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A meaningless meandering of thoughts
Keeps me landlocked in a garden of words,
Among towering trees filled with creatures
Competing among the leaves to be named;

I am all alone in my own little zone,
Quoting from scrolls the indifferent love
From ancient philosophers which fill my head
That any hope of truth is truly hopeless.

But I have known at times the elusive laughter
That is released from the guts of a swollen cloud
The same heard by Adam with his puffed cheeks
As he was cast out with the hysterical angels.

Again and again I dream of that laughter
Echoing in the waves from distant oceans
That tickle the shores at the high tide-
Accepting the absurdity of paradox.

How everything real can be proven unreal
On the crooked boulevards of time!
My mind reels in milky ways of aging,
And mutters its dream of immaculate youth-

So would I cross the scarred and scorched fields
To find the harbor by poisonous seas,
Filled with choral dragons and phosphorescent dolphins,
Condemned to the unruly circus of my imagination-

And board the barge where the comedy is loud
And jubilant, to forget, at last, the long voyages
My mind was forced to journey with just a simple man
On a pilgrimage to laughter and a moment of perfection.

Last few words: 
This poem is entirely re-edited in this version. Many of the revisions are based on a poetry workshop I am hosting,in which all poets get several minutes of comments on their work from all participants in a group setting.If there is a workshop similar in your area, (which there probably is! ) I urge all the poets to get engaged as direct contact with other poets is so helpful and rewarding. That said, I hope this version has some magic for you. ..
Editing stage: 


Hello Emo,
You definitely stand out.
Even if I don't understand many of your lines.
Your text is readable and it is enticing and it asks to be read again.
What I miss is the message that connects all these interesting images.
But I do like the mix. I also like that it is more rhythmic than your previous poems.


which is hard about your own work, it has influence by Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens, Delmore Schwartz and Pablo Neruda from his "Residences on Earth" phase. It uses adjectives very freely for associations "crooked boulevards of time" or "poisonous ocean" Why poisonous?...well the ocean is actually poisonous, if we drink it we die, but the inference is much larger. I think the key line is

Condemned to the circus of my own imagination-

because I cannot control it, but it's all I have in a world where reality is unreal, and my mind is flush with chatter...all I want to do is find that laughter- and know joy of it in the face of our absurd human condition.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Thank you for your explanations.


That flows beneath your bridge. ~ Gee.

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I especially appreciated all the colourful adjectives as they painted a wonderful canvas in my head. The ending was great as it does lift you up with the laughter and moment of perfection.

I an gonna restrict my ideas to the last stanza which I think needs to be strong in this instance. So here is one alternate to the way you finished this poem :

And board that craft where the music rings loud...........(eliminates the Yoda speak lol)
Of annunciation, to forget, at last, the endless voyages
my mind was forced to journey for such a simple man
on his pilgrimage toward laughter perhaps... perfection.
Just a few thoughts that rattled out of m,y vacant noggin

I guess I was trying to sound like Pound in Canto're probably right about the yoda speak.

I would not ordinarily end a poem with a "..." to prevalent. I have been thinking about the last line . Several times I was tempted to make it

On a pilgrimage to laughter and its moment of perfection.

But that would make the act of laughter the perfection, not the events which caused the laughter.

Tell me why you are not sure of the ending, I want to make sure it is correct in its inferences-
You are a good reader, I know you got the poem. Thanks for that.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

The last line makes it sound like the entire trip will result in a mere moment of fulfillment. Now I'd like to think the journey will end in at least a prolonged period of perfection. But if you intend this poem to focus on a single moment then leave as is. Trying to discern a writers intent is often a problem isn't it?

you are the real magician of words, i love the poem but i cannot get the sense behind it

always remember to make a critique of other poems
using the hoe is not madness for nothing

I think a poet has to understand the basic intent of his poem. If he cannot explain it, why should expect anyone else to? The poem opens in which the subject of the poem (me) finds himself "landlocked" with all these words and thoughts just meaninglessly wandering and from "others" , creatures competing to be heard..Then to philosophy.. a waste of time. Then the poem shifts to the idea that once there was the promise of being able to laugh, truly laugh, at the madness of it all.
Then back to philosophy, nothing is proven...there is only me, older. Then a resolution to let the imagination, which is also out of control, to challenge the "poisonous oceans" and state it's crazy visions (phosphorescent dolphins), and go with it. It closes with the idea being "all alone in my own little zone", at last is on the water, no longer landlocked, and my imagination will find its holiness in laughter, the holy land for the pilgrim) and when that happens there is a moment of perfection. There is order in the universe.

The title...did Adam really laugh? There are many ways men differ from the other animals, but man is the only one which can truly "laugh", as far as I know...The title is leap of faith that it will help the reader associate laughter with the first man, who is all of us, everyman...I'm not sure of this, and I many well change the title as I get further from it. It took 3 weeks to write.

The intent this: a lot of the adjective work is abstract- and demands you accept them poetically, where they are impressionist- crooked boulevards of time. milky ways of aging, poisonous ocean- these have experiential effect. I don't know what they "mean", but at the same time I feel what they mean, i just can't find another way to say it. I can only hope I was successful to the reader.


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

And rich with such fruits as this, I can only unpack in brief. Arthur Schopenhauer said we should communicate in poetry. I think that your wonderful confinement in this contemplative mode, garden. space is reason enough for the clouds to shudder and loose their laughter. Maybe the only way I can respond is in - verse. Excellent, bulging with references as usual, that demand the reader digs deeper, as any great poem should. Much imbibed and enjoyed.

Thanks Eumo,


PS I do get it - see if you can find my re-interpretation of A. D. Hope's "Imperial Adam" as " Imperial Madman"

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

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