
and move the final full stop down to its own line . . . and, maybe
split the first line of that stanza so it cranks up aswell as down.

Re: Perpetuum Mobile

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:39 pm
by ton321
Hi Joao,

I liked this too. Not sure about lines 22-25. I know its in keeping with the tone, but maybe its pushing it a bit too far. Enjoyed.
Tony

Re: Perpetuum Mobile

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:11 pm
by Joao
Thanks so much, all.

Honour, thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked some of it.

Mac, delighted that you like it, thanks for the thumbs-up.

Thanks, Jules, and I like your suggestions. No ambiguity intended: N mouths acceptance speeches. I'll revise.

Thanks, Tony. Excess is sort of the point there: the exalted (and very relatable) mania of these visionaries.