Dedicated to the inventor of the diarized poetics form, Fred of Poetical Psyche (see the post explaining the form here

Chinese artist Wang Qian Peony Yuan Dynasty 1271-1368

October 29, 2011. Up before the sun to snow on the ground (it’s below freezing here at 10,000 feet). I reach for the laptop, instinctively, as it’s become an extension of my mind: axons traversing the wide world, its tendrils reaching out. I check the site stats for Chromapoesy: 6,467 visits since I started four months ago, 2,427 comments and I think about all the years I went without one reader or shred of feedback. Now that I quantify my bounty, does this make me greedy?

I trudge downstairs to make my whey protein breakfast; it is Saturday so I put orange dark chocolate chip sherbet in it. Wow, someone needs to clean the refrigerator! I make a mental note to organize and scrub it out today. Light will soon hit the tops of the bare aspens. I proffer a treat to my dog, Jody, still my baby girl though she’s 11. Kissing her head with a deep well of love I push aside the fact that she has cancer. Passing by the piano I see the ashes of Buddy, sweet boy who died in May, I cry again, take a deep compassionate breath, and remind myself I’m still grieving. Funny, that sentence has enough commas for Jane Austen.

Back at the computer I read Political Psyche and look for archived gems. Everyone’s in a Halloween mood. I’ve read about murder and mayhem for more than two weeks: vampires, werewolves, and incubus dreams. His cherub piece is certainly original and disturbing. I remember to click the like button for the poem with the sensuous eye-lid flittingly gorgeous word inquilinity. Then I stumble upon the post Diarized Poetry a form Fred’s invented and decide to try something new. Apologies to Fred if I butcher it in my first attempt but there has to be a first to be a second and so on.

Remembering my poetry notes about calyx I do a Google search to arrive at Calyx of Held (which sounds to me incredibly epic and poetic). I read multiple research articles on it and am transfixed by science’s inspiration. Unique one-to-one connection in auditory ventral brainstem (I get tears on my scarlet moleskin notebook, yes I’m still crying over my dog). Pray, wonder if there’s a God that embraces every living thing or if in this cold distant universe we’re simply fodder in a circle of life which makes me think about the things I do for love, seeing the Lion King in 3D with my mentee and her sister. What a massive headache that gave me though I reminisce how earlier in the day she agreed to speak at the fundraising tea at the Brown Palace. I bought her a dress for the occasion. She told me she loved me, out loud and to my face, there at the Colorado Mills mall while her sister chimed in.

I’m thinking about peonies, the Chinese symbolism, medicinal purposes, art, beauty, and can almost conjure their smell. I dry the tears still falling for my dog. The Calyx of Held connects the globular bushy cells of anteroventral cochlear nucleus and the principal cells of the medial nucleus of the trapezoidal body (MNTB) in the brainstem. I ponder, download pictures, read more about its nascent development, and investigate short-term plasticity. Plasticity is such a marvelous concept/word in Biology. Neuroscience is still illuminating the plasticity of the brain, we never knew how plastic, and magnificent it truly is. I think about poetry comments and The Invisible Gorilla, what bookshelf is that in? By the wood-burning stove and the swiveling reading chair? I’d look down from the twenty-foot balcony but it creates a shock that travels from my head to nether regions with simply the thought. Guess that phobia isn’t going to retreat. Momentary flash of the hot air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings and the Nile (did I move during that whole tortuous hour)?

Can I combine the Calyx of Held and peonies, the rambling of my mind, into engaging poetry? I read Fred’s examples and remind myself I can always rewrite or skip the prompt (based on the clues I think it’s on conversation). If I don’t try and fail I never get anywhere. One of the reasons I write so much experimental poetry. I find a pile of cryptic notes (never a surprise) that has the phrase ‘a state of profound abstraction’ and the definition of nepenthe (so beautiful I need to find a way to incorporate it into poetry, it means forgetfulness of sorrow or something that causes forgetfulness). Thoughts flood too fast to write clearly: the Death Enters the Rooms and Deep Grief sections of my epic Mere Beasts; the death grimace of my beloved dog, Buddy (foreshadowing the one that is coming); Joy’s Poe poem about his dead wife (I must look up the name and write it down, another cryptic note to decipher later); symbolism; Ophelia floating in the river; and finally, focus and reread Fred’s notes.

Rereading the post to refocus I admire his voice and style. I begin to see how to make this into poetry. My attention is called away again to the tracks in the meadow; I take in the sun now flooding the forest with light.

How honest do I need to be? Probably I need to be as honest with you as I’m willing to be with myself. I’ve always been entranced by the romance of what goes unsaid. Who was it that said they wanted to remain a mystery to themselves? Right, Mad King George, no, the other one, Mad King Ludwig, ‘I wish to remain an eternal enigma to myself and to others …’ Yet the vulnerability of art has to be mutual if the artist & the viewer are to be transformed (as I discussed in my post about it on Chromalexicon). I remind myself to be receptive.

Shit, that essay for the blog about Socialist Realism, inspired by The Color of Pomegranates, the film by Sergei Parajanov, is finished but for the final edit! The painting on the easel, in the vein of Torn is likely ready for another layer but I have to figure out where I’m going with these glazes first. It’s a new and intriguing direction and that always takes longer. The Requiem for the Unsung I’m composing will lose its way if I don’t return to it again very soon. The gorgeous sounds of David Lang’s Requiem for the Little Match Girl are ringing in my head (but damn that computer fan is loud). Will I ever finish those screenplays? What are all the things I’ll leave unfinished in my life?

Ok, but now I’m supposed to write a short reflective poem as instructed. I laugh aloud as I see the scene from Sherlock: A Study in Pink where Sherlock’s brother says to Dr. Watson: (Laughing) ‘Yes, the bravery of the soldier, bravery is by far the kindest word for stupidity don’t you think?’ And I must ask myself: Is my writing courageous?

I am in love with the world
engagement acts as a nepenthe
as the landscape floods with light
my thoughts churn and spill over
from pencil to page I’m quiet now
yet do not allow myself fantasy
as if the thoughts send signals
of intention into the world

jumbled in a sea of interconnection
peonies bloom in recesses of imagination
raindrops gathering on nectar drenched buds
their scent, merely incanted in my mind intoxicates
potent stimulus, enough to induce vistas of flourishing
desires full of sensual and intellectual pleasures

Calyx of Held, largest synapse in the mind
nerve terminals moment by moment
receive paeans to a eudaimon life
direct one-to-one connections
co-existing in osculant bliss

yet in the external world
I am entranced by intrigue
by what remains unsaid