Friday, September 21, 2012

Poetry and the Altered Scale

You might remember that I published a poem here last month. I'm not an accomplished poet, but I've long admired poetry and I wrote a lot of poems in my early adulthood. I hadn't seriously tried to write one in a long time, but in the past few years Mrs. D and I have renewed our friendship with an old college pal, Jefferson Hansen, who lives here in the Twin Cities and has been deeply involved in literary endeavors for most of his life. It's been a real blessing to have Jeff back in our lives -- he's a brilliant man with a great breadth of knowledge and wide-ranging interests. And as we've spent time with Jeff over the past few years, I've come to realize that while I've been an active blogger, I need to write poetry again. And so I am.

Jeff is the editor and curator of an online journal called  Alert readers will have noticed that and its companion blog have been featured on our recommended site list for a while now. Jeff was gracious enough to publish a poem that I wrote in May in the second edition of AlteredScale, which he published today. You can read my poem at the site if you are interested. The poem I submitted is called "Reboot" and you can find it in the first gallery of the journal.

If you go to read my poem, make sure to stay awhile and check out some of the other work that Jeff has published in the journal. A lot of the work, including poetry, prose and music, tends to be experimental. There's a lot there that you will find rewarding, I think. And you'll find more than a few things that might challenge more traditionalist notions. And that's good. Jeff explains his methodology in this way:
Ideally, a reader/viewer would first watch my short introductory video in order to understand my intent with this journal. Put simply, after the feature on Maria Damon, I arrange work in galleries with an eye toward playing with and off musical elements implicit in the works: harmony, disharmony, tone, atonality, tone-lock, rhythm, and so on. The galleries are long, so be sure to scroll all the way to a terminal point. Once there, you will find a link to the next gallery.
Jeff often looks at the world in a musical way. In fact, the name "Altered Scale" comes from a musical technique that's often used in jazz. An example of an altered scale would be as follows:

 C D♭ E♭ F♭ G♭ A♭ B♭ C

Essentially, the notes in the scale are down a half a note from a straight C scale. The slight modification makes a big difference.

While this blog tends to be political, I often wish it weren't. I write about politics mostly because I think it's important to do so, but there are many things that are more enjoyable and ennobling than watching the two major political parties play Whack-A-Mole with one another. And I'm going to continue to write more poetry. I may publish it here, or I might pursue other avenues of publication. But I'm going to stay after it. Somehow I think a well-crafted poem might have more lasting impact than yet another polemic.


Jefferson Hansen said...

Thank you, Mark. This means a lot to me (as does your hilarious poem.) Keep up the work.

Chuckwagon Boy said...

Great poem, Mark! I could hear you reading it in my head as I read it. And you even worked in BofA, performance reviews, Six Sigma and Hoshin Plans! :)

One other random note: BofA made the decision about 1 1/2 months ago to shut down the whole Relocation Mortgage line. And who do we blamed for that? Everyone now: Countrywide!!

BofA is also laying off 16,000 more employees by the end of the year - mainly in the mortgage area and bank branches. The fun continues to roll on! :)

Mr. D said...

Thank you, Jeff. It's a great honor to be part of AlteredScale2.


Thank you. Unfortunately, the tales from BofA don't surprise me. Thankfully, as we've both learned, there's life beyond BofA. And it's a good life.