the politics of dancing

“My hour of worship is midnight.

The moon bright altar flame,

I am the hope

of forgotten men.

God in a world without blame.”

(from ‘The Executioner’s Song,’  C. Tribe, c.2010)

moon bright

altar flame

haiku is killing me, but all for the best. That balance of imagery between the Nature and the Human is really interesting to work with. I mean, it is not my style or thing, but as I work on the Executioner’s Song (which also has a refrain, the bit I posted above) I find myself looking at certain lines and going for that spare, clear haiku juxtaposition and trying to build unfinished bridges all over the place.

But what is making it really hard is how I am trying to use the symbolism. And this has nothing to do with the haiku, but I started with…oh wait a second…it does…I started with some very specific images and references to quite a few related current events dealing with the death penalty and the executioner  – which, if I wrote with them in spare clear juxtaposition would not be haiku but sennryuu, and then I spun the images out until they could fulfill the timeless references demanded in haiku.

My “bullets and currents” transformed into “decisions”

My jails to “castles of fogotten men”

it is actually getting really interesting, and painful for a bit…the way it works for me is I had that kind of flash of the title and sort of felt the whole thing

and then I wrote a first draft that just sang out from within me

and then,

I went back into it and struggled

and what is happening, after my struggle, is the poem is beginning to sing – my voice, but of something passing through me.

And it is weird, llike Paracelsa said on CV, sometimes you (I) think to much and it is the cough….so unexpected and planned that adds the beauty.

For me, I sort of spontaneously hack a loogie on a piece of paper – spontaneously, and it has a certain raw beauty. Then I poke at it to kind of see what it is, think of possible causes, consider possible cures and as I begin to understand it – I start to cough spontaneously, productively onto the same paper because I took the time to stay there. Instead of hitting a new page with every new piece of phlegm, I let them layer until what was trapped inside of me has come completely out – all the coughed up bits of one thing, joined again where I can see them.

Now that….

that is the most disgusting metaphor I have ever used to describe my writing process but..hey…you know…at least it wasn’t one of my lame ass boat metaphors again.


c.2000-2010 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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2 Responses to the politics of dancing

  1. slpmartin says:

    We all struggle to fine the words to create the image for our readers and to express what we really feel…which is the real purpose I think sometimes…to say what we feel honestly.

  2. I think that is one of the hardest moments for an artist, that realization that your first and intuitive thought may not always be the best and the most honest.

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