When a Story Bleeds Into Poetry

Can a chapter of a book be summarized by Poetry?

    Poetry can allude to books or movies or wars, but it’s a quandary to consider how much the casual reader can know (it’s a running joke in science and math that when one doesn’t want to have to explain an assumption or premise to say, “… as is obvious to the casual observer.” Oh geez, I see now trying to find that expression that I remember it wrong, and they even have an acronym for it: IOTTMCO [Intuitively Obvious To the Most Casual Observer] ).”
    So, anyway, I’ve been looking through the poetry archives and notice a few poems I wrote alluding to “The Blog That Would Destroy the World.* ” Some seem obscure to me now but one of them I think can stand alone. Spoiler alert: I’m going to give a chapter excerpt to show where it came from, but if you want to have an unbiased opinion about whether the poem can stand alone, you can skip it.
    After I was given the honorary title “Kvizee” (Royal Magic Poet), I rode in a limousine with Her Majesty to visit a wheat farm before heading back to the Palace (Kmpamew)

 CHAPTER NINETEEN: Driving Back to the Kmpamew

    by Douglas Gilbert
A Gavicte is like a “Chief-of-staff” or a senior advisor. Aipnijtku is a military rank like “lieutenant”.
    Entry 215: It should have been a relaxing ride but assassins were waiting to attack.

In the morning at the Cottage, Zawmb’yee was all excited, because at the last moment she had invited Naztko to come to the Kmpamew with her for a visit. She was going to ask Naztko to be her Gavicte to replace Gavicte Yenkoi who she no longer trusts — she was sure she’d get a unanimous vote by the Grand Council to appoint him. This way, the two palaces would work together. We had gone in a convoy destined for the Kmpamew. There’s a new secret tunnel that could get us there. But along the way we were going to visit a wheat farm.

    The Jicnie packed up all our things in the first car that we usually take, and Naztko would be in one of the back-up cars. He said he’d talk to us at the farm. He told us that we should enjoy the ride and he’d talk to us then.
    Zawmb’yee and I got all comfortable in the back of the limousine, and off we went.
We passed through the forest on a road that meandered past stands of London Planetree, Black Locust, Black Cherry, and Pin Oak trees, with gentle brooks and creeks speaking in ripples. But we passed them by gracefully around gentle curves and while in the forest were never up a creek, and we brooked no wild things at all like would be done in a forest of dreams.
    In an hour we came into a clearing of meadows and of farm land on a straight road. The clouds had run away and the sun illuminated clearly every blade of grass, every speck in the road.
    Zawmb’yee said, “What a perfect day,” and she looked out on both sides. She pulled down the divider so she could look out the front. “Good morning,” she called out to the driver, “Aipnijtku Yathyaz, how are you?”
Yathyaz said, “I’m fine Your Majesty. Isn’t it a great day?”

“Yes, Aipnijtku Yathyaz, it’s a very clear day — um excellent visibility for driving…”

“Fevepo, pcapdyntpa!”

“Yes,” said Zawmb’yee.

I turned towards Zawmb’yee and said, “What’s that about?”

“Something needs his urgent attention so he asked permission to abruptly end the conversation,” Zawmb’yee whispered to me.

The driver was looking around in all directions. “Tpa!” he shouted.

“What’s that?” I whispered to Zawmb’yee.

“He’s telling the car’s sensors to send out as much data as it can,” whispered Zawmb’yee.

Zawmb’yee looked out the front windshield, “What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“Up ahead, it looks like a porcupine crossing the road.. except that… um”

“Except what?”

“It’s moving robotically and oh-geez-hell-Kievifwa. Watch out!”

What looked like sharp quills or spikes shot out of the creature like missiles and punctured the tires. The car spun out of control, and there were big explosions. The doors of the car were blown off and we were thrown out onto the road. I landed on my knee, Zawmb’yee on her side. Twenty men appeared out of a field of Sunflowers and grabbed Zawmb’yee.

“Let go,” she screamed, “you vgnamo. Help Yathyaz! Help let go, let go!”

