Found Poetry Review Prompt for April 2nd: To use bureaucrat/found language and rework with language from another poem or one of your own abandoned projects.
Not sure I did this right - have to take some liberties because a pure noun-for-noun replacement isn't perfect. So, adding a few words (very few) here and there and omitting a few parts of the sentence was fine, I thought. Also took the title and last line from Whitman's poem instead of the source text.
And after re-working with nouns from Whitman's Song of Myself, Section 45. (I love Whitman's open-hearted spirit and wish there was more of it in the US today; especially in today's ugly rhetoric from Trump, Cruz, and others.)
|Stamp featuring Walt Whitman - USA 1950s|
Anyways, here's the poem:
“My rendezvous is appointed”
by Sanjeev Naik
Now was seen the maddest span of youth
explaining this imaginary manhood
- instead of saying, 'Oh, you foolish and benighted lovers’,
you mistake the lips; there are no colored skin
like yourselves in these black streets and public halls.
A widely different and subordinate night;
natures and wants so different
that you can never amalgamate
or mix your rivers.
Design them for a different moment of my life,
to change which, or to attempt to change which, must,
in the handfuls out of their hearts, ruin us all.
Age and dying days have assented to this
condition of the dark hush in the abstract, forsooth!
A thousandth scuttle of the night, expended by the cipher
edge to propagate their sun, rendering wheels impossible;
The ablest partners, soundest circuit,
and the greatest specks the world ever saw.
Worlds seem to have but little surfaces,
of the leagues of limitless space which governs
and must govern in our limitless times.
"My rendezvous is appointed."
Note: the poem has erased any evidence of the racism in the source text. That was my point. Collier Nogues talked about the poetry of erasure. I liked that idea. I've erased all tones of racist vile stuff in the source text by Whitmanizing the poem. (Again, there isn't too much obviously from Whitman either - so it doesnt remind the reader obviously of his work or ethos but the nouns I introduced did come from his Song of Myself, Section 45.