Drinking Song from the Bowery – A Dizain.
Of all the consequences since that time,
Divide them into copper pipes and spoons,
From door to doorway, we knocked back the wine,
Sat on a hill in a park to cast runes.
Spinning the questionable echoing tunes,
Watching that Autumn leaves tumble, broken,
We were dead to each other, rough-spoken
Ghost crowds, not in rooms. Ever remember,
The ethos pitch, the last punch, evoking
Memory’s bells, chimed cold, stark November.
How Did It Go?
I don’t know much about the Dizain form (15th-16th century French form and (confession) didn’t look for or find any examples – I followed its rule-bound logic (10 syllable form; one can also use 8 syllable lines), & its rhyme pattern – ababbccdcd. I worked and revised because my first attempt (at this Drinking Song) was ok, but I was unhappy with a too end-word rhyme-y thing going on. But I was certain it was a ‘drinking song’ and the imagery that entered evoked a time when I lived in a run-down 19th century loft-space on the Bowery (NYC) way before its current iteration of Mercedes-Benz show rooms and high price hotels. So, this is in a way a goodbye Dizain: to a time, a lifestyle, a moment in history, a set of past, ghostly relations. Was fun to do, though tricky to move into a – what I think – is more possibly craggier twisty way of exploring image-emotion & memory-phantoms. Now I am curious to find some good examples of the form in French or otherwise.
-© 2022-10-15 Robert Frede Kenter
From clouded mountain, prison cells and wine
we shared the driving on the shining road.
Salt tang our taste as senses intertwine;
a taste of loss, of flux, as asphalt glowed
where time slipped by and memories grew cold.
The Great Whites drifted ever South, as we,
our compass pointed to the East, broke free
where mountain passes, plains and fields pretend
that they care nothing for the dying sea
and we both knew where this hard road might end.
How Did It Go?
I decided to take a draft non-rhyming poem that was the right length and already had some ten syllable lines and convert it. I’m not sure this was a good idea as I had to spend a long time making it have meaning and sensible rhymes.
For the birds that keep winter at bay
October spins a web of sun and shade,
In clouds of golden leaf-fall, roses blown,
That drift against the walls where summer’s laid,
And all its songs and feather-brightness flown.
Of spring musicians, robin sings alone,
Until the restless sky turns glassy cold,
And north wind bites, and silver clouds the gold.
His fire, blazing, draws the thrush, to bring
Wild notes of honey sweetness, clear and bold,
To cheer the winter dark with songs of spring.
How Did It Go?
The writing of this kind of strictly metered rhyming verse is relatively easy. Whether the result is a good poem or not, I wouldn’t like to say.
Why does the old Stevens house keep burning?
City’s birth, visual representation.
The tides of historic structures are turning,
most would see all razed to their foundations…
Especially, reasonably, First Nations.
Museums dedicated to their preserve,
make expropriated feel quite perturbed.
Object to celebrating overt crimes:
rapacious appetites need to get curbed,
or be fated to repeat across time.
Bio And Links
lives and works in southwest France. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, the Ekphrastic Review, Black Bough Poetry, ink sweat and tears, Gleam, Nightingale & Sparrow, Green Ink and Brilliant Flash Fiction. She blogs at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
is a writer from Chesterfield in Derbyshire whose ideas are heavily influenced by his background in the local coalfields, where industry and nature lived side by side. His first pamphlet “Heritage” was published in 2019. His poetic influences range from Blake to Owen, Causley to Cooper-Clarke and more recently the idea of imagistic poetry and the work of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez.