Learn Cursive with Lunatic Engine – Lesson 12 –


What We Require Above All Else

about the negate ives in
side every thing a s now flake too
is built around an ab cess sence
a little hole you can put
stuff in to

I will admit that I had a lot of fun writing this book. One of the earliest creative decisions I made was to let the content of each poem drive the structure. You’ve already been introduced to one of the games in the book with the footnotes. This week’s lesson introduces another of the games: playing with words; breaking them apart to see what’s inside; recombining or introducing space to uncover different meanings; goofing off with language.

I’m not talking about pure language poetry though where the structure and the sound often take precedence over meaning. Also know that my allegiance to “meaning” in poetry is by no means absolute – a self discovery I made towards the end of writing Lunatic Engine. In service of moving this argument along, let’s say that this poem is the first of a few that is starting to try to express a kind of emotional reality by using language like rhetorical paint, or notes.

I listen to a LOT of weird music in general and a lot while I write and it has shaped how I use words. This poem is not a new thing in the world of poetry. These are lessons that have been around for more than a century. To be clear, I’m not talking about the musical nature of poetry. That is self-evident. I’m talking about the beginnings of both minimalist music and the avant-garde: Furniture music and dadaism. Atonal and meaningful.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I really like Japanese pens and ink. This week’s combination is the third last I own. The final two unique pens that will be used for the next two lessons are both from Pilot. But since we did a pilot pen last week, I thought I’d give you a break and use a different brand of Japanese pen.

May I present to you a Platinum Plaisir with a number 3 nib. It is loaded up with one of Sailor’s prettiest Jentle Inks, Sakura Mori, or literally, cherry-blossom forest. I absolutely adore this ink. I mean, look at it!

The pen is okay too. Platinum apparently makes some absolutely beautiful pens. Beautiful, fancy, luxurious and therefore of course, pricey. I say apparently because I’m a cheapskate and haven’t splashed out the big bucks for a fabled 3776. The Plaisir is neither fancy, nor pricey. It is extremely affordable. It has an aluminum body with a clear plastic window around the feed. It is very, very light. It is a bit too light for my tastes.

Which I guess is not surprising considering the number of Metropolitans I own at the same price point. Where the metros hold themselves down on the paper, I find myself having to keep the plaisir from floating away. Still, it is a decent pen at an amazing price. It writes well and comes in all sorts of attractive colours. You could do much worse. And look again at how well it matches with the cherry-blossom forest!

About Learn Cursive with Lunatic Engine. Each week, until my first book of poetry launches in April 2020, I am going to complete a cursive worksheet featuring lines from the poems in the book with notes on which tool I used. I will post the blank sheets as pdf’s below and here on the full explanation page for you to download, print and complete.

A new lesson with new lines will be added to the complete document so that by the time the book comes out, you’ll have not only had a chance to read a couple of lines from each poem, but you’ll have written them yourself.

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