Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 23: Travel Journal, Bali

Prompt:  Kate Greenstreet’s poetry is spare, but gives a very palpable sense of being spoken aloud – it reads like spoken language sounds. In our interview with her, she underscores this, stating that “when you hear it, you write it down.” Today, we challenge you to honor this idea with a poem based in sound. 

It just so happens that SEAPoWriMo, the Southeast Asian take on GloPoWriMo, started yesterday - it's a week long challenge to write a poem a day with a prompt by one of the moderators, each of whom hail from a different Southeast Asian country. I only got drafted in today, which sent me into a spasm of anxiety and spazz, because many of the poets are pretty well-known around this region, and I'm always uncomfortable in big groups (which this one is) until I feel at home.

It turns out that today's prompt for GloPoWriMo crosses tendrils with the SEAPoWriMo one - both involve sounds, so I thought hell with it, and wrote one poem for both (is that cheating?)

To hear what a Kecak dance sounds like, have a look and listen here.


She tells me about the waves (rshhhhhhh rshhhhhhhhh the amphitheatre by the sea rssshhhhhhhhhhh rsssssssshhhhhh rssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh look at the crowd she says pointing at the photo on her laptop screen noise noise noise heat (peoplepeeplepeepulbabelbab bla b ((sei ruhig JENNYSTOPRUNNINGCOMEBACKHEREshhhhyttysiä! Inhoan hyttysiäWAI lei chor julaaaaxcusez-moiEH DUDUUUKplease sit down the show’s starting ohgod Nigel this heat)) heathumid birdskree seabreeze fffwwwwwhhh across sweatsticky neck)
krrshkrrrsshhk sandals dragging against rock
krrrrrshhhhk   kshk

and the dancers come

Cakcakcakcakcakcakcakcak cak  cakcak
Cakcakcakcakcakcakcakcak cak  cakcak shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ts ts

Gliiiiiide (body through air moving a ripple at a time)
Tng tng tng the bells on Rama’s ankles ring

Isn’t it beautiful she says and I watch her drift like a wave (rssshhhhh rsssshhhh) into the moment of sunset she has frozen in the camera’s eye

Uluwatu ulu uuu uu u lu lu lu


Jane Dougherty said...

Well if we can't hear that scene we must be deaf!

Shuku said...

I think even if we were deaf, we'd still be able to hear the sense OF scene and get it, via lip reading and so on! I would like to go and watch in person, perhaps this July, if there's time between the competition I'm attending.

Anonymous said...

This is so cool! Does not get more onomatopoetic than this. I personally liked the Finnish "I hate mosquitos", I could spot it at once since the eye is drawn to familiar words :D

Shuku said...

Thank you so much Ileea! This one was a hard write - I think I was looking up Google images for a good hour plus and then a few more trying to figure out what to write. YES inhoan hyttysiä!!! They are SO NUMEROUS here, they are really hyttysperuna!