Wednesday, 14 April 2010

National Poetry Writing Month, Day Fourteen

Today’s RWP prompt:

Nicole Nicholson has a big challenge for us on Day 14: Write a cleave poem. What’s a cleave poem, you ask? It’s three poems in one.

The whole idea works something like this (quoting the creator of the form, Dr. Phuoc-Tan Diep): “In its most basic form it is three poems: two parallel ‘vertical’ poems (left and right)…[with] a third ‘horizontal’ poem being the fusion of the vertical poems read together.” He goes on to say, “One of my aims was to examine how something can be more than the sum of its parts and can be 3 in 1: synergy, fusion, co-operation, dialectics, marriage, interdependence, teamwork and The Trinity.”

More info can be found at The Cleave (including samples) and at the “cleave” entry at Writing.com.
Happy writing!

Holly cow, I’d never heard of a cleave poem before, and I could make absolutely no sense whatsoever of it, so once I’d looked at a few examples I went for a run, then to the dentist. As I lay there with my mouth jacked open I began to understand. Sort of. When I got home our very new neighbours were decorating. It really sounded like they’d given up trying to strip off the old wallpaper and decided to take radical action. All I could do was retire to the kitchen and make a vat of Chili, my kind of therapy. Once that was done, and I had eaten, the noise abated so I was able to get on with the cleavage.

I've put the first 'vertical' poem in bold so you can see what I'm trying to do. Thus the bold is supposed to be one poem and the non bold another, but they should be able to be read together as one poem as well. Anyway, whether this works as a cleave poem, or a poem of any sort I’ll leave you to decide.

Red Wine and Pills

Layer over solid layer, charting the decades,
wood-chip wallpaper, hiding the cracks,
the singular solution, nothing for it,
tear the walls down, don’t look back.


Titus said...

Coo! Thank you for the cleave introduction.

I think I like the non-bold and the whole thing best, but that may be the rhyme calling me. It is interesting the way the mind is pulled about by this - like those optical illusions where you can only see the vase or the two faces, never both together (allegedly). Fascinating.

evelyn.n.alfred said...

I read this poem without reading the title, then I read it a second time with the title and it had a totally different effect on the tone of the poem.

The rhyme is nice too.

Pat said...

The non bold poem would make a great blues song I'm thinking. The tune is in my head.

Skankinmoon said...

short and great images.

Richelle Dodaro said...

This was wonderful. It had a chilling effect to it, nice work!

flaubert said...

Yay! Eryl nice, nice!

Kass said...

I love stuff like this. Clever, clever, clever. You did awesome!

Jimmy Bastard said...

Intriguing, I'm actually with Pat on this one.

Philip said...

At first I thought what the hell sort of unnecessary complication is that?! But I am converted. I really liked the poem and thought it really worked. I was also quite amused by the thought of "getting on with cleavage". Keep up the good work.
Oh - thanks for the comment on my last blog post - glad you enjoyed it.

Pat said...

'Knights in white satin' has the same beat. Couldn't remember the name last night.

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ you're welcome, it would be interesting to see you do something with this form. One of the things I found really difficult was formatting it so that it could be read as a whole. This seemed to mean keeping the lines of the first poem (bold) about the same length. I've noticed, though, that other people don't seem to worry about that and present the two quite separately in columns, but I find that too jarring.

Evelyn ~ I like a bit of rhyme! I nearly just called it cleavage, I don't know where Red Wine and Pills came from, but I'm glad it did come because it does, I agree, change the tone completely.

Pat ~ now you say that I'm humming!

Skankinmoon ~ thank you.

Richelle ~ oh good, I like to chill!

Pamela ~ I must come and see what you did with it, if anything.

Kass ~ I sometimes love things like this and at other times I rebel because they feel more like puzzles than poems. But I do think there is something interesting to this form.

Jimmy ~ Pat knows what she's on about!

Philip ~ that's exactly what I thought, and I nearly refused to play. Glad you like it.

I couldn't resist throwing in a cleavage pun. Who could?

Pat ~ is it 'knights' or 'nights'? Or both?

Pat said...

Now you mention it 'Knights in white satin' is a bit overly camp. I really don't know is the answer.

Alesa Warcan said...

Ops, late for the party...
Wow... These things boggle me.

They are fun to read though! Especially the ones that have separate parts that actually work independently as well as together...
Your piece certainly does that.

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ it is rather Monty Python!

Alesa ~ I suspect this is a form I will never revisit. There's something irritatingly bossy about it, and it's a bit 'ambiguity by numbers.'

Lulu LaBonne said...

I like this idea but it's more like doing a word puzzle than a poem - nice to try other things though

Eryl Shields said...

Lulu ~ yes, I rather agree with you there, on both counts.