Friday, February 18, 2011

Combatwords, February 18, 2011: Adventure, Chance, and Risk

Combatwords, February 18, 2011: Adventure, Chance, and Risk

I crave adventure in my bones, but I receive it in my mind. I am safer and less traveled as a result. I'm extremely wary of a single expedition causing my total ruin, but I take little risks. We all do don't we? To live is to risk. The best we can hope for is to manage our risk. When we increase our risk, we're taking a chance; for risk is exposure to the odds of negative contingency. While I may want to take a road trip to discover something novel, I have far stronger urges to stay with what I know: a job, a news poem... whatever. So I adventure in my mind; I use paper, computer, or even a vista. I have a favorite place in San Francisco; I can see most of the city. I imagine when the hill was born and what animal first appreciated the view. I consider the first humans who watched the Pacific pass through the Golden Gate and then the Spaniards who wandered to the wrong side of the peninsula. Finally, I consider the first American to look out from that vista. There are so many stories to explore in each of these thoughts—and the vista is so fine that it's an adventure for my eyes—I do not feel a genuine need for adventure. I can roam with my mind and leave others with the risks.

Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 2/21/2011

Critique Expiration: 12am PST, 2/23/2011

Bonuses/Penalties: **New** +1 for 1st post, +1 for post with the most individual comments, +2 if posted by 7pm PST, 2/18/2011, +1 if posted by 2am PST 2/19/2011, -1 if posted by 6am PST 2/21/2011, -2 if posted by 12pm PST 2/21/2011.

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  1. Experience/Expiration

    Forty seven summers
    have passed too quickly
    and at this latitude
    winter clings to the concrete
    like dog shit on a shoe.
    The longer you live the less
    you care about adventure;
    endurance is your mantra

    I want to chase the moon
    across the night sky until it hides
    behind the sunrise like I did
    in my eighteenth spring,
    or make backseat love
    to a girl while too drunk
    to remember her name,
    the way I used to in Julys
    twenty one through twenty five.

    Spring number forty eight
    waits in the wings and I wonder
    if there is any wonder left;
    something more that a tally
    of days and nights expired.
    They say you are only
    as old as you feel, god
    I hope that is not true.

  2. I really think mine is the best one posted!

  3. Wars of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow [Combatwords Poem, 2/20/2011]

    I like robots at war, explosions galore—
    It's anonymous mayhem, bloodless—still death.

    I like dramas with weasels—thieves who get caught.
    They're morality tales; a caution I heed.

    I love history—scholars toppled the blade,
    But the blades shall return; I study and wait.

    In the future, the past, today there is war;
    With our flesh, with our money—proxies someday.

    For our business is war so office is war,
    And our dreams for tomorrow: robots at war.

    We will war with no guilt, and children will live
    To admire the mechanic armies at play,

    It's like death by a blade, but money's the stake;
    And today—in accounts—our spirit is gauged.

    When a robot's destroyed, a family starves.
    Where no camera watches, nobody cares.

    We will dress in the robes of circuit and wire;
    Like the universe, stars and galaxy: boom.

  4. this is your brain on drugs
    with a side of bacon

    :good morning

    i am careful to keep my voice studied neutral;
    they believe machines talk like this
    so i will play along
    modulating my tones
    to a paper gray with ones and zeroes
    as if my toner
    needs shaken

    :what day is it?

    shaken seas and i will build a kayak
    from straws and cling wrap
    a vessel light as a bird
    to fly upon the waves and carry me
    dry as houses
    safe as mouses
    to a copper-plated shore
    where a mainspring will be installed
    by a man with eyebrows
    like the sargasso sea

    :could you tell me your name?

    i just need a spell of adventure
    a rubber-tipped snout
    to smell about
    to breath melodies
    the shape of sleep
    the distance of inconsolable beaches
    into the core of the sun
    as we
    as all of us
    in here
    stagger in the airless breeze

    :she's gone far away again

    my batteries are empty
    i have been on this adventure
    for days
    compliments of the black cat
    i am miss eveready
    her black cat parts missing
    i walk these tv halls
    at a steady pace
    the wiremesh windows
    the look on his face

    and here

  5. a little out there tonight so i will keep the reviews short. love the theme but i didn't do it justice.

    steven, yours is depressingly reluctant to leave the comfort of an overstuffed chair. very good. +1 for winter clings like shit on shoe and +1 for the line breaks in the second stanza, but -1 for the waits in the wings section just because your words could pull more from behind those red velvet curtains.

    khakjaan, this has a good rhythm, +1 for something i started reading aloud to feel the words jumping off my tongue into the february night. the robot stuff pisses me off because it is true and yet it is false because if it's not worth dying for, what the fuck are we fighting for? +1 for an emotional response which is tempered by enough distance for me to consider your words.

    sorry for not reviewiing last time.