Us as Poems: An Essay on Anatomy and Poetry
We are "meat, bones" as Anne Waldman states in one of her best performance poems. Robert Duncan in his "H.D." dedicates a whole chapter to diastolic and systolic heartbeat. An idea that has supported the use of Common English Rhythm (unstressed stressed foot).
There is more. There is a comparative anatomy along with physiology for each cellular detail of our bodies as poems.
Both have heartbeats, nervous systems, and a skeleton. Both have hearts, spines, fingers, toes, and skulls. Both use energy produced through the metabolism of what we read and consume. Words to feed our cells which in turn feed our tissues, organs, organisms.
We are the organisms, the body, the poem.
Since the scientific revolution the anatomy of the heart with each corresponding vasculature, and lymph has found a place as the definition of an iambic beat. The repeating rhythm of the push and pull of our blood.
An anatomy used as metaphor for love. The central pump. A place where love can circulate. A connection between our relationships and the rhythm necessary for life. A larger connection between our outside experience and our internal spaces. An ecosystem.
This repeating rhythm of the push and pull of our blood is the push and pull of a good poem. A rotation of the water of life.
The poem a heart that works as a cultural gradient pump. The poem takes in the workings of the society around us and keeps this information flowing as life blood. Illustrating the whole as a constant rotation of our lives.
"The poem too begins with a pulse, a melodic impulse (a "beat" which belongs to a unique pattern in time), and the melodic impulse contains a form (as the beat of blood in the egg contains the form of the chick at work). There is then an image that is also ("the first to live and the last to die") a rhythm." Robert Duncan The H.D. Book.
Electric pulses travel from axon to dendrite and back again. Created by separation of charges a positive and a negative control over chaos. From the Central Nervous System to the Peripheral Nervous System a message is formed and travels as electricity.
The Central Nervous system takes experience through the senses and decodes sensory data. Then the Central Nervous System creates a response based on this data and gives instructions to the organs and organ systems to perform accordingly.
These messages travel through the Peripheral Nervous System to the organs and organ systems. Generated through beats and pulses of energy our stories are carried out as told through our interpreted data.
Sometimes the Central orders the Peripheral to create. To Use language and communicate to another organism to combine energy, multiple energies, a society.
Sometimes all that is needed is one small electrical impulse to send the message of poetry from the head to the heart.
Without a frame to stand upon we are loose flesh. A puddle of skin and muscle. Without the strength of bone to hold the muscle and protect the soft flesh we would be nothing.
Every soft part needs a strong part to make it whole. From our feet whose community of bone is similar to a city or the arm with three strong purposeful support mechanisms we exist due to strong support.
The world is made of bone. Bone is what holds us together.
Through pathways of bone our heart pumps blood, our lymph fights disease, and our electrical impulses have highways free of speed limits.
Bones are the bindings of the many collections of poems that find there way to the bookshelf.
Or the protection of a mind from the skull. A hard layer that keeps a mind protected from outside threats and allows freedom of thought.
An osseous cave where information can travel underground from one mind to another even if free thought is under threat.
We are nothing more then a collection of cells. A collection that becomes tissue. When tissue comes together to work for a common goal an organ is created. When organs work together for a common goal organ systems are created. If organ systems work together for a common goal we exist.
Our words are collections of heartbeats through time. Our language is the language of electricity. Our skeletons are the mountains that have kept these stone tablets written throughout history safe.
Poetry is an extension of our anatomy and physiology.
Us as poems.
© 2019 Jamie Lee Hamann