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Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:49 pm
by bodkin
Blue of the morning.mp3
(2.37 MiB) Downloaded 79 times
(fixing line-ending spotted by mac...)

Blue of the morning

For reasons unknown to me,
perhaps because there's steam between
two tiny buildings way down there,
or possibly because a car alarm
has been sounding one minute
in every six minutes
for the last half hour, or maybe
it is eighth floor ledge air decorated
but not at all warmed
by the hint of distant
sausage sandwich, or then again...

I am come with E-flat saxophone at port-arms.
I have risen too often prior to dawn
and walked on every street
I see from here, the debris
and sparrows, the pigeons one eye sleepy,
the guy with the broom and barrow,
the early office drones flitting through
like casually lobbed tennis balls
come randomly through one window
of a slow twirling ballroom,
bouncing once, and exiting
via open terrace doors.

Or possibly not, maybe it is not
the evolution of graffiti on street-side
equipment, nor the occasional blip
of bistros in and out of existence. Maybe
it isn't seeing the same faces come round
and again, and maybe that's the woman Mona leaning
on a lamppost... or maybe not.
Possibly none of this is it, possibly...

it is the possibilities of the situation,
the group of situations, systems, traffic,
people, complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence, patterns that start with a line
in a restaurant menu, continue
behind a pawnshop window, and end
in the pocket of a tram driver
where his smart-phone marks time and bookmarks
places in this and other worlds

where maybe I have also wet the reed,
inserted it, tightened the screw...
and maybe finally this is it, because it isn't the city,
the air, the complexity or the people. It is all of the above,
a summing into something with no summary,
detail that won't express in language I can voice.
OK, lift instrument, breathe,
and begin...

--

(original)

(fixing tense)

(taking Ray's suggestion of "through" -> "via")

Blue of the morning

For reasons unknown to me,
perhaps because there's steam between
two tiny buildings way down there,
or possibly because a car alarm
has been sounding one minute
in every six minutes
for the last half hour, or maybe
it is eighth floor ledge air decorated
but not at all warmed
by the hint of distant
sausage sandwich, or then again...

I have risen too often prior to dawn
and walked on every street
I see from here, the debris
and sparrows, the pigeons one eye sleepy,
the guy with the broom and barrow,
and the early office drones flit through
like casually lobbed tennis balls
that come randomly in through one window
of a slow twirling ballroom,
bounce once,
and exit via the open French window.

Or possibly not, maybe it is not
the evolution of graffiti on street-side
equipment, nor the occasional blip
of bistros in and out of existence. Maybe
it isn't seeing the same faces come round
and again, and maybe that's the woman Lena leaning
on a lamppost... or maybe not.
Possibly none of this is it, possibly...

it is the possibilities of the situation,
the group of situations, systems, traffic,
people, complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence, patterns that start with a
line in a restaurant menu, continue
behind a pawnshop window, and end
in the pocket of a tram driver
where his smart-phone marks time and bookmarks
places in this and other worlds

and maybe finally this is it, because it isn't the city,
the air, the complexity or the people. It is all of the above,
a summing into something with no summary
that can't express in any language that I speak.
OK, lift E-flat saxophone from port-arms,
double-check image in mind, breathe,
and begin...

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:46 pm
by Ros
Like! Think it could be tightened up here and there (esp v4?), but great. Though if people knew you, 'I have risen too often prior to dawn' would not ring true...

why change to past tense?
and the early office drones flit through
like casually lobbed tennis balls
come randomly in through one window
of a slow twirling ballroom,
bounced once
and exited the open French windows.

bounce/exit?

Ros

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:24 pm
by bodkin
Thanks Ros!

And yes, I think you are right, there was a "that" in that sentence once, and the past tense sat better with that, but even then present would have been better, I think I may:

"and the early office drones flit through
like casually lobbed tennis balls
come randomly in through one window
of a slow twirling ballroom,
that bounce once
and exit the open French windows."

Would an "exactly" in the second-to-last line be overkill?

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:06 pm
by Macavity
hi Ian

Some nice mood music - I wasn't overly aware of the perhaps/maybe/possibly stitching. Like the steam, tennis balls, the graffiti evolving and Lena leaning - not so keen on the sausage sandwich or super-ramification.

all the best

mac

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:43 pm
by David
Very nice. The tense changes that threw Ros threw me also. This sort of whimsical contemplative voice works very well here. The start of S2 is very T S Eliot! In fact there's a Little Giddings-esque feel to the whole thing. I like that. But I'd happily lose the last three lines (although I do believe there are some things that can only be expressed through the medium of the saxophone).

