April 3, 2016 Sunday
A discussion of my poem, “James Dean’s Harmonica”
If I were sent these lines I’d have some questions, to determine they view of it. The first question would be, of course, how literal to take it all. If the imagery was intended with all seriousness that would be a real tangle. But good news, I was just trying to have some fun, even if that undersells the effort. Most of all I was trying to come up with interesting, evocative scenes. The lines, after a while, called to mind a fun, perhaps Wonderland-ish picture, that could create mutiple passing stories. Seems to had the effect, for me, of smooshing together a bunch of nursery rhymes.
Like with the first two lines; that’s where I began, luckily enough. And I liked that pairing, the matching of whim with gin. It created a rich possibility that a reader could fill in what accounted for the misery to them. Fun! And I’m perhaps at my most obtuse with the newspaper editors’ headlines and the twin business. At that point I felt the woman, who I hadn’t named Felecia yet, was shaping up in my mind to be Eleanor Rigbyish. So she then was also uncared for, or at least unnoticed by her community at first, when missing. A later investigation by police, I thought, could be played for a joke if they uncover an exact but off-the-mark duplicate of Felecia.
I probably like verse three the most. Back Bay is just a neighborhood in west Boston along the water. The location, other than the bonus of a New England locale, was just thrown in for the golden-ticket alliterative power with “boulevard.” But there I liked the idea of artists being so scrapped for originality. Perhaps the next step will be poet plasma to pay for new sonnet ideas? So as you can now see all (any?) of the lyrics don’t necessarily mean anything literal, but whatever you bring to them. I guess the overarching theme, to me, suggests that Fate doesn’t exist and whatever occurs, outside of what that natural world exerts on us, is random. That the universe shrugs the same about all our big and small issues. And then there’s Us; living in/with such an indifferent reality, for human beings that naturally crave meaning, is quite rightly difficult if not innately impossible to make sense of such arbitrariness. Because we are hard-wired to derive meaning out of everything. See?–humor! …Is this my late April Fools contribution, then? Sounds that way. But that’s what I got off the top of my head.
You picked a very good image, by the way, about the King of France. It was also meant as a bit of lighthearted joke- the tables may soon turn on anyone!- if also one tinged with vinegar. Perhaps again another influence of violent Wonderland, now that I consider it.