Friday, December 04, 2009

486. A Very Random Slam Poem... Poetry and Parasitology... Do Not Ask...

Poetry and
iza Wild West
of Literature
and Biology.
And so I've come
to practice both.
For th' opportune
to self-impose
the Wildness
and Westness
into my Prose!

This poem was invented about ten minutes ago by my accidentally talking to myself. Ooops! This is what happens when a biologist starts creative writing: the invention of very strange, esoteric... associations. Well, at least it rhymes!

This poem is the merging of two separate incidents. When speaking with poetry pal Barry Spacks, I had once told him that to me, poetry is like the Wild West of literature. And then when I was blathering away with my fisherman friend Jules who has had several encounters with ocean parasites (and I told him about the bizarre life cycle of rhizocephalan barnacles hosted in spider crab), this comment just slipped off my tongue: "Parasitology is the Wild West of Biology. Once you thought there were some rules and some structure to the discipline, all of the rules seem to be broken or severely modified when you start studying parasites."

And so my silly brain gave birth to a poem associating Poetry and Parasitology. Voila!

I was just crafting a "justification" statement/essay for The Mountain's Last Flower, and I was trying to craft a fundamental method for my prose. Basically, I feel that the craft of writing poetry has tremendously freed up my mind from any arbitrary literary constraints, just as parasites did for the biological side of my brain (which is close to all of it), and then I think venturing into prose from a poetic, yet scientifically precise point of view constructs the notion of "poetic precision" and "layered, nonlinear minimalism" in my writing, which have been very touching compliments from quite a few people over the last few years. Scientists doing creative writing may produce a lot of useless byproduct (like the poem above), but at least they can breed new habits into the stale conventions of modern journalistic-like creative writing.

Guinea pig Victoria is, indeed!

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