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homage to helium head, or “shhhh … a little poem something”

March 23, 2010

I’ve been a terrible blogger and an even “terribler” poet these last few months. I can see the poems out there to be written, but I can’t seem to write them. Thank goodness I have a notebook and a memo function on my cell phone. I can grab the ideas once in a while when they’re whirring past.

The instant I read the most recent blog post (“Helium Head”) by Dale Favier I saw a poem. It isn’t hard to read Dale’s posts and see poetry. First of all, he often writes it. Second of all, even when he isn’t providing line breaks, his prose reads like poetry. Those of you who know Dale may suspect, as I do, that poetry evaporates off his skin as easily as moisture lifts away from the rest of us.

The particular post that inspired me was written in paragraphs, so this is a found poem — in the literal sense of a found poem. I used the words exactly as I found them in the exact order they appeared in the original post. It was tricky choosing which words to extract (so many energetic phrases) in order to get to something close to what I envisioned when I first read the prose. What’s missing from this, for one thing, is the sense of adventure I believed I could capture. Alas! The sentiments Dale expressed are better in the original form,* but I haven’t written/created in a while so I am grateful for the inspiration.


*Five hundred years ago when I first met Dale, a friend and I had asked him about doing some collaborative work. He declined very graciously, but look: a happy ending. 🙂 A passive collaboration on his part, I guess, a very willful stealing on mine. (Me? Willful? Shocking!) (Not too willful: I asked Dale’s permission to post.)

  1. March 23, 2010 9:59 am

    I think the first two stanzas a very powerful. In fact, I think they might be a whole poem in themselves.

    (As an aside: I read this while listening to the gorgeous tune “Forlorn” by Cooper-Moore & Assif Tashar, which was the perfect accompaniment.)

    Great work, Carolee.

  2. March 23, 2010 10:13 pm

    Damn. Inspired, yes. But it was your energy that took his post (I loved it, too) and made a new thing.

    I particularly love the middle stanza. And the title had its allure, too, on so many planes.

  3. March 24, 2010 2:56 am

    What you say of Dale’s prose is very true. Carolee, I love what you have done to ‘Helium Head’. The last stanza is so good. The last two lines set the poem afloat, and that’s the right thing to happen.

  4. March 24, 2010 3:20 pm

    Wow! What a wonderful thing. Thank you, Carolee!


  5. March 25, 2010 12:46 pm

    This is wonderful. Very cool that you found poetry in someone else’s prose. I kept wondering how much you took out, it all flows so well as poetry.

    Deb, haha, you said, “on so many planes..” Good one!

  6. March 25, 2010 1:51 pm


  7. March 28, 2010 5:03 am

    We’re all busy eating, breathing the same molecules over and over again. So it is all happy alchemy I think! A wonderful poem Carolee!


  1. Via Negativa

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