Tag Archives: Surprise Math!

Regular Poem: I Should’ve Taken Calculus When I Had the Chance

18 Apr

i don’t know what kind of graph
it would be

a parabola of some kind

no

that positive slope line

where the x and y intercepts are both zero
and that represents sleep

(1,1) 3am groggily and ardently
wondering whether james marsden
is safe and healthy

(3,3) 6am alto line of hallelujah chorus barreling through the brain
letting the dog outside
routine autopilot
cursing the dawn

(5,5) 10am 3 black coffees down
angry and in love and ready to fight

(9,9) 4pm jumping into a convertible
caffeine eye twitch
audiobook doesn’t quiet the conversations still
conversing in your mind

(11,11) 7pm restless jumpy bone tired
she’s so beautiful
can’t decide whether to do jumping jacks or lie down
gotta go gotta go

(12,12) 8:30pm darting through the house
methodical but quick
chill music on the patio

(15,15) 10pm too tired
to shower
but
plunking out cry me a river on
an out of tune piano seems
like a good idea

(16,16) 11pm swirls and darkness
is james marsden
safe and healthy

oh no

it was a parabola all along

i was confused
because i miscalculated the vertex

sine cosine
all tangents

graph it any
way you like
put it all into an equation
any equation

it’s all a mess
of numbers and theories

sometimes
i wish i knew binary
or c++
or html

maybe i could sort myself better
the robot i am
the robot i could be

but then

the best person i know
(logical, grounded, spiritual, misanthropic, athletic, intellectual, self-deprecating, proud, encouraging, reproving,
lovely)

painted one fingernail mauve
and then got so distracted
that she neglected all
her other nine fingers

if she
who is she
can be
so careless

surely i
who am i
can afford to be

whatever terrible thing
i am
restless and tired
good at math
but prone to
mistakes

National Poetry Writing Month Retrospective

4 May

In which I reflect upon my (successful) April endeavor.

I wrote a poem every day during the month of April.  For realsies.  (Except some of them were found poems made out of my spam comments, which doesn’t feel that real, but I count it anyway.)

Of course, because of the time frame, and my sometimes rather limited abilities, some of those poems were less than stellar.  I’d like to use this post to reflect on my better achievements and some of my disappointments, as well.

Let’s start with the bad and move up from there.

Least Favorite:  my favorite thing to lose

Why I Don’t Like It:  I was trying to go for some kind of weighty metaphor yet keep the tone kind of light instead of dropping into melancholic melodrama (as is my way sometimes), but it ended up being kind of stupid and reaching.

Worst Part: The final four stanzas.

and maybe next week it’ll just end up back again

and maybe next month you can make a deposit again

and maybe next year you can start making direct deposits again

and maybe next century you can have enough credit built up to lose it again

I thought this was going to be clever, but the more I look at it, the more cloying, idiotic, and nonsensical it is.

2nd Least Favorite:  Let me call myself

Why I Don’t Like It:  I love found poems of all kinds, and I tried to write one with a literature base, but the thing about them is that they should say something different from the source material.  The parts of this that aren’t nonsense basically just summarize “William Wilson.”

Worst Part: The part where I use the word dismal twice.  If I had used it at least three times, it may have been poetic repetition.  As it is, it’s just sloppy.

The One That Didn’t Turn Out How I Had Intended:  I took Emily Dickinson

What I Had Intended:  A several-stanza poem that’s sorta silly, sorta serious (à la Dickinson) with inventive use of meter and slant rhyme (à la Dickinson) with several Dickinson references thrown in.  Each stanza would be about taking Dickinson to different places (the bar was going to be one, the library another).  The final stanza would be a Dickinsonian rumination on death/the nature of life, in which the narrator takes Dickinson to “the house where I died.”  You know, Dickinson stuff.

Why It’s Not What I Had Intended:  I started writing it pretty early on in the month, but then discarded it for a while.  I picked it up again and wrote a few stanzas and then thought about it all night at work and then came home and wrote (not exactly) what I had been thinking about.  It got to being close to midnight, and my section about the beach had grown too big to fit with the rest of what I was doing, but I decided to roll with it because I didn’t hate it, and it was too late to write another poem before the day ended.

Overall, I’m happy with the poem, but I kind of wonder what it would look like if I could’ve written it the way I’d intended it.

The Ones That Didn’t End Up Being Written

Mirror Universe Poem:  The Daily Prompt one day had to do with meeting an alternate universe version of yourself.  So I wrote half a really crappy poem about meeting my Mirror Universe me, who was a vegan exercise nut who was wearing the Mirror Kira shiny headband.  It was dumb.  Be glad I didn’t finish it.

Jane Eyre/Painting Poem:  I’ve been listening to Jane Eyre, and I was really struck by how she painted a portrait of herself and another of that other chick Rochester was pretending to like just so she could remind herself she was plain, poor, etc.  I loled so much when she puts the two portraits side by side and says:

Whenever, in future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two picture and compare them: say, “Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady’s love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indigent and insignificant plebeian?”

Lol!  Jane Eyre is obviously part Borg and part straight up love sick fool.  Efficient and masochistic.

So I was going to write a poem about how if I could paint/draw/whatever, I would use it only as a tool for self-instruction, like Jane Eyre.  It was going to be so maudlin and so flowery.  Be sad I didn’t finish it.

