Bound (Shaken, Not Stirred)



Increasingly, I move through life shaken
but not stirred. Smallish things upset me,
a minimart brand of earthquaking,
enough to jar all cans from their shelved lee
while the ceiling stays intact, my buzzed bars
of tubed fluorescence penning the sheet rock,
which, in turn, shuts out all chance of sighted stars.
As the kiltered cylinders fall, labels sock
my legs, shoulders, flat greens of creamed corn, stewed
tomatoes. I only vaguely shield my head
because I think I’m not truly there (though bruised),
the bond to the now so slack, and, in its place,
the shackles of passivity, blank space.

Here’s a rather grim sonnet in a Shakespearean mode (though I’m sure I do not have proper iambs and I also relied on slant rhyme) for dVerse Poets Pub’s second anniversary Thursday challenge, hosted by Tony Maude. (The challenge involved using a prompt from the past year. I refer to Gay Cannon’s article on basic sonnet forms.)

I also wrote this for Izzy Gruye’s Out of Standard challenge on With Real Toads to write something that used a famous line from a movie, without direct reference to the movie. In this case, it’s James Bond’s direction for the mixing of martinis.

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23 Comments on “Bound (Shaken, Not Stirred)”

  1. claudia Says:

    nice…love the bond reference…my fav bond of all time is daniel craig.. i think he’s supersexy…ha…smiles… love the bridge from earthquakes, cans and life, shaken but not stirred, the only vaguely shielding the head…sometimes it just hits us by surprise..i wished i had reflexes like bond you know…

  2. brian miller Says:

    smiles…bond is def a fav of mine…i like how you open with the line but then in the end you subtlely bring bond back in another form or meaning…i am rather the opposite…its not the small but big that shake me and when they do, they do terribly…smiles. kiltered cylinders…ha, i like how you put that…

  3. Love this Karin.. (I’m a big fan of sonnets) I got the imagery of the falling cans. lingerers a sticky kind of panic .. or was it just an earthquake 🙂

  4. Beautiful poem, made even more beautiful by the challenges placed on your way. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    I’ve read this three times, just for the rhythmic quality–especially like the imagery of lines of cans (of once living green things) falling–kiltered cylinders is fantastic– burying one in modern life’s artificially preserved, convenience store trivials–opening line is just a fantastic draw-in, even if one had no knowledge of the movie reference. You manage to pin down a condition that is usually just an uncomfortable, almost invisible nuance, a malaise of minor disruption that permeates like a must. Nothing like a sonnet for framing stuff like this, and you as always, work to the form’s strengths while stretching it to fit your picture.

  6. I know the feeling you describe here, the ‘Smallish things upset me’. How clever of you to realize that notion so well in your sonnet.

  7. ninotaziz Says:

    Karin, I so loved this! I can hear you smiling and laughing at yourself. This is an infectious one!

    Let’s have tea.

  8. Grace Says:

    I love bond’s reference: shaken, not stirred, a minimart brand of earthquaking ~ Shelves and cans can rattle but good to have that ceiling intact ~

    Good work on the sonnet form K ~

  9. Mary Says:

    Very clever sonnet, Karin. But the experience dealing with an earthquake of cans falling would NOT be pleasant.

  10. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    got lost in the lovely quagmire of symbols and sonnet, but after a couple reads began to appreciate the sentiments; nice ride, Karen, thanks.

  11. Mama Zen Says:

    Brilliant take on that movie line. Seriously, I’m, gnashing my teeth that I didn’t think of that.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You know, I have gotten some kind of weird vertigo headache today after posting, and realized that I’d only written thirteen lines. So silly. I’m going to try to fix but just haven’t been able to. Thanks, MZ. k.

  12. nico Says:

    Excellent work. Very nice phrasing here–“kiltered cylinders” is perfect! And the use of the noun “bond” (as well as the verb form “bound”) in addition to the movie line is big time clever.

  13. vb holmes Says:

    Once I got Bond in my head, your words translated into exaggerated special effects and I was blown away. Good job.

  14. isadoragruye Says:

    oh, shiny!!! Bond reinvented for the commoner, or rather the extraordinary. I love how the imagery you chose given an “action movie chase sequence” feel to the everyday. Great writing in this piece Karen!!! Viva la

  15. […] for those who are interested in process, here’s the original thirteen line poem, called Bound. It’s actually fairly different (with stewed tomatoes, for […]

  16. Oh I so love this–13 lines or no–your rhythm here is so wonderful–a piece o read aloud again and again

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Audrey! I haven’t really compared them- I mean, of course, I sort of did in trying to re-write – but I’m not sure works better. I sometimes don’t like sonnets so much–they get a little pat – so maybe shorter does work better. Thanks much for reading both. k.

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