To mark #WorldPoetryDay, I accepted Colm Keegan‘ s challenge to read/recite a poem. Extra widescreen, and extra-hidden text off camera (my memory is not what it used to be), this is my most poem-y poem and feels strangely apt for the times we find ourselves in. This is called “the sentence”
I love words. It is the world I am most happy in. And poetry is my favourite written form.
Some years ago I was asked to perform some poetry at a spoken word night in Dublin and I decided to play with the very idea of writing itself, and the end result was this poem that toys with ideas of writing and language.
It was a poem I spent many hours crafting and rewriting. The end result is a poem I really love.
the sentence I'm trapped inside this poem, sentenced to burn in here alone. Which means that for the next 30 lines it’s my unwanted home. High time then to plot my escape clause from this overheated verse shaped box, starting by making a ladder from dangling participles and some missing socks; glue it together with predicates deconstructed carefully in their prime, then bind up each end with the finest scented romantic metred rhymes. Then, step by step deconstruct it and hide it under my pillowy upper case, then for a while bide my time, take a beat ... every sentence needs its space. Then as the following few unfolding lines presently grow tense and taut, the next phase of my escape plan begins out in the yard of discarded thoughts. I assume a pseudonym and then flip the silent “P” around like a spoonerism and use it to dig a tunnel down underground. Then with one hand scatter colons carefully to cover up the hole, with the other I dust pocketfuls of unusèd accents that I stole. Then back inside the structure to set in motion this poet’s plans, but first I kneel, dot my eyes and cross my tees with shaking hands. So it begins like this, I divert attention by twisting palindromes inside out, "Name no one man, Madam I'm adam"; I roar out loud and shout. No you're not", says the onrushing guard, pushes me back up 'gainst the margin hard, he grabs an @ symbol, calls for back up, the grammar police are now alarmed. Seizing my moment, I carpet diem, pull the rug from under them all the way, make haste, cast my ladder out, soon running across thoughts faster'n I can say "See you later poem, I'm heading for the margin, Where sweet letters bulge and new ideas barge in! Scrambling letters in my wake now, dashing towards the hyphenated end-goal, In I slide footers first through the peering freedom shaped escape hole. Once free of the poem and outside those lines I'll assume the case to be, that I’m in a position to begin a subjective textually liberated life that’s free. And as memories of the sour sentence fade into a sweet footnoted tome, I will rewrite all my cold first drafts, no longer trapped inside this poem.
[Kalle Ryan – 12 Jan 2010]