Follow Up to Just Another Song That Nonsensically Quantifies Teardrops:  I got to thinking about how the exponential model of teardrops is true only supposing one does not see one’s lost love ever again; however, when one sees one’s lost love, the tear drops show a sharp incline.  And sometimes hormones or whatever cause tear drops to increase, as well.  Therefore, some kind of waveform graph would more accurately portray a tear drop situation.  I never found the time/energy to research this and write my country-western song.  Be really sad I didn’t write this one.

2nd Favorite: The Eye Witness

Why I Like It:  I find noir fun both to write and to read, so I think this an enjoyable piece from both ends.  I also like the idea of it:  how useless a noir narrator would be as an eyewitness–always waxing gritty and poetic but never really pointing out details that could make an accurate sketch.

Best Part:  The last section, in which I crack myself up every time imagining some five-o-clock-shadowed grubby detective getting super impatient with a disenchanted dame with a long cigarette holder:

–Ma’am. Thank you, but–

I’ve got one more.

He was a man who may have wanted
to be good once,
but a life of neon lovers and gun-metal friends
had persuaded him otherwise
in the dark of some wet, murderous night.

–Are you finished?

Yes.

Favorite:  The Ice Box of My Heart

Why I Like It:  Oh hi, extended metaphor that doesn’t even seem that forced!  This could’ve turned out a lot worse than it did, and I am so pleasantly surprised by it.  I wrote it in like five minutes, and I still like it very much.

Best Part:  The simple stanza in the middle that sums up the whole thing (and was the inspiration for the entire poem):

It’s mostly leftovers,
to be honest.

***

And with that, I’ve concluded my self-indulgent analysis of my own writing.  I will probably be back to talking about Captain Janeway and/or classic country any minute now.

***

Also, to prove I’m not completely self-centered, I also wanted to share these favorite-other-people’s poems (presented in alphabetical order):

Bonsai by grapeling

Why I Like it:  It chronicles an incident in the life of a sassy WAF lieutenant!  And it uses plant imagery!  Also, sassy WWII ladies!!!!

Best Part:  Although the sassy WWII lady stuff happens at the end, the beginning really hooked me.  I know exactly what a bonsai knuckle is (my grandmother has them), and they absolutely are strong and good at cleaning and totally worthy of poetry.

Mom held up bonsai knuckles, each hand
grown gnarled, as we sat sipping red wine
in tumblers perfectly sparkled where she’d gleamed them
with those fingers. Stains have no chance
versus them, index finger angled 30 degrees
permanently crooked the better to clean.

Green-Fingers by Carol J. Forrester

Why I Like it:  I love the house plant/farming dichotomy: how house plants are somehow instinctual and farming is scientific.

Best Part:  Again, we’ve got a great opening with great line breaks.  It also resonates with me because I’ve killed many, many orchids.

My mother and I,

killed the first orchid we were given.

We are not a houseplant

sort of family.

A High of Twenty-Two by TheBookyBunhead

Why I Like It:  I’m a sucker for weather poems and for poems with repeated lines.  This one does both beautifully.

Best Part:  I love this middle stanza that perfectly shows the exhilaration/anticipation/fear in a warm day when you’re used to cold ones.

At day’s end hoped it’d still be a dry, high of twenty-two,
Sigh of relief stepping out into fresh air
Body had been programmed to seize up for winter’s chill.

PS 22 Celsius = 72 Fahrenheit

Regular Poem: Just Another Song That Nonsensically Quantifies Teardrops

13 Apr

You know how songs like to quantify teardrops nonsensically?  Well… I’ve spent a lot more time and energy on this poem than I had planned.  I even dug into the deep recesses of my brain/education/the internet to figure exponential equations so the math would be at least partially accurate.  

On the first day that you left me
I did nothin’ but cry.
Good thing I was hefty
’cause even food was passin’ me by.
Just sat all day weepin’,
losin’ all my sleepin’
cryin’ big fat teardrops and wonderin’ why.

On the second day I got to countin’.
Had nothin’ better to do.
I was cryin’ a veritable fountain
since you’d been untrue.
Although my cryin’ seemed never ceasin’,
by approximately 15 percent it had been decreasin’,
but don’t get me wrong I still love you.

Estimate for day one lands at 104-thou
Two’s a little better with 88.
Month later I’m under 800 now.
But even if I extrapolate,
I’ll always be cryin’,
till the moment I’m dyin’,
exponentially cryin’ and how.

Teardrops 104000A

A closer look as the days stretch by:

Teardrops 104000B

I always got points in math for showing my work:

Teardrops 104000 In a short two and a half months, I will be crying fewer than one tear a day!
Book 'Em, Jan O

Ghosts, Tall Tales & Witty Haiku!

grapeling

it could be that

Only Fragments

Love Letters to the Tar Pit

Life in a blog

All there is ever, is the now

Heartspring Stanley

A Heartspring Student Project

The League of Mental Men!

A Satirical Word In Your Shell-Like Ear

Deanna-Cian's Blog

An English student who stalks Benedict Cumberbatch. If I'm not pressed against cake shop windows then I'm rambling on about the press.

Fangirl Therapy

All the Feels & How to Deal

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Barefoot Whispers

Medical doctor, book-lover, aspirant adventurer

iheartingrid

For the Love of Leading Ladies

Collective Thoughts Of My Journey

The liberation of my life, mind, and imagination that is no longer the part of the Collective..

Miss Lou Acquiring Lore

Gallery of Life...

Pitter Potter Mad Gardener

Sow, Love and Nurture