Apr. 21st, 2009

So there was one haiku I wrote on the plane that I omitted from the previous compilation, due to a lack of context:

my one song playlist --
Black Sabbath - Iron Man
I turn on repeat


The context in question: a few weeks ago [livejournal.com profile] monkeypudding sent me an email asking me if I wanted to participate in a poetic/musical tribute to Black Sabbath's Paranoid, in which poets would be assigned a song off the album, in response to which they would create a poem, to be read interspersed with a cover band playing the songs themselves. So after much ambivalence I remembered that the correct answer to ambivalence in creative projects is always to just say yes. Despite the fact that I am not really a Black Sabbath fan, and have never actually listened to the album in question.

I was in fact hoping that, when the songs were randomly assigned, I would get some obscure track off the B-side, something I had never heard, that would increase my exposure to and appreciation for the greatness of Sabbath; naturally I got "Iron Man."

(I will save my opinions on the song for some later date -- I am sure they will develop & regress repeatedly as the project continues.)

The nature of the "response" demanded by the event is of course quite open-ended, and so far most of my ideas have more to do with adapting the structure of the song -- verse / chorus / bridge / guitar solo / etc. -- into a parallel poetic form. I am curious to discover what a poetry solo would sound like, and whether I could adequately perform one, even if I managed to write it.

But to get things started, in my sleepless airplane stupor, I put the song on repeat and spent a series of 5:59 intervals doing some free-associative writing. In the interest of future research I added notation for when the guitar solo began and ended, as well as the outro. I reproduce the results here for posterity only; I will probably be posting further progress as the deadline approaches as well, more for myself than anyone. But you are all welcome to read along, should the masochism overtake you.

Cut for gibberish. Iron Man free-write, repeats #1-5. )

Whenever I make my creative writing students do this sort of thing I suggest they go back and underline anything they thought was particularly interesting/worthwhile. I suppose I should follow my own advice, so here's the pull-out list:

* steelworkers lost underground / the fatal accident of the past
* the unlimited sloth of babies
* I have a suit that makes me worse
* I went into the past and tried I tried but
* I am a tree / an iron tree / the weight is / incredible
* sometimes I give up on doors
* I never felt so heavy as when I / was in the future

Other observations/takeaway:

It is difficult to write a guitar solo in realtime.
Switched to the first person more or less instantly.
Seemingly unavoidable comic book character contamination.
A special suit that makes you worse at everything.
Going back in time and making everything worse.
Heaviness / time travel / memory / metal.

--

Tune in next time for... well, probably more of the same. Or maybe I will analyze the lyrics, and extract their deep, metallic meaning.

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