    Yathyaz tried to help, but they knocked him down. Zawmb’yee continued to scream and kick. They dragged and carried Zawmb’yee one hundred feet down the road, tied her to a fence, gagged her, and pulled out knives. I limped after them as fast as I could go but kept falling and I was still too far away to help her when they started shouting. The back-up cars had been hit with explosions too. “Kill her,” I heard the tall one say. “Righteous tyranny of the Gods can NOT be malice. Let the least of us wound, the greatest stab her through the heart and the fearful give the coup de grâce.”

“Halt!” I screamed.

    They gathered in a circle and continued speaking faster, louder. A frenzied one: “Zawmb’yee would fawn to the Council. She would banish our sister Zusoiti who champions the Gods, this Fevepo impostor usurper; she would kneel before the Council and not before the Gods. She, our inferior, would deny Zusoiti her enfranchisement with the Gods who’d paint her with the light of Love and make her Star brighter than the day of this puny planet’s sun. Hasten us all lest we’d be interfered with in our noble cause to stab out the usurper. Draw now the blood of the false High Priestess, each of you in turn with your knife, stab out this blotch… You, Sazrgk, Begin!”
    I crawled closer, picked up rocks to throw. “Sazrgk no! You of the least do not now promote yourself to fiend. Let them have their honors. Sazrgk, take your mercy and go…”
    Sazrgk stabbed her in the shoulder.
    I screamed the ancient kinesis: “T’ukmpuxogt!”
I became splattered in red screams drowning in oceans of slaughter that pulled me out of my mind with a fury that engulfed the sun and made it set in vomit.
    The sunflowers were decapitated by exploding shards of skull, and the headless bodies were strewn across the highway and onto the hoods of the back-up cars.

ENTRY 216

Zawmb’yee Saved From Death

Thus was the High Priestess saved from death, but I had been covered in blood and pieces of flesh. I had felt weak and dizzy. As I was crawling towards Zawmb’yee, Aipnijtku Yathyaz finally came running up the road. I couldn’t go any farther.

“Kvizee Doug,” he said, “are you all right?”

“I could do with a shower…Just a scraped knee, but Zawmb’yee has been stabbed.”

“Argh. Lie here, I’ll get to Her.”

 THE POEM DERIVED

The Knives On the Table

We’d gone in a convoy,
the doors of her car were blown off

An evil twenty swarmed out
from fields of Sunflowers tall
knives redoubtable

They tied Her Sacredness to a fence
gagged her that She’d not reproach them:
their scabbards empty of their treachery

Such evil drawn out
upon the dastardly ceremony
that hides a scoundrel from a conscience

“Kill her,” I heard the tall one bade.
“Righteous tyranny of the Gods
“can not be malice when obeyed

“Let the least of us wound,
“the greatest stab Her in the heart,
“the fearful give the coup de grâce.

Villains, villains, I shouted.

Halt at once this vileness,
these sneezed speeches
a phlegm of your diseased souls

A frenzied one spoke:
Her Sacredness
would fawn to the Council
and not to the Gods

She would banish our Sister
who champions the Gods

This impostor usurper
who takes the crown
would deny our true Priestess
her enfranchisement with the Gods

Let the Gods rightly
paint our true Priestess in
the light of Their Love, and
make her star brighter than
the day of this puny planet’s sun.

Hasten us all
lest we’d be interfered with
in our noble cause to
stab out the usurper

Draw now the blood of Her Falseness,
each of you in turn do act:
stab out this blotch

Sazrgk, begin!

But I crawled closer,
picked up rocks to throw

Thus I:
Sazrgk no! You of the least
do not now promote yourself to fiend

Let them have their honors.
Sazrgk, if you’d save your soul
take your mercy and go

But Sazrgk stabbed her in the shoulder.
’tis true: of weakness cold-hearted, he
did indeed plunge his dagger.

I screamed the ancient kinesis:
“T’ukmpuxogt!”

I became splattered in red screams
drowning in oceans of slaughter that
pulled me out of my mind with
a fury that engulfed the sun, and
made it set in vomit

By T’ukmpuxogt bold
the sunflowers were decapitated
in exploding shards of skull, and
headless bodies were
strewn across the road.

Thus I protect my Love
the only true Priestess.

*Douglas Gilbert, ebook: The Blog That Would Destroy the World,(Amazon: ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08L1CR3Z4 ), 2016, CHAPTER NINETEEN, Entry 215, ISBN 978-1-329-90425-5