Cheers

David

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:36 pm
by bodkin
Thanks mac! Let me see whether divers opinions single out some of those same negatives...

David, agh! I thought I was long past the "but lose the last two lines" phase of my career.

I do see what you mean, but without those aren't I ending with no ending.

T.S.Eliot -- I hadn't clocked to that but now I see it very much. Good or bad in this context, I wonder?

Thanks both!

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:40 pm
by David
bodkin wrote:David, agh! I thought I was long past the "but lose the last two lines" phase of my career.
Ah, we're never past that.

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:45 pm
by ray miller
I started counting the maybes, perhapses and possiblies but then I saw how long it was and lost heart.
I was liking the 2nd stanza until I encountered same difficulties as others.
I liked these lines best

it is not
the evolution of graffiti on street-side
equipment, nor the occasional blip
of bistros in and out of existence.

it isn't seeing the same faces come round
and again, and maybe - should there be another round before again?

it is the possibilities of the situation,
the group of situations, systems, traffic,
people, complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence,

At this point I found my attention slipping away. Perhaps I'll try again tomorrow. Possibly.

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:54 pm
by Macavity
This probably dooms the ending, but...I liked the sax....

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:04 pm
by Firebird
I found the uncertain mood and flow of this piece carried me through it very quickly. I like it, a lot. I loved the sound and meaning of the following lines:

... patterns that start with a
line in a restaurant menu, continue
behind a pawnshop window, and end
in the pocket of a tram driver

I also liked the repetition in this poem: think it gave emphasis and carried the piece forward.

Thanks for a really pleasurable read.

Best wishes,

Firebird

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:00 pm
by bodkin
Thanks Ray,
ray miller wrote:I started counting the maybes, perhapses and possiblies but then I saw how long it was and lost heart.
"Deliberately lots", if that helps?

I was liking the 2nd stanza until I encountered same difficulties as others.
Hopefully better now?
I liked these lines best

it is not
the evolution of graffiti on street-side
equipment, nor the occasional blip
of bistros in and out of existence.

it isn't seeing the same faces come round
and again, and maybe - should there be another round before again?
I didn't intend another "round" around there... I was thinking "round and again" in the same sense as "time and again"... a deliberate distortion of the usual phrasing, but hopefully comprehensible?
it is the possibilities of the situation,
the group of situations, systems, traffic,
people, complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence,

At this point I found my attention slipping away. Perhaps I'll try again tomorrow. Possibly.
I'd maybe be grateful, perhaps, if you did.

Thanks anyway for sticking with it this far :-)

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:01 pm
by bodkin
Thank you Firebird,

It's good to hear you like this and very useful to hear that the repetition is working for you.

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:05 pm
by bodkin
Macavity wrote:This probably dooms the ending, but...I liked the sax....

Me too also!

I'm not thinking of nixing it, but I am wondering about splitting the statements about it so that they are spread through the poem. So that it isn't so much a sharp left turn right before the end.

e.g. something like:
E-flat saxophone at port-arms...

[early sections of poem]

Lick the reed, double-check image in mind...

[later sections of poem]

Raise the instrument, breathe,
and begin...
I'll try to find time to have a go at that this evening.

Thanks mac (and others)!

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:45 pm
by ray miller
I realised the maybe et al were deliberate. Still, they grate a little.

and the early office drones flit through - flitting through would sound better to me

and exit though the open French windows - I assume though is a typo for through. I'd avoid the repetition with via

in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence,

Take that out of the penultimate stanza and it's fine by me. I like the sax ending. The preceding 4 lines maybe explain too much.

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:41 pm
by Arian
Yes, good.

For me, the tense switch at s2 works well - a reflection on the past to explain the absurdities of the present.

is...

complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence, patterns that start with a
line in a restaurant menu, continue
behind a pawnshop window, and end (etc)

a deliberate reflexive irony? Couldn't decide. Like it, anyway.

One nit is

summary
that can't express in any language that I speak.

Odd usage, out of sync with the rest of it.

But I like its reflective and flowing tone/style, a lot.

Cheers
peter

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:56 pm
by bodkin
ray miller wrote:I realised the maybe et al were deliberate. Still, they grate a little.

and the early office drones flit through - flitting through would sound better to me

and exit though the open French windows - I assume though is a typo for through. I'd avoid the repetition with via

in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence,

Take that out of the penultimate stanza and it's fine by me. I like the sax ending. The preceding 4 lines maybe explain too much.
Hi Ray,

though/through -- yes, you're right of course. And I hadn't noticed the repetition, I think I'll take you up on "via"...

