Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Why so much sestina?

Psychiatry session in sestina

By Moristotle

[This poem was originally published on June 12, 2013, in a time during which I fairly frequently wrote sestinas. As I don’t seem to have written another, the question might now be, “Why no more sestinas?” – a question I intend to answer soon, in my first sestina in three and a half years. I miss writing them!]

Doctor, Why do I so much sestina?
I think you like the poem’s imposed order.
They’re a lot like the Sudoku puzzles
in the morning paper. You like to piece
the numbers together and keep busy
and prove once again the solution’s safe.

How do you know I want things to be safe?
I read your blog; I scan your sestinas.
However topsy-turvy and busy
the world outside is, poems give you order.
You’re able to fit in all the pieces
you want to cover—just like a puzzle.

The word-sequence scheme is like a puzzle....
Your blog, too, you know, keeps everything safe.
Others venture and write travel pieces
while you stay at home and write sestinas.
A post every day imposes order
on the world and limits its business.

But indeed the world is way too busy....
A why for the attraction of puzzles.
They result in predictable order.
Failing to solve one is harmless and safe.
If you bomb out writing a sestina
you can just move on to another piece.

You seem to think you’ve picked up my pieces!
No, not quite yet: Friday’s fish are busy—
the column makes the world a sestina;
its way of dealing with events?—“puzzle”
them. You make your own “adventuring” safe—
small risk doing your wife’s asks to order.

There isn’t anything wrong with order!
So why trash religion in a “Thor” piece?
It’s other people’s poem for feeling safe.
Michelangelo kept himself busy
sketching out and painting in those puzzles
same as you lay out words in sestinas.

All is in order, and you are busy.
Your life’s sure, like a piece of a puzzle;
you’re safe—inside your sestina chapel.

Copyright © 2017 by Moristotle

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