May 13th, 2006

ozarque figure

Linguistics; stylistics; sf poetry being made, 2nd round; part 2...

Untitled water poem -- Draft 7

That was the week:
when the cheapest bottle on the Chez Bling water list
cost twenty-four dollars and forty-seven cents;
when NorthDeltamerican Airlines doubled the price
of water served on transatlantic flights;
when statistics for Earthwide deaths by thirst were made exempt
from the latest version of the Freedom of Information Act;
when Congress made the drinking of unauthorized water
a felony;
when baby formula standards were adjusted one more time --
reducing the water required to one part in twenty;
when Standard Water Corporation announced
third quarter profits of twenty-eight billion dollars.

[Water flows, still,
and always will,
thanks to the Standard Water Corporation.
Water flows,
authorized water,
meeting the most rigorous standards,
to Earth's population.]

And that was the week when we celebrated, dutifully,
my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary.
We sat round the table that night,
my parents, and we three daughters.

There was filet of sole.
There were tiny lush lettuces, served whole.
There were small potatoes, roasted in olive oil.
There was night-dark chocolate nested in golden foil.
There was a silver platter of sharp cheese.
There was a tender flatbread, crusted with seeds.

And there was fine water -- from a very good year --
a separate glass for each one of us.
My father can afford a separate glass
for each one of us.

That was the week:
when Delano Harger won the Nobel Prize
for his fruits and for his grains and for his vegetables
that will all grow and thrive in salt water.
That was the week crude water, for the first time,
hit four hundred dollars a barrel on the market.

My mother gave my father a journal with a leather cover,
smooth as butter,
and a handsome fountain pen.
My father gave my mother a golden necklace
strung with a dozen tiny crystal vials.
Inside the vials, the water gleamed,
pure and and precious and forever shut away.
Enough to drive a thirsty child insane.

My sisters said nothing at all. But I’m not like that.
I stood up and looked straight at my father, and I asked him:
"Does the message on the card say
'Let them drink champagne'?"

Link to Draft 6 --
ozarque figure

Sf-poetry-being-made logistics note...

The problem that was most complained about the first time we did this (for "Unintended Consequences, Heaven Knows") was that there was no way to put sets of different drafts up on the screen -- no way to compare them, to see the changes easily, and so on.

I print out all the drafts, myself, so that I can keep track, but that's cumbersome. Ideally, I'd post a poetry-being-made poem that met all my other criteria for the process but was so short that you could fit three or four drafts on a page at a time for comparison and commenting.

I don't know if that's possible...