Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I love word puzzles. You can keep your Sudoku and your "If two trains leave the station traveling at 50 mph when do they collide in a mass of twisted steel?"

Give me a crossword puzzle or an episode of Sunday Puzzler  and I'm as happy as a lark.

Introduce me to an imperious poem format, playing hard-to-get, and I'm a goner.

Add a juicy prompt to that cock-sure poetic form and I lose the ability to focus on anything other than Solving the Word Mystery. It's like trying to keep Velma Dinkley away from a Haunted House. It can't be done.

So imagine my nerdy rapture when I found the perfect haughty form and an irresistible prompt in the same week.

The poem format is the Dorsimbra and  was created by three lovely, I'm sure, masochists - Eve Braden, Frieda Dorris and Robert Simonton - either on a bet or after a long night of sitting too near a simmering batch of meth. It is a 12-line prose poem incorporating blank verse, free verse, envelope verse and Sicilian Quatrain.

First 4-line stanza: Iambic Pentameter, rhyming ABAB
Second 4-line stanza: Free Verse
Third 4-line stanza: Blank Verse

Oh, and the 12th line should repeat the first line, and it should all make perfect, seamless sense.

The prompt came from the tremendously talented organizers of a local spoken word group, Boxcar Voices. The theme of their October performance was "Murder. Macabre."

Who, I ask you, can resist a word like Macabre?

The following poem is the result of Dorsimbra + Macabre. Please be gentle as she is a work in progress. The last stanza needs to be reengineered so as to repeat the first line, but I was working on a deadline and nailing the iambic pentameter was all I could manage.

Danse Macabre

The Angel of Death so light on his feet
begs of you one dance on this your last night.
You draw a last breath and rise from your seat
enthralled, entranced, moving toward his dark light.

Beneath a chandelier of skulls he takes your hand
shakes back a velvet sleeve and pulls you near.
As he spins your fragile form in a waltz across the floor
other specters, in respect, step aside.

When, at last, thoracic music ceases
your pensive partner bows to brush pale lips
and takes away so gently carnal life
leaving your soul to cross the river Styx.
Copyright RighteousPolka 2012 

A note to Amy and Fabs (aka the only people who read this blog, and I'm fine with that): November is NaBloPoMo and I will endeavor to post an interesting (not original) poem every day for 30 days. Meh, I may throw in something hand-crafted. Maybe a random haiku? We'll see - stay tuned.