Monday, September 5, 2011

jack-of-all-trades





You find a way
through the plumbing
carve coal out of steam

cut a trench by osmosis
knock on wood
dig in your heels

every once in a while
you make sounds
like a locksmith

it's not easy to stay
use household words
take out the trash

but I'd like to sew
buttons on
someday




Tess Kincaid
September, 2011





reading: the inimitable R.A.D. Stainforth, Black Dogs
photo:  abandoned farm, Dublin, Ohio


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64 comments:

  1. Oh I like this very much! You've taken me back to my grandparents' farm. what have we forgotten? What are we no longer teaching the young? How will anyone, even us, survive if we must?

    Your poem raises some very profound questions about who we were, who we are, and who we are not becoming....

    Rick

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  2. I like the contradictory ending. But I'd like to sew buttons on someday. Thanks for another Magpie! :)

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  3. Now you've got me thinking about trenches, cut by osmosis. Another gem, Tess.

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  4. It is an awesome poem Tess.

    Imitable brings a specific feel to your poem.

    I can't help but think, "what if he did everything by accident?"

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  5. Don't you love Stainforth's great Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal-ish "take out the trash"?

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  6. The backbone of America. Wonderful write.

    A little raisin for you. : )

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  7. Note: The "imitable" R.A.D. Stainforth has just been upgraded to "inimitable"...until further notice...

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  8. Great one Tess! Lot's of images flying around in my head while reading this.

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  9. Tess I just got your book on Saturday. Have read through it all. Found myself speaking in the same way as you as a result of your reading. I have been invited to a monthly Poet's Supper again that I used to visit several years ago. The photo and your poem reminds me of my gm. She could and would do whatever it took. Blessings
    QMM

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  10. sew buttons on someday...great line tess...

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  11. If you live on a farm, you have to be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades.

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  12. QMM, so glad you got the book. Mine came, too, and it's so satisfying to actually hold it in my hands. Thanks for your kind support!

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  13. deep and beautiful thoughts.
    love your take.

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  14. Beautifully put, Tess.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  15. So many angles to come at this picture from... You always seem to pick such brilliant prompts! And write brilliant poetry to go with them! Thank you!

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  16. Mahvelous, as Jerry Lewis would say.

    I was imagining the Sound Of A Locksmith. If alone, quiet, with ticking sounds, an occasional key leaping off the grinder upwards to join other lost keys piercing the ceiling.

    Mahvelous, Tessy.

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  17. You have such an ear for the musicality of language Tess - the sound of your language dances even without the reading aloud.

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  18. The poem; "jack-of-all-trades" is a creative gem. Adore the precision of metaphor and the iconic line "sew buttons on someday". So incredibly brilliant. The reading with dramatic inflection captures the vital essence of the poem's distinct mood and meaning. Love your voice too Tess; you two artists are a wonderfully creative duo!

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  19. One to read several times to envisage the story that lies behind.

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  20. Tess, your poem reminded me of someone I knew and loved long ago .. you described him to a tee!

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  21. love it
    and the hubcap reminds me of a button :)

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  22. I had to read this and reread it, as I am new to poetry, to the play of words, but as always, you make me think. And you do play with words so wonderfully, so beautifully.

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  23. What torrent raged, what waters flowed to bury a wheel so deep. What started with a single raindrop only grew. Tumbling, To leave her where she sleeps. Lovely Tess, beautifully read too! Cheers!

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  24. just goes to show that alteregos can exist, or perhaps, the "us" who wanted to do a different thing. great work, tess. :)

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  25. Wonderful piece... reminds me of days long ago, momentary glimpses into farm life.

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  26. Something about the ending really touched me. Love this!

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  27. "Sounds like a locksmith" - Truly a great phrase.

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  28. I really enjoyed hearing you read once again. A great topic for this poem and I also enjoyed Baker's comments.

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  29. Wow! That's all just wow plus amazing. And the voice - the very British voice apart from 'take out the trash'

    A precious gem here to be cherished.

    (I wait impatiently for the book to arrive1)

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  30. Tess---I went over to R.A.D.'s blog and read some of his postings. Quite the character I'd say. How do you find these great places to visit? And...I was surprised to hear him refer to you as "reclusive". He also said "enigmatic" which I agree with but I never quite thought of you as reclusive. You seem so out-going and social to me. Love how he chastises Americans for not being able to spell (such words as "tumours") Great sense of humor!!

