Friday, August 27, 2010

The degradation (and uplift) of advancing technology

It has every right to bare
this clenched fist of a grudge
embittered by techno-Jovian
whims and base transformations

Once delicately formed— two
tips pressed en pointe, three
others elegantly tucked— it
danced with a golden shaft
pulling indigo pirouettes
across a swept ivory stage

Then came the re-pose: a claw’s
arched looming. Unhappiness
fell as five wilted stems,
beggar mouths forced to fumble
toward those impoverished
humps of white-on-black glyph

The other hand is left
complimentary, richly gripped
by understudy glee, being
drawn from a hapless margin

Carolee Sherwood's prompt at Big Tent Poetry this week is to take a "hands-on" approach. I did a comparative study of my hand at work penciling a sketch versus pecking at the keyboard, and this is what resulted. The days of hand-writing poems are long gone, and there may be a wee metaphor in the retelling of the demise. Check out what the hands of the other BTP poets were doing this week here.


Anonymous said...

This is very clever, Francis, specially the way you focus acutely on the hands, which is of course what the prompt told us to do! The metaphor didn't escape me, either.

Stan Ski said...

Love the single-handed approach.

barbara said...

Here's envy from someone who could never make a real pen dance. What were those ugly plastic-cartridge pens from the sixties?

Elizabeth said...

I sometimes ponder about how my hands seem to ache to wrap themselves around a pen. I've always dabbled periodically with sketching, but two years ago, started coloring intricate Mandala designs, then switched to a blank sketchbook to free-hand my own. And the aching found such soothing release that I still continue. I understand your poem on a very deeply relative level. Thanks for this one,


human being said...

typing was the revolution of twohandedness against the tyranny of onehandedness... surely leading us to a new 'state' of mind...
(as the function of the brain is so related to the way we use our hands)
well... we can easily switch to a kingly state while sketching...

this work is so graceful!

i both type and write... crows tend to mix up things!

Mary said...

It is amazing what a wonderfully rich piece of writing can be produced if one concentrates on the details. Bravo.

Diane T said...

Glad at the end you mentioned the left hand. Being an ambidextrous person, I don't have to worry if my right hand wears out, LOL. A VERY detailed poem, hurrah for you!

gautami tripathy said...

Now for someone who is an one finger typist, I really like this!

designed patterns

Unknown said...

"indigo pirouettes" is a wonderful description of real handwriting, Francis. Mine would more closely resemble clog dancing!

flaubert said...

Francis this is just beautiful and I love your use of metaphor here.
Indeed the days of pen and paper poems are over, but I still carry a journal that I scribble my thoughts in.

Tumblewords: said...

Superb! I love the visual of the hand and pen poised to write and the shift to a 'claw's arched looming'. Wonderful stuff, for sure!

mareymercy said...

fell as five wilted stems,
beggar mouths forced to fumble
toward those impoverished
humps of white-on-black glyph

LOVE that part! Nicely done overall, of course.

Vinay Leo R. said...

clever and well executed this :)

my contribution to the Big Tent can be found at Contours

Wayne Pitchko said...

danced in a nice way Francis...thanks for sharing again

Cynthia Short said...

What a terrific idea you came up with! So beautifully written, as always...

Francis Scudellari said...

@viv Thanks, the idea didn't come to me until very late in the week. Sketching is about the only thing interesting I do with my hands :).

@Stan I'm a bit more balanced now that I don't write much any more.

@Barbara I always used a bic, but that was because they were cheap and I could tell when the ink was running out :).

@Elizabeth A friend got me into drawing a couple years back and although I'm no great artist it's a very useful process for me, even as far as my writing is concerned.

@hb I do like the egalitarian quality of the two-handed approach, but I have to throw a few privileges my right hand's way or it gets resentful :).

@Mary Yes, it's good to be focused.

@Diane Being ambidextrous is quite a talent. My left hand isn't good for very much, but it pitches in wherever it can :).

@Gautami I'm very thankful I learned to type as a teenager.

@Derrick Mine are glued so often to the keyboard I think what they do now most closely resembles tap :).

@Pamela I still take the occasional note with pen and paper, but I'm trying to get in the habit of doing everything via the computer.

@Susan I was looking at the way my thumb and index finger came together holding a pencil and the image of two legs bent in a ballerina pose came to mind.

@Twitches That's the image I saw as I watched my hands typing... not the most appealing of sights :)

@Leo Thanks!

@Wayne My hands do a much better job of dancing than my feet :).

@Cynthia I had a hard time thinking of something until the very last minute... eliciting a great sigh of relief.