Monthly Archives: September 2012

When We Make Love — Notes

Background Notes to When We Make Love

I expect us to see quite a few of the poems of our collaboration exchanged using the rondeau form. We’ve already bounced several dozen between us in our private backstage room. I’ll jump in to be the first to share one out here at our open mic.

Of course I’d seen the form again in the lit class where I first met Denise. I’d had to write one for that class, then maybe tried my hand at another later, I can’t recall. Only after I had seen what Maggie had been doing with the form. Then Sara swept me away with a flood of exquisite rondeaux!

Lit class never got into the way the form works. We were told the rhyme structure and the way the repeated phrase works, of course, then pointed to the two most well-known rondeaux, then left on our own about how to write one. We’d been told how the Petrarchan sonnet’s rhyme demands made it more difficult for the English language’s relatively constrictive rhyme potentials, supposedly hence the emergence of the Shakespearian with what were alleged to be its looser demands. Yet nothing was said of how the rondeau is more demanding of its rhyming than the Petrarchan sonnet, arguably as demanding as a villanelle.

And nothing was said in the class of the unique twist of pairing the main rhyme with the repeated phrase in the final stanza, versus pairing that repeated phrase with the secondary rhyme in the middle stanza, versus having it lead off the first stanza. Part of what makes a rondeau a rondeau! Like catching me writing with Denise, then getting me to write with Maggie, after first sending me out to write on my own. Countless similar metaphors of how pairs can be seen in threes exist quite naturally, and even more can be imagined. No wonder the rondeau can be so addictive a form in which to write! Why do we not see more?

I’m still very much the rondeau novice. This one doesn’t employ some of the standard rondeau things. For instance, playing with three different meanings for the repeated phrase. I mean simply making love each of the three times, not even different ways of making love or different partners or different levels of intimacy, just plain making love. And my three stanzas don’t turn corners like the stanzas in some rondeaux do. I have pretty much one thing in mind throughout. But of course, even the most rigid form has variations to every standard. No two rondeaux need to follow the same set pattern on things like what I mention here. The difference being that better writers introduce variations because they have something particular in mind with the change. In my case here, I knew I did want to do this with a rondeau, but I simply didn’t have three different sides to my repeated phrase nor did I have any turns to take. In my case, that’s all it was. Nothing more practiced in the craft than that.

Obviously, written with Denise in mind. Although given the poem she posted before this, maybe I should pretend I wasn’t thinking about her at all while making love with her through this.

— Cynthia


Temp Lover – Notes

Background Notes for Temp Lover

Who hasn’t indulged in thinking of someone else when making love? Everyone does it. Take it up another notch – even when you’ve found your one true love, your one and only, your nobody-else-but, you’re a liar if you claim you never again have any time when you see someone else there in your arms, some celebrity or some past lover or someone you wish had worked out. Nothing wrong with that – it’s healthy if you’re not using it to escape the reality of whom you’re actually with, and even the lover in your arms ought not be offended, ought not stop mid-lovemaking, ought not attempt to possess and control your thoughts and your love so rigidly as to run acid through your brain to clear it all out, not when your desire for the one in your mind is a part of the love you are sharing with the one you are with.

Ditto, how universal it is that we like when we know that someone who loves us is thinking of us when making love with someone else. Everyone has felt that. Everyone. Admit it, we all want it, even the most jealous among us. We want to be thought of, even in those most private and intimate times our beloved shares with someone else.

This poem reaches past that to try recognizing something I found in the complete reverse direction: how very strong and true and exciting it can be to have had my lover go out of her way to forget me completely when she is with another lover, then how she feels coming back to my arms.

It is maybe like sleeping through a dream that is unknown and unreachable and beyond remembering, then waking back up and knowing without any amnesia at all who this is still lying close beside you, who was here all along, even when you were not thinking of or remembering at all.

I found myself thinking of you every single time I was making love with someone else, even the men I have been with since first knowing your love. Then I found myself thinking of you at work, how it would be to be doing projects together and negotiating with clients together and making deals together. Then I found myself always seeing you in the car beside me whether I was alone or riding with someone else. I found myself cooking with you when I was cooking for myself or others or even being cooked for. I found myself running beside you when I was out exercising. I found myself reading to you, bathing with you, laughing with you, hell even arguing with you when it was others I was being at odds with. Like thinking of you in bed with me when it was someone else, you kept popping up everywhere in my life, all over the place, all the time.

So I thought maybe I should at least try to do something without you. To write a poem just for me. To do a kind act just for someone random. To make love without pretending it was you there. And at first I thought it actually could be done. Then I came back and lay with you and felt how close you were inside me, part of me, something I can’t be without even when I think I’m not thinking of you, even when it’s supposed to be all for me or only for someone else. And I found out how much a part of me you really are, in that moment of realizing how you are there even when I go out of my way to do it without you. Which showed me in a new way what I already knew: I do love you.

So this poem was me thinking that maybe if you were to do the same thing, you would see in a new way what you and I both do already know: you do love me.

— Denise, for Cynthia

Heptahedron Authors – Some Background

Some background on the authors of The Heptahedron —

  • Maggie & Dean  are married and have a baby girl. Maggie is the senior writer of the two; Dean joins The Heptahedron under Maggie’s influence and with her support, but participates in his own right with his own unique voice.
  • Sara and David  are engaged to be married and are expecting a child in May 2013 have a baby boy. Sara is the senior writer of the two; David has quickly been showing he comes to us with his own unique vision.
  • Cynthia and Denise  plan to marry in early 2013 are married. Both have sufficient experience in writing to be active contributors to the group’s mission.

Our seventh reads a thousand poems to any single one he ever gets around to writing, so will mainly be posting his work in our group’s private site.

We are being joined by two more poets — Sheila and Michael — whom we will present further in due course.

We all nine are unified in a single spiritual belief. Although the most ancient and most common of beliefs, ours has always been so individual and private as to have always valued its intense secrecy, so we will not go into detail nor seek to lead any other to our faith. Even so, the unity we have through our belief is central to the effort that this collaboration represents, and nothing written here will ever be inconsistent with our belief.

Although none of us has any current interest in taking the writing of the group any further than these blogs present, obviously every one in this group has become very seriously obsessed with Sara’s explorations into sestina variations and other poetic forms and methods.

That’s enough background for now. Maybe enough for later.