Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Renga: Ars Poetica

After several months of painstaking work, we've successfully completed our Ars Poetica Renga. The following is the complete kasen, from beginning to end to beginning. To review the rules for this particular renga, click here.
Always the new: first,
sharp graffiti on a train.
Then, a blur speeding past.

Images running one in-
to the other, borderless

Is it the words or
The pictures in the spaces
Between our buzzing ears?

Bodies on beaches, faces on mass transit:
I see birthmarks I don’t wish to see.

An ocean filled with
Sounds, running to the edges
On any given page

Silen sand symbols scrawled—
Roar of rocks, water, air

Verse freed from “be-
autiful,” from “org-
anic.” Always engineered.

Sounds, textures, rhythms – leaping
Fragments of dislocation

Dirt and orange peels
Root fingers reaching water
Green joyful shoots rise up

behind the clouds: pale blue rain,
morning comes in fresh blank pages

calligraphic rain
stream lines of textured water
read reflect release

risks in an alphabetical order
waking up the dictionary

Slogan on truck door
Rolls in, out of bridge lights, flash
Of reflection, dark.

Next, producing at a level
People can afford to buy.

Random thoughts for sale:
Lightly used, binding still new—
Buy one, get one free

Threads from old books’ spines
Woven in entangled texts

Tuesday like Monday
Poem its own analog
Watch—tick its time.

Violin, piano, cello:
Each, unworded concertos

Oily residue on the keys
Sleeve dipped in coffee,
Empty screen still empty.

every word screened by keystroke
after keystroke: deleted

Piano plinking
spitting out sounds, thunder clap
begin again silent

Noise increases, grooves
Deepen under the needle.

Rich pages in wine country,
Savored glasses filled with
Deep wines red of heart

A round is around
is aroused, is Rose

Words mumbled sleeping
hand over dream trail end like
benediction, curse

Against this window: black rain
Sheets washing away the grime

Windshield wipers
Measure accents
Across state lines

A book of my nights in cities
In yellow gray geography

Uphill downhill turn
signals flash dappled green shade—
where are we going?

Along sandy shorelines, words
Bathing on beaches naked

Tell the truth: magic
makes meaning from bloody guts—
Root around and see.

Grains in your lines,
Ridges along your nails

Above thin trees sweat-
ing pollen, stark raving sun
lashing lashing lashing

Bee clouds gather, suck, pack up
the sun, make it food for gods.

Down here we place verse
on verse on verse, teeth
on lips, tongue on teeth

And then, oh then, it ends like
A snake, like a breath, like death.

- A collaboration between S. Zabic, J. Salsman, H. Tran. Januaury - April, 2007

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