I'll think about taking that other bit out, I see your point, but I also feel that there needs to be some sort of slightly over-the-top escalation at that point. Maybe i can tone it down a bit...

Thanks,

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:13 pm
by bodkin
Hi Peter,

"Reflexive irony" -- sorry, I've thought and thought and I can't grasp in what way you mean this? Unless you mean "overlapping complexity" being a feature of this sentence itself? In which case that is deliberate, although I hadn't really thought of it as ironic. I was just using a complex sentence to show the mood of the complexity I was describing...


A different voice for "that can't express in any language that I speak." ?

Maybe. I think it is something I do automatically which is to drop into a slower voice at the end of a frantic or involuted section. I'm trying to show arrival at the end-point of the rather dense section and then the rest will be slower and simpler.

Does that make any sense, or do you think it's an odd voice in some more intrusive way?

Thanks as ever for your considered thoughts,

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:41 pm
by Arian
bodkin wrote:Unless you mean "overlapping complexity" being a feature of this sentence itself?
Apologies, Ian - I was being a prat, using unnecessarily pretentious terminology. Yes, that's pretty much what I meant - self-referential in an intentional, and therefore ironic, way.

Express - no (again, sorry) I didn't mean a different voice. It just seemed an odd choice of verb (to me), that's all, a bit contrived, somehow. Maybe 'be expressed' or 'express itself'? Or maybe just 'talk' would do.

Anyhow, a nit - a good piece, either way.

Cheers
Peter

Re: Blue of the morning

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:26 pm
by Macavity
how about a distant egg and bacon sandwich...matter of taste I guess....

quite liked the way the sax came in...after sort of breathing in the images...but that could just be me.

all the best

mac

Re: Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:21 pm
by bodkin
Hi all,

I've done a small revision, hopefully ironing out some minor kinks...

I've done further tense fixage, springing from an idea of Ray's (that's at least two things he's fixed for me in this one, thanks Ray!).

I've foreshadowed the sax a bit...

And that's about it really. Oh, and I also recorded me reading it and attached that so you can hear how I imagine it...

I thought I could embed the mp3 so the board would play it, but if so the technology has defeated me. So you'll have to click it to play in your favourite medja playa.

Thanks all,

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:51 am
by Lexi
Oh, I really enjoyed this. I read then listened. Listening brought more of 'you' to it which was useful because I don't know you! What a marked difference between the voice on the page and the 'real thing.'

It had me reading several times. Not because I didn't understand but because it drew me in and I wanted to know more.

I did struggle a bit with the very beginning, 'For reasons unknown to me,' but after several reading that we clear. Just thought I'd mention it though.

And your ending. My first thought was omit -

'OK, lift E-flat saxophone from port-arms,
double-check image in mind, breathe,
and begin...'

but after several readings now think it could just be modified. Perhaps omit 'and begin...' then change the above 'image in mind and breathe' - I'm not sure about the use of 'OK' either. It seems to break with the wonderful voice you have throughout the poem. Perhaps change to 'I' - just my rambling thoughts. I hope they help. As I said, I really enjoyed this. Lovely work.

Re: Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:30 am
by bodkin
Thanks Lexi!

That bit you are quoting is actually from the first version, did you just cut/paste the wrong bit?

As regards dropping the "and begin..." yes... I have been thinking of dropping that as (a) rather abstract and (b) hopefully implied by the preceding words. However I wasn't quite confident that it was implied enough not to lose some readers right at the end?

I'm not sure about "for reasons unknown to me" it seems straightforward enough to me (but then it would).

Sometimes a phrase just doesn't mesh with a reader's own voice, let me see if anybody else flags it up.

Thanks again,

Ian

Re: Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:14 am
by Suzanne
Ian,

I came for a peek to see what is going on around here and you have so inspired me!
This was very enjoyable, loved to hear you. I could imagine with you. Excellent sense of belonging.
You have read it at a perfect pace.

Well done. Very well done.
Suzanne

Re: Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:54 am
by Antcliff
Yay...recorded. Well read. :D

Re: Blue of the morning (revised)

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:35 pm
by Macavity
The super-ramification in the reading was more convincing...prefer the original ending...and haven't changed my opinion of sausage sandwich :)

That dangling a for play on the place to start patterning? Didn't seem to have any aural signifance for the line break...but then I guess that is a characteristic of most line breaks in poems.

all the best

mac