Post Na/GloPoWriMo 2022

National/Global Poetry Writing Month is now over, and I met 21 of the prompts from Maureen Thorsen at napowrimo.net, plus the warm-up prompt on 31 March. I responded twice to the prompt on two of those 30 days in April, although one was a concrete poem I wrote 24 years ago. Some days saw multiple poems written, with a total of 41 poems posted in April, including 3 with audio. All but two were in response to various prompts, some coinciding with napowrimo.net. Those other prompts were from earthweal, Colleen Chesebro’s Word Craft Poetry, The Sunday Whirl, Misky’s The Twiglet, and dVerse ~ Poets Pub (where I also responded with a prosery). Coincidentally, two of those poems met prompts at napowrimo.net.

My responses were in various forms, two of which – aisling and duplex – are new to me. All are listed here:

1 aisling
2 concrete poem (including one from the past)
1 duplex
23 free verse
4 ekphrastic poems (1 was a gogyohka)
2 haibun
1 haiku
2 list poems
1 nonet
1 prose poem
1 tanka prose
2 quadrille

In addition to these poems, I kept busy during National Poetry Month. I participated in a Zoom open mic with members of the Columbia Writer’s Guild and one with dVerse members. I also participated in a Zoom reading for “Poets in the Blogosphere,” organized by Luanne Castle and hosted by Liz Gauffreau. A video recording of that reading can be seen here. I participated in two live open mic sessions, one at Gumbo Bottoms Ale House in Jefferson City, Missouri, and one at Barb’s Books in Belle, Missouri. Also, I had a poem published by Vita Brevis Press, and I received notification that three of my poems will be in a forthcoming “Well Versed” anthology from Columbia Writer’s Guild (Columbia, Missouri).

It was National Poetry Writing Month that inspired me to start this blog in 2014, and I have participated in, and completed, the challenge each April since then. I always enjoy reading the many wonderful prompt responses from other poets at napowrimo.net, where I’ve been introduced to many of the poets that I follow on WordPress. I look forward to next year’s challenge. Thank you to all who read my poetry this past month and especially to all who commented.

Ken Gierke

 

Damn technology!

Until now, I’ve avoided writing posts on my phone — I may have tried it once, but doing it right now reminds me how difficult it is.  I replaced a wonky keyboard on my laptop last week, thinking I had solved an ongoing problem, and it did — for a week.  Now, once I’m signed in, it refuses to respond to any input — keyboard, touchpad or left mouse button.

I converted the laptop to Linux Mint two years ago, when Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7  — security, etc..  I made the laptop dual boot, Windows and Linux so I could continue to edit photos and videos with favorite programs, but I stay off the internet, since Windows security is lacking.  Imagine this — I can still do that.  Everything — keyboard, mouse and touchpad — works fine.  Go figure.  At least I’ll be able to write there.

I used an old Windows 7 desktop to do a Zoom session today, but otherwise it will be no computer time for me, at least for a couple of days.  I really don’t like surfing on my phone. I need a real screen. I ordered a new laptop this evening, and it should be here on Friday.

I dislike Windows 8 through 10, which is why I’ve been relying on the old Windows 7 laptop, but I guess now I’ll have to adjust to Windows 11.  Damn technology!

Art as Complement at Origami Poems Project

My micro-chapbook, Art as Complement, is available as a free PDF download at Origami Poems Project. All poems are printed on one sheet of paper that when folded, following these instructions, creates a palm-sized chapbook. The six poems are inspired by the Cazadero Nature and Art Conservancy, which is tended by Margaret Fabrizio in the mountains of Sonoma County, California.

It’s an honor to have my poetry placed with the many fine poets who can be found at Origami Poems Project by hovering over the “Poets” tab and clicking “Find a Poet.” Many thanks to Editor Jan Keough for accepting my poems and creating this micro-chapbook.

Beyond Vincent, There Is Nothing

Beyond Vincent, There Is Nothing

Why attend?

I want to be impressed,
be proven wrong.

I want to know that art
can cross the divide,
be projected on a scale
that does not shadow its own beauty.

Instead, a meretricious display
leaves a foul taste and fails
to honor the work of a master.

This past weekend, we went to St. Louis to attend Beyond van Gogh, The Immersive Experience. I understand that presentations differ from venue to venue, and I have seen images from other cities that did not appear in St. Louis. Video shorts in the banners of sites for the event in various cities have a quality that I found to be nonexistent in the presentation we attended. I considered this one to be underwhelming.  It says something when the highlight of the weekend was visiting a couple of craft breweries in St. Louis.  (And, of course, a visit to the Gateway Arch, even on a cloudy day.)

The presentation was a projection of some of the works of Vincent van Gogh on a thirty minute loop in a room with a lofty ceiling, but with four walls that were 20 feet high in an area that might have been 100 feet by 50 feet. Two large, four-sided pillars stood down the center-line of the room. The projection from the ceiling onto adjacent long and short walls and one pillar was repeated on the other two walls and pillar. Both of the long walls had a “seam” where projections overlapped, creating blurriness and, in some instances, a double image. At times, there seemed to be too much light in the room.

Our tickets were for a 60 minute period, but we were advised to stay as long as we wished. We stayed through four cycles so that we could see all of the presentation, and at no time was the room crowded.

I recognize the importance of accessibility for people who may not have an understanding of van Gogh, but people standing directly against the wall, casting shadows on the projection while they posed for selfies, or parents who paid the price of admission so that their children could stand by the wall talking about who-knows-what as they blocked the view of others, added nothing to the experience.

As for the production, in some instances, the high resolution offered details, such as brushstrokes present in paintings that I likely will never see in person. Of course, the relief/texture of those brushstrokes could not be reproduced, but that was to be expected. One key, touted aspect of the event was a form of animation, such as moving stars in The Starry Night, or a glimmering night sky and a shimmer on the water of Starry Night Over the Rhône, which actually did produce a tantalizing effect. Another effect was the layering of branches and blossoms, unrelated to the art they covered, that spread and grew until they consumed the original projection. This effect was impressive, albeit tacky.

Instrumental music, some of it incongruous, played throughout the presentation. What America (as an instrumental), by Simon and Garfunkel, has to do with van Gogh, I don’t know. As Don McLean’s Vincent (instrumental) played, none of the song references matched scenes as they were presented and when they would have been most effective, including The Starry Night. As for The Starry Night, the focus was on the stars in the sky (until replaced by an animation of swirling lines), with no emphasis on the village. If the cedar, a prominent feature in the foreground of the painting, was present, I missed it entirely.

As I said earlier, I considered the presentation to be underwhelming. This brief interview regarding a viewing of the original in Paris, at L’Atelier des Lumiéres, may be more objective.

This video of the original in Paris is pretty impressive.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons – The Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh (cropped here)

Photo: The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri (click image for larger view in new tab)

Shared with Go LIVE with dVerse!

Post Na/GloPoWriMo 2021

NaPoWriMo 2014-2021

The start of this blog goes back to 2014 and National Poetry Writing Month. 2021 marks the eighth time I’ve met the challenge of writing a poem for every day of April.

I wrote 39 poems for the month. 21 of those met the prompts from Maureen Thorsen at napowrimo.net. (I also met the early bird prompt on March 31.) 12 were in response to other prompts, including those for dVerse ~ Poets Pub, earthweal, Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday, and a haiku sequence for Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge. Six of my poems followed no prompt at all. Four of the poems included audio, and one was a magnetic poem.

I enjoyed reading the many wonderful prompt responses from other poets at napowrimo.net, and it was nice to see that recognition was given to many of the poets I’ve come to know over the years. Thank you to all who read my poetry this past month and especially to all who commented.

Ken G.

 

Five and Counting

Five and Counting

Yesterday’s internet outage was brief – less than two hours after the snowplow broke the “temporary” cable lying in the street near my house, the cable was replaced. With all of our calls about lost service in the last month, it appears we have been made a priority for repair.

A phone call to the city’s Streets Department was met with sympathy, but, “That’s between you and the cable company. The streets need to be plowed.”

And the snowplow struck again this morning.

January 15th – 3 days
February 8th – 1 day
February 14th – 2 days
February 17th – 2 hours
February 18th – ?? –– update – 2 hours

My new SIM card, which will allow me to switch to T-Mobile with unlimited data (at a savings) will arrive today. Just in time. Verizon has notified me that, with two days left in my billing cycle, I’m about to go over my data allowance, which is no surprise since this snowplow/cable situation has forced me to burn data on my phone.

And yes, this blog was uploaded from my phone.

Cutting the Cord
Three for Three
Four for Four

Four for Four – the abridged version

No — this was not composed on my phone
                         ~ Edited for profanity ~

  • My internet service was restored yesterday, after a two day outage
  • At 9:30 this morning a snowplow came down our street
    – breaking the temporary cable that has been in the street since summer
    – disrupting our service for the 4th time since January 15th
  • My wife was working from home
    – so I took her to her office so she could continue working
  • I continued on, grocery shopping before heading home
  • Arriving home at noon, I saw a new cable, connected and lying in the street
  • Internet service was restored
  • Our morning call to customer support bypassed all voice menus
    – something unheard of
    – apparently our account has been flagged as a priority
         ~ a perk for suffering four snowplow-induced outages?
  • Two work orders were placed
    – a repair to restore our service — Surprise! Completed this morning!
    – an order to bury the cable under the street
  • That cable has been there since last summer
  • There’s now a foot of snow — That cable ain’t goin’ nowhere
  • We anticipate more outages before spring weather arrives
  • And probably after

Three for Three

Monday, February 15, 2021

Once again, I’m an internet orphan.  For the third time in the past month, a snow plow has taken out the temporary cable my internet provider has had lying in the street (a block from my home) since last summer.  This outage occurred at 9:30, Sunday evening.  A call to customer support gave us a scheduled repair date, February 22nd.  A call in the morning asking support how my wife can work from home as a state employee gave us a new, expedited repair date, February 16th. Meanwhile, continued snowfall on the steep hills of my neighborhood means we’re pretty much stuck at home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Our internet outage continues. Snowfall since Sunday has been about nine inches of powder, falling in intervals that have required plowing on at least three different occasions – still pretty slippery on these hills. With three inches of new snow predicted for tomorrow, and with subsequent plowing, will a repair this afternoon mean a damn thing? Single digit, and sometimes negative, temperatures (Fahrenheit) means the salt laid on the side streets each morning is marginally effective until noon. There are steep hills entering, and within, my neighborhood, and trying to get out to the main thoroughfare proved futile this morning.

Lacking typical internet access has given me an opportunity to assess my phone usage. As popular as web use on phones is to the current generation, I’m not big on phone surfing. I find absolutely no convenience in reading web pages on my phone. Other than actual phone usage (what little there is), I’ve narrowed my phone use to a few categories: text, clock, calendar, camera, calculator, and banking. Currently, I can’t cast my phone – stream any shows or videos – because both the Chromecast and Amazon Firestick attached to my TV want to communicate with the web. I can’t cast Spotify from my phone to my stereo for the same reason. I even find using the reader in the WordPress phone app to be annoying. I use that mostly for notifications. Yeah, I’m an old man, although I guess that composing this on my phone says something about my dedication to my blog.

A Mediacom service truck just turned around in my cul de sac. Relief in sight? I guess we’ll see.