Accident? Parody? Double-speak? (Tribute to John Cage?)


As some of you may know, I’ve been experimenting with audio versions of poems. Here’s one that happened accidentally. I originally  linked it to With Real Toads, which had a prompt of self-parody of one’s own poetic style, since it arose from my fascination with villanelles.  ( Everyone’s there was super clever and funny by the way – check them out!)

Then dVerse Poets Pub had a wonderful prompt on the modern, posted by the brilliant poet Charles Miller.  And, frankly, the Sixties – which this sound poem focuses on seems to be as modern as I will get tonight.

So here goes.  FYI, John Cage is a very cool modern composer, one of whose most famous pieces is 4’33” (pronounced “4 minutes and 33 seconds”) which consists of three movements of silence.  (All instruments are instructed to keep quiet.)

This is not silent! And it does give a picture of facets of modern life i.e. (i) multi-tasking, (ii)  low-tech meeting higher tech, and (iii) minds  getting stuck in grooves.   So, give it a click!


Here are links to the text versions of the poems, Swimming in Summer, and Flag (After Vietnam)

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30 Comments on “Accident? Parody? Double-speak? (Tribute to John Cage?)”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    Pretty funny, and I think it fits the bill as a nice mangling of styles, statement on the mixed messages of the Sixties, and also, the accidentally surreal which can enter our work uninvited.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Joy. After the “accident,” I tried adding a third track, but it really got a bit too garbled then – maybe it would be okay for a short time, but not a whole poem’s worth. It seems like a technique with potential, however, with the right poems. Of course, one would actually have to spend some time and plan it, and maybe learn how to truly edit the tracks. (I’m sure the iPhone can do it but less sure about me!) k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, the Sixties aspect worked out surprisingly well. What a time! I recommend Moonrise Kingdom if you have not seen – I don’t go to many movies but this was very sweet – takes place in 65. k.

  2. This was an extraordinary response to the prompt, and your double track took me by surprise. The strong form of villanelle has the rhythm to support the double bill.
    I do love your Ellies. My daughter had an encounter with elephants today, and rode one. Wonderful experience she shared with her grandmother.

  3. Helen Says:

    Just like Vietnam ~ made no sense (however I loved listening to your jabberwocky.)

  4. Chazinator Says:

    I think this works really well. I could imagine some low-key electronica playing against the contrapuntal voices, which would add another dimension. The effect of my mind deciding which voice to listen to, trying to hear then at once even, creates confusion but never waning interest in “what” is being said. In fact, that effect just increased my desire to know what was being said. The question of how it’s being said never entered the equation as I listened, but then I love just about every variety of experimental music/poetry there is. 🙂

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Charles. I felt instinctively that you’d like even before seeing the prompt. I want to do a fresh one for the prompt, but this had that Cage-ian aspect. (What a great prompt!)

      Villanelles work well because the lines are repeated so a bit less to follow and the length corresponds. A lot of fun to be had though. Thanks again. k.

  5. brian miller Says:

    nice…so very cool to hear the layering of voices and poems as well that i had read over the last couple days….haha how many clones of you did it take to pull this off…smiles….very cool…

  6. claudia Says:

    this is way cool k. – experimental poetry a bit… very modern..ha..loved it and great to hear your voice(s) again as well…smiles

  7. an audio parody, awesome awesome awesome by accident or not, it makes several statements. Thanks for responding to my challenge and viva la

  8. Supercool, wasn’t born yet so I don’t have any good 60s stories :). My father was a conscientious objector to Vietnam and completed 1000 hours of community service instead.

  9. Very cool to hear the double track. The 60’s were some great years yet, not for those who served in Vietnam. Very clever use of putting the ‘modern’ use of gadgets into poetry. Well done. Lovely voice too 🙂

  10. Sue Judd Says:

    Great take on the prompt, I enjoyed the sound of the poem, even though I didn’t catch all the words! Very much enhanced by your very measured, steady speech…

  11. Margaret Says:

    It needs to flow over the listener and some words just “pop” out. Reminds me of poems that no matter how many times I read them, I just don’t “get” them. But the voices, the rhythm here I found beautiful.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha! The texts are very hard to sort out when read together. The texts are each linked–one about childhood in summer, the other about Flag. A lot of repetition because both villanelles. Thanks. k.

  12. cloudfactor5 Says:

    I think the two tracks were slightly out of sync, but I admire the attempt!! overlapping tracks is tricky business and takes a lot of patience !!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Randy. The two tracks actually happened completely by accident. I did not mind the out of syncness, but I know what you mean. Later I tried some intentional ones, and it is definitely somewhat difficult, especially since i do not know if my software has very good editing capabilities. Thanks for listening. k.

  13. Sabio Lantz Says:

    arghhh, that was painful

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