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  31. See what I mean? You have many perceptive readers Tess.

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  32. I am taken by the abstract essence of your words. Especially enjoy hearing you read your work -- makes me feel as though I get a peek behind the curtain of your meaning... would love to watch the movie in your mind as you write one of your pieces...

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  33. 'sew buttons on someday'......how beautiful.............
    ;)

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  34. Farmchick and Rob, giggle, this isn't me reading this piece, but rather R.A.D. Stainforth...take another listen...

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  35. great photo. interesting poem. what a riot that some folks think you have a british accent and a deep voice. LOL.

    Glad to read some have received your book as i still havent. sigh....

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  36. There is an ever-growing and worrying trend to 'specialisation' - I hope it doesn't put the multi-talented jack-of-all-trade completely out of business.

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  37. Your words are always a good surprise..so visual..

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  38. Good one, Tess. I especially like the ending.

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  39. Great poem, Tess!
    Happy Labor Day!

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  40. Tess, is it true that you light a cigarette before reading each of your poems ... I'm curious ...

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  41. R.A.D., yes, I do. You are so very perceptive! It has become a trademark of mine, of sorts. I read this one in my best English accent, male version.

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  42. I am so very pleased that you
    chose this image as your prompt
    this week; one of my personal
    favorites of your series on ruin
    and abandonment and nostalgia.
    I love the line: /carving coal out
    of steam/. And R.A.D., you are
    rad, radical, radishing, and much
    more. Easy on the fags, sir, we
    want to hear more of you. The
    collaboration between your readings
    and Tess' s poetics is pure bliss,
    for sure!

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  43. Thanks Glenn, and thanks to anyone else who cares to listen to my powerful readings of Tess's amazing poems ... what marvellous thought bombs or landmines they lay in our minds ... with a few vodkas inside of you, you can write poetry too ...

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  44. Wow, this is excellent. Wonderful movement throughout! Ha, I just watches (for the umteenth time) a documentary about the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire .... so your last line made me think of it.

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  45. Tess, you are hardly reclusive. Also you are a fine poet. The deal as I learned years ago, a person only needs literacy and the capacity to type in some way and then have enough time and this computer life can be completely dynamic no matter what the rest of life is like.

    Also, this medium provides the opportunity for alter egos and total role playing like the highly literate woman I know of who runs a computer based writing group largely for women in the persona of a man. She has been successful for years but I know her former lover and so know the truth. I have no interest in busting her but then again I never take computer stuff at face value unless it is completely obvious.

    On the other hand, I never allow myself paranoia either. What's it to me? If the poetry is great, what do I care? I mainly look for friends and I find them.

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  46. Closing lines got to me...Deeper than it looks!
    I liked it!:)

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  47. Oh so well done, and a great prompt and your poem is wonderful.

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  48. @christopher Hi, how's it going man? I have hard evidence that points to Tess Kincaid being a woman. My own blog is, in fact, written by two Lebanese women. They are both keen to meet bearded Americans ...

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  49. This was an image that moved me as I thought of old things abandoned, even those that we cherish...
    Your poem amplifies my thoughts.

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  50. lovely and there's that o word again!

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  51. A little longing for my mother I've felt after reading this piece. A little unsentimental, but insightful line after line.

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  52. As usual....it is amazing Tess....your imagery could sew buttons on the moon!! :-)

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  53. I really loved reading this - these lines: you make sounds
    like a locksmith - powerful imagery

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  54. Some lovely phrases, and room for many interpretations.

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  55. Wow Tess - as always amazing strong words. Wish I had your wordpower!

    Anna :o]

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  56. Well, I'm a bit late to the party, and can't really add anything to the comments. I like the nostalgic feel of it though. I can sew a button on, but can't guarantee how long it will stay.
    Here's my late entry: http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/he-was-a-ford-man-2/

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  57. Thank you for your wonderful comments, gentle readers. You are the best...you make sharing my stuff such a pleasure... xo

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  58. Why Tess. I love this. Cut a trench by osmosis.

    I think this is my favorite one of yours so far! I love how the imagery snaps jigsaw tight as you read, and sinks into place after. It creates a sense of meaning impressionistic yet... sharp, smart, hard and precise.

    No, I love this. I envy it. Damn it all, one can envy what one loves.

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  59. @ dogimo I like that phrase "imagery snaps jigsaw tight" ... do you mind if I borrow it to use in conversation ...

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)