DEAN YOUNG (B. 1955)
Whenever I`m not drunk enough
is a waste of time.
I carry within me a hypnagogic dawn,
maybe the insulation gnawed by rats,
maybe I`ll never be back
Ha ha to the mating swans.
Ha ha to the sepulchral golden slime
that shines and shines and shines.
This party started long before I arrived
with the last of wacko youthful chatter,
a curious crew, prone to slam-dance depression.
what`s the matter? Don`t know, maybe so
much hilarity is a strain on us or at least
we like to boast in loopy communiqués
to those who`ve seen through us
and love us for what they see,
maybe some trees, a packing factory,
some secretive birdie hopping about
with a grasshopper in its mouth.
I don`t know what I`d do without you
although that`s how I spend most of my time.
It`d be unbearable otherwise,
like a vacation without sleeping pills,
without some creaking rain
abating the granite`s breakdown.
Such a paltry gesture, my surrender.
(From Writing Poems, pages 74-75).
Dean Young`s poem Gruss
The point of view in this piece is in first person. The speaker seems deeply content with death while being on drugs or drunk. The speaker seems to compare the narrator`s moment/life/death to the weathering of granite rocks. The triggering moment seems to be the drunkenness from the start of the piece. The tone is deep-heavy-dark-stonned-drunk-rocked-druged-tired-babbling-sleepy-think-dream-gloomy-nature-economic-youth-aged-corrosion-decay-deaht-life-linear. The piece gets my blood flowