LEADERS - not followers

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Q & A

For Big Tent Poetry


This week’s prompt
Recently, at the wonderful, amazing, inspiring IRL feedback group that Carolee and I belong to, one of the poets shared with us her desire to turn a current poem into a “conversation poem.”
She sent us some samples, including Mark Strand’s “
Answer” and the haunting “Conversation” by the late poet Ai, in which the speaker both asks the question and supplies the answer (though the departed does indeed respond, as you will see).
Is there a question you are burning to ask someone? Is there a person (living or dead) you would love to have a conversation with? Maybe, as our IRL poet friend shared, you have had a conversation with someone that bears repeating (and examining through poetry’s sharp lens). Perhaps someone has posed a question to you that you simply, at the time, could not answer. Take some time this week and compose your answer in the form of a poem.
Whether or not you write your poem in Strand’s question and answer format, or ask and imagine the answers as Ai did, this week, be sure to ask the really hard questions! Work hard to find the answers! Then, come back and share the whole conversation!


ASK

Click to hear ASK


Q I

One team’s fruit menu
Reorganised as a rule
Imperial base
When expressed digitally
The top of the world revealed


A I

Rearrange? Reorganise?
A RULE…?
ONE TEAM’S FRUIT MENU…? Mixed up?
Say what…?
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT…!
Woo hoo…!
Digitally expressed…reveals…?
Numbers…?

You want the numbers…?
Easy!

Twenty nine thousand and twenty eight
I mean
2-9-0-2-8: Digits
Means what?
That’s the height of Mount Everest…
Dummy!
In feet – Imperial base…
You know…?


Q II

Used for the first time
On watch right around the clock
For an entire week

A II

First things first; the first time
Do you remember yours?
First time is the Second
Time unit wise, that is

Used as in ‘utilised’?
Or as in ‘second-hand’?
Watch as in ‘guard-duty’?
Or watch as in ‘wristwatch’?

A watch’s second hand
Goes right around the clock
One time every minute
And sixty times an hour

One thousand, four hundred
And forty times a day
By the end of the week
The answer that you seek
Works out at ten thousand
And eighty (minutes long)


Q III

QUIET PLEASE! The stage is set
The entire cast is assembled
Pre-determined
Regulation
Is the order of the day
Numerically
Consecutively
Starting from number one

Without a sound, they form five groups
The thing we must determine
The average
Numerical
Value of each of these groups
Individually
Categorically
Logical progression

A III

Alphabetical order
Is the way it’s usually done
So, if A equals one
Z equals twenty six

There are just FIVE VOWEL SOUNDS
In the English alphabet
If we leave these sounds ‘without’
We can add up all the rest

B to D; they equal nine
The average then, is three
F to H; make twenty one
With seven the average

J to N; talking sixty
With an average of twelve
P to T; they score ninety
The average is eighteen

That leaves; W to Z
For one hundred and twenty
Giving them an average
Of exactly twenty four


Q IV

Our last song is called
‘The Unlucky Number Song’
Count on the intro
To explain the reason why
It’s called ‘unlucky number’


A IV

So, you want an intro, eh?
I’ll give you one… two, three, four!
What’s unlucky about that?

Absolutely nothing, mate

OK… all over again
A-one, two… one, two, three, four!
THAT’S an unlucky number!
Thirteen…add ‘em up… agreed?