Just a poem today, one I really love from the April 2013 issue of Poetry.
Order For once, her was just my father. We drove to the Computing Center in a Monte Carlo Landau not technically ours. Lexington, 1977. That fall. The color had settled, too, undone orange-brown and dull yellow, crimson. And it was something, yet not, the pile of leaves just a pile of leaves. Sorry to think what thinking has done to landscape: He loved punched cards, program decks and subroutines, assembly languages and key punch machines. Even my father looked small next to a mainframe. The sound of order; the space between us. We almost laughed, but not for years - we almost laughed. But not. For years, the space between us, the sound of order next to a mainframe. Even my father looked small. And keypunch machines, assembly languages, program decks and subroutines. He loved punched cards, what thinking has done to landscape - just a pile of leaves. Sorry to think, yet not, the pile of leaves crimson. And it was. Something orange-brown and dull yellow had settled, too, undone 1977, that fall, the color not technically ours, Lexington in a Monte Carlo Landau. We drove to the Computing Center, For once he was just, my father. Randall Mann, from Poetry (April, 2013)
Something about April always makes me think of sestinas, don’t ask me why. I love that this poem, which is neither a formal sestina nor a pantoum, but a cross between them perhaps, moves from the large (the relationship between fathers and sons) to the small (father standing next to the mainframe, punch cards) and then back again. Both sestinas and pantoums rely on words or phrases repeated in strict, orderly fashion; they process words, you might say, the way a computer processes the data fed in. Our relationships might work much the same way.
I also love the way that the phrase “the sound of order” echoes Wallace Stevens’ “The Idea of Order at Key West.”
I’m about 10,000 words behind where I should be to reach my Camp NaNoWriMo goal for this month. Wish me luck, fellow campers.