poetry and the TTC (not necessarily in that order)

Where does one rant?

Is it here?

Okay. 2 rants. One price (free). Oh, and there is no connection between the two.

Rant number 1: TTC fare increase

I'm not mad at the TTC, that would be dumb. Why would I be mad at an organization whose job it is to move people from point A to point B. They're not trying to make a shit-ton of money while doing it, just break even. And yet, people are losing their minds that fare prices are going up. Going bananas at the temerity. How dare they charge me more?

Instead, these people should be getting mad at multiple levels of government that claim to support public transit but fail when it comes to anteing up the money. Either giving nothing or attempting some misguided tax write-off silliness.

Public transit is great. Public transit is vital for a connected, thriving city. To say nothing about where greening initiatives would be without it. Public transit needs more respect.

And, as an aside, streetcars make such a great noise when they're zipping along. It's a hum, but with a tenor cadence, throbbing in the underbelly of the sound. I like the word thrum to describe this noise and have been using it a lot lately. Any other suggestions?

Rant number 2: poetry

What's up with that stuff?

I'm trying to read some right now, but I miss a lot. Some of the poems I fall into, I find the cadence, understand the words and get what's going on. Some remain obscure to me, but although I try to parse a meaning from the metaphor and fail I still find pleasure in the flow and lyric of the thing. Then finally, there are the poems I don't get, at all.

When I read a poem I adjust my reading style, trying to savour the word and form laid before me, and avoid my normal quick read that hunts for narrative and drops details in the process. Sometimes it even works, as a line's structure pokes me in the eye, a word choice makes me smile or nod. My appreciation for poetry ends up stemming more from self-satisfaction at gaining entry to an imagined poetry in-group than any sense of actual understanding.

It wouldn't concern me, but there are way more poems I have no clue about than ones I get. Makes me worry I'm doing something wrong. Does anyone have expertise in poetry, whether reading or writing? Would they like to start a poetry circle? Or maybe just lend or point me towards a book.

How to Expose Your Soul to A Raging Tempest: The poetry teachings of Franz Léderée

Maybe that book exists?

Heh, who knows. In the meantime I guess I'll just keep reading and experimenting and seeing what results. Poetry is difficult because of its density. It requires and sometimes demands re-reading. Like the rest of my daily existence my adventures in poetry will be better served by living with the moment, re-reading to find additional meaning, having patience with what is before me.

Watched this documentary about Leonard Cohen and he apparently spent (spends?) 5 hours a day writing and editing. I'm sure that's part of the answer to my dilemma as well. He is also described as a "very confident young man" who keeps all his correspondence and makes sure to have many photos taken; the duties of one who considers himself the record keeper of a generation but with very little ego, apparently.

He also claimed to have chosen a path infinitely wide and without direction. Sounds like me, so that's gotta be a plus!

(EDIT: I've taken off the Leonard Cohen video because its automatic play function was getting a bit annoying. You can still watch it here.)

And let's sign off with a little taste of some of the good stuff I'm muddling through, the Frank O'Hara poem Mayakovsky was used in an episode of Mad Men. Or at least the 4th stanza was. Caught my ear. So hear it is in word form.

My heart's aflutter!
I am standing in the bath tub
crying. Mother, mother
who am I? If he
will just come back once
and kiss me on the face
his coarse hair brush
my temple, it's throbbing!

then I can put on my clothes
I guess, and walk the streets.

I love you. I love you,
but I'm turning to my verses
and my heart is closing

like a fist.
Words! be
sick as I am sick, swoon,
roll back your eyes, a pool,
and I'll stare down
at my wounded beauty
which at best is only a talent
for poetry.

Cannot please, cannot charm or win
what a poet!
and the clear water is thick

with bloody blows on its head.
I embraced a cloud,
but when I soared
it rained.

That's funny! there's blood on my chest
oh yes, I've been carrying bricks
what a funny place to rupture!
and now it is raining on the ailanthus
as I step out onto the window ledge
the tracks below me are smoky and
glistening with a passion for running
I leap into the leaves, green like the sea

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

Hopefully I got that all right. Goodnight. Work starts anew demain. Hard run in to Christmas.

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