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Columns > John Zinkand - Improvise

Published: 2003/04/25
by John Zinkand

Fluid Motions in Poetry

This week marks the start of some musical down time here in the Pacific Northwest. Many improvisational acts have passed through in the recent weeks, soaking us in their inspired jams and danceable grooves. And while almost any jamband that travels here is enthusiastically received, they are even more appreciated and respected when they come in the rainy winter months – a time when just being in Oregon is a very sloppy, soggy business. The moisture locks in as the gray clouds plant themselves over our little corner of the nation and incessantly spit rain. It’s a steady stream of wetness as one storm after another rolls in off the northern Pacific ocean. We actually had a fairly dry Winter all the way through February, but it has been raining nearly every day since then with no signs of easing up in the near to middle-distant future. With no music on the horizon for weeks to come and nothing but rain, gray, and chilly temperatures in the forecast, my thoughts turn to staving off insanity. For me, this involves writing poetry. In honor of the Northwest rainy season’s final aggravating push into spring and finally summer, here are some fluid themed poems for your perusal and possible enjoyment.
Troubled Waters
Troubled waters lay ahead for the water troublers.
Their job of troubling water at various lakes, rivers, and streams is most decidedly in jeopardy.
It seems that lately the normal process of troubling water is becoming progressively less and less, well, troubling to the water.
The water seems to just sit there with a smirk on its aquatic countenance even after being troubled quite aggressively by the water troublers.
This is baffling the experts as the water has been troubled, quite effectively, in the same manner for so many years now.
Many folks feel that water everywhere must be mutating into some kind of untroubled super fluid!
Nothing seems to trouble the waters anymore.
While scientists and scholars in the field of "troubled waters" research around the clock to solve the problem, the general public is fearful.
They see very little troubled waters ahead of them.
Blobby Globby Jelly
Runny jelly.
Blobby, globby, runny jelly quivering in the sunshine.
Tiny shackles of gelatinous sprayed chunks cling fast to the pavement all around the Main glumpy lump of blobby, globby, runny, green jelly.
A strong breeze hits the jelly and it shimmies, then shakes.
It bobbles and wobbles as the wind blows harder.
One side of the jelly is being lifted up off the pavement
While it quivers and shivers in the wind.
Ripples and waves slide down the side of the glob of jelly.
As the wind subsides, the jelly goes back to it’s original form.
Just a blob, or a glob, of gelatinous, quivering, shivering jelly.
Or is that something else?
The Gut
Rumblings from below.
An acidic salad of munchies being tossed and torn.
A gurgle and spurgle, the fountain of
Harshness sprays up on the tender pink slithery pouch.
Shallow waters with pools of oily residue.
A place of extreme conditions, where no life could ever exist, yet life begins here. Breaking it all down to the barest elements,
And then plugging spark plugs into the correct socket openings
So that combustion can occur.
An uninhabitable pit of death so that life may exist.
Freakish Dreaming
Faithful teams of hydrant workers slip some enamel under the mattress.
Hydrated water bees are sipped on until they grow a donkey.
Flames and tin foil, while stacked, can gravitate into a layer of corn.
Musical baths are located on the left of the orange Green Machine.
Basil drenched rain drops lick at the butt of terror that is a round doctor.
Faster and faster the rinds of milk are rotated
Until there is a brown explosion of noisy retinas.
A polyp covered razor clam slowly eats his first abalone.
You and Eye
Slick meteors from distant places smash forcefully into the side of the young planet.
Over and over again,
Bombarding it with great violence,
Amidst the state of silent peace and wonder that is enjoyed
In this remote section of some strange galaxy.
The smashing fragments are flying back
As the next massive blow is delivered.
Many of the pieces that float up in the aftermath are greenish blue.
But they float and turn and twist as they fly further and further up,
Towards the remote void of space. As they twist, they change colors-
From red to orange, then to a yellowish brown.
The pieces morph into a slick matter, almost like oil, then begin to take shape.
Twisting like pieces of colorful clay,
Trying to find a final shape in which to rest for eternity. A smile, then a frown, and ice-cream cone, then a puppy,
A strange foreign life form shape, then the shape of divinity.
As it loops and looks for a stable form,
Another blast forces up matter that seems to dance
As it changes colors from a deep purple to an even deeper purple.
It’s almost as if the shapes of foreign matter
Are dancing as they sing songs about life and meaning,
Rolling around over and through one another.
A blinding light swells up from the planet’s surface
As if to approve of this cosmic shuffle, and the matter takes the shape of an eyeball.
Then there are two eyeballs the size of our sun.
Floating, spinning, singing, and dancing as they meander through time.

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