So, in my last two posts I was talking about Twitter's literary value, tweets being Library of Congress-worthy, and about Twitterature (see Library of Tweets and Twitterature), and I figure it's time to put my (imaginary) money where my (virtual) mouth is. Also, given that it's National Poetry Month, I thought it would be only right (and certainly more than a little self-indulgent) to share my Twitter poetry with you.
My MySpace friend Si Philbrook came up with the idea of trying to write poetry within the 140 character limit of the single Twitter tweet (including punctuation and spaces), and without any formatting. You could, perhaps, compare this to haiku, but syllables don't count, only letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and spaces, and there are no line breaks. When Si started in with it, he established the convention of putting the title in caps, followed by a hypen or two, and that's all there is to it.
Si originally suggested calling this form of poetry micropoetry, which fits in with Twitter being a form of microblogging, and he also suggested calling it 140poetry. But I came up with poetweet as the term for each individual Twitter poem, and that seems to have stuck, at least it has for me. I've noticed that others have also used the term, some following my example, perhaps others arriving at it independently.
All told, I have posted 30 poetweets on Twitter (out of over 2100 tweets total at this writing). The first 10 were posted on Twitter back in 2008, and then I collected them and posted them together under the heading of Poetweets on my MySpace poetry blog:
TRAJECTORIES --- As we grow older, our dreams grow younger, it is the spirit struggling to break free of its earthly cocoon.
BUZZ --- The bees in my head, sometimes drink nectar, sometimes make honey, sometimes they sting!
THE BIRDS --- avian internet, dark clouds swirl against a late autumn sky, readying their messages to send, packets following V formation
MEATLESS --- I sail the electric sea, Like my angel sails the aether, Escaping earth's gravity, She never looks beneath her
I FELL --- Leash tangled, cutting into ankles, knees smashed into concrete, knuckles ripped in self-defense, shoulder hurts bad, but why?
AFAR-You fill me with love from afar,At home, at work, in my car,Though I don't know where the hell you are,You fill me with love from afar
SERVITUDE we were slaves we were slaves building cities for the Pharaoh if we forget that we were slaves, how can we remember to be free?
SOAP --- Sacrificed on your altar, To satisfy your need for cleansing, I give of myself to you, And slowly I disappear and die for you
BOUNCE--Time ellipses, from apsis to apsis, takes a leap of faith across momentary abscess, stretches and snaps, coming to rest in our laps
IDLESS -- Lost on a nameless ocean, Adrift in anonymity, Engulfed by a wave in slow motion, Drowning in an electric sea.
The second batch of 10 were collected and posted on MySpace in 2009 under the heading of More Poetweets:
GRADIATED -- lines so fine, so fine, so fine, step up step down, ascend decline, radiate, discriminate, a sign meant you left up to fate
WHITE WATER -- The river has no rival, the river is arrival, the river comes continual, the river comes alive all and all and all and all
CROAK -- A tad bipolar, I lies amidst the lily padded figures, paddlin', I am a fibbin' bein', I gots plans in the hopper for you, fly now
DUDE--Wiped out by waves of ego. Martyr to yourself. Drowning in oceans of delusion. Miserly tides reflect you. You recoil sans recognition.
CHIMES -- Maddening, melody minus a tune, rhythm with no beat, wind without whistle, vibration sans hum, repeating and yet never the same
ALARM -- Politic politalk, politic politalk, politic politalk, politic politalk... RING RING RING!!! Time to wake up!
US -- Am, er, I can, I can Dr. E., am, er, I can dream, a merry, a merry can, merry can do, can dream, can do, a merry, merry can, can, sir!
SENT CHANCE -- Mortal and aware, abandoned to the random, terrifyingly unfair, living under a death sentience.
QUESTIONS-- There are questions without answers, but no answers without questions, and the answer to each question is a question in disguise
THAT I AM -- In the space between words. In the space between breaths. In the space between thoughts. I am.
And I just recently put up my third set of 10 poetweets over on MySpace, with the title of Still More Poetweets:
Still More Poetweets
NO MAN'S LAND -- An island called His. An island called Hate. An island called Hope?
DEEP--Pressed for time, deeply pressed and shunned, pressure deep, no time, express shun, come press shun, deep press shun, come pass shun?
SEW LIPS SCHISM -- There is no I but I
UNDONE -- And so, I am... But hold... My word! My shoelace has come... Whoa... Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
MANDATE -- Damian the Tory ate tamarind? Damn, man, I am adamant about that mandatory monetary data. Tout le monde dit, Mon Dieu! Madness!
PRINT--Aw, Thor! Aw, Thor! Steam powers presses like thunder! Cop he writes, or play jurist, trial and errata, off set and type cast ink!
GETTING AN EARFUEL--The aura of the oral is colored like the coral and it's aural to the core where it's all oil or it's all coal.
GENESIS -- To learn how to speak, one must first learn how to listen. In communication as in procreation, conception follows reception.
AIR--The map dilates the territory. The clock dilutes the tarry tarry. The word delights the thin git rap resents. The cymbal dials for thee.
THE POET--The poet sneezes, calls it poetry, the dog has fleas, and scratches, calls it naught, calls it not, calls its knot, hanky please
And that, dear readers, is the long and short, but mostly short, of it.