Monday, May 21, 2012

Are Cloud Poems Possible?

Friday night I went with Finley to Mpls to watch some people we knew do a "presentation" at Patrick's Cabaret.

During the intermission, one of the troop told us that we should support this venue because artists performing there had no constraints.

Then our host went on to brag about how one of the previous performances was a dance troop, and rumors started to surface that at one point in this troops upcoming performance, one of the dancers was going to poop on stage.

Upon hearing this, I decided w/o hesitation, that perhaps I just wasn't cut out to be an artist then.

Shoot....if I were in prision, or a P.O.W. camp, I guess I kinda hope I wouldn't need to poop on their floors to make a point.

Anyways, the topic kinda creeped me out so I turned to Finley and stated.....

"Did you notice at the University Club's most recent reading, that 3 of the 7 presenters read about clouds?"

Finley thought about this for a second and stated.....

"Yep, you are correct, and a couple a people wrote about gravity as well."

I understood the "Gravity Poems", afterall....gravity is kinda interesting, and poets haven't been written about this topic thousands of times.

"You know I had a poem written about clouds in Rolling Stone way back in the day right?" Mike reminded me before continuing...

"They were short on copy, and my poem had just the right number of characters to fit and fill the page."

Then he went on to tell me how the poem was about flying on a jet, getting dinner, and after lifting that plastic lid off that covered his plate, he realized that he was being treated to cauliflower, and the cauliflower looked just like the clouds outside his window...yadda-yadda-yadda.

But then I went back to why would 3 of 7 readers choose an identical topic?

These people didn't discuss their body of work prior to the event, and clouds....has anybody ever done a good cloud poem?

Then I was reminded how recently a friend of mine (ours) Tim Nolan had actually placed a poem about clouds on his Facebook wall.

I did like a couple of the lines that Tim crafted, but I certainly wouldn't match that poems against his greatest works.

This comment opened the flood gate to Finley's sage wisdom...........

"I totally get what Nolan, or many of those writers were trying to do at the U-Club. sometimes a poet just wants to get back to the basics, to strip things down and start from scratch.

I give these people credit.

Nothing is harder than reaching a certain level of achievement, and then stepping backwards in the hope that you will eventually move forward again. There really aren't any gaurentees with stuff like that you know."

Finleys comments amused himself, and he began to chuckle while the emcee on the stage stopped talking about body functions so he could introduce 2 women who would dance, while another woman dragged herself across the stage with a walker.

Later Finley told me that I should write a poem about clouds.

I thought about it....for a second, and then I Googled the "C" word to find what past masters have done with this topic.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

END OF POEM.......


If the best Wordsworth can come up with is..............

"Tossing their heads in sprightly dance"?

Maybe I'll just stick with Monkeys, Nuns and Food.


  1. That is probably the best known poem of the 19th century! Millions o schoolkids memorized it for recitals. Now it's probably Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.

    The remark about pooping on the floor was a parable about people getting hysterical about what might happen. No pooping ever occurred, but some dance-like convolutions communicated the helplessness of a person whose only remaining act of defiance "would have been" pooping.

    Of course, people got up in arms about the alleged pooping, not the miserable condition it was a metaphor for.

    I'm glad no one pooped that night, metaphorically or not.

    You can say clouds are stupid, but look at them, bigger than mountains, lighter than air, and headed our way.

  2. Here, reading the headline, I thought the poets were being all post-whatever and writing about, or writing in, the internet cloud!

    Pooping as an art form is over-rated (I suspect it never should have been rated at all, just declared, in answer to Goethe's three questions about art, "Pooping, Publicly, No.")

  3. The sky is gray and white and cloudy,
    Sometimes I think it's hanging down on me.

    And it's a hitchhike a hundred miles.
    I'm a rag-a-muffin child.
    Pointed finger-painted smile.
    I left my shadow waiting down the road for me a while.

    My thoughts are scattered and they're cloudy,
    They have no borders, no boundaries.
    They echo and they swell
    From Tolstoy to Tinker Bell.
    Down from Berkeley to Carmel.
    Got some pictures in my pocket and a lot of time to kill.

    Hey sunshine ...
    I haven't seen you in a long time.
    Why don't you show your face and bend my mind?
    These clouds stick to the sky
    Like floating questions, why?
    And they linger there to die.
    They don't know where they are going, and, my friend, neither do I.