Stop bop

The movie “Trainspotting”, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, directed by Danny Boyle. Seen here, Ewan McGregor (as Mark Renton, aka: "Rent Boy"). In an imaginative scene, Rent Boy dives and swims in the toilet bowl to retrieve opium suppository. Theatrical release in United Kingdom, February 23, 1996. Screen capture. Copyright © 1995 Channel Four Television Corporation. Credit: © 1995 Channel Four Films / Courtesy: Pyxurz

 

Thoughts churring, whirring, lines of text unspooling

that god damn Irvine Welsh story stuck

again in my head when will it come right

no one cares about a Sydney goth take on

Trainspotting anyway you idiot but

everytime I try to put it down, I can’t

 

When will I, when will I… stop

 

Sad and anxious and my clothes

are getting tight and I thought

exercise! But the wrong lane in the pool is

an elastic band of swimmers pulled too taut

or bagged out loose and saggy like the fat guy’s

stomach as he churns by making me

panic and there’s nothing so much like

drowning as not swimming well

 

When will I, when will I… stop

 

Walking home I wondered

If I can story and drink and poem

and retain my sanity. I don’t mind telling you for a minute there

(OK maybe several minutes) I considered

I’d better pause the poetry but the obvious answer

is to thirst myself more carefully

 

When will I, when will I… stop

 

My heart sank at today’s prompt: The Bop (see below) because it seemed too difficult and I’ve been struggling with my poems and my other writing lately, on top of various other life-happenings! But I read the examples and the Ravi Shankar one reminded me of my old fave, Frank O’Hara: Poems about the desperation-but-ordinariness of everyday life. And I found, as I did in last year’s NaPoWriMo, sometimes the best poems come from what seem impossible prompts! I really enjoyed this one. It’s nice for me to step away from rhyme and go with rhythm sometimes. 

The prompt: the Bop. The invention of poet Afaa Michael Weaver, the Bop is a kind of combination sonnet + song. Like a Shakespearan sonnet, it introduces, discusses, and then solves (or fails to solve) a problem. Like a song, it relies on refrains and repetition. In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain. Here’s an example of a Bop poem written by Weaver, and here’s another by the poet Ravi Shankar.

Photo via: http://pyxurz.blogspot.ch/2016/05/trainspotting-page-3-of-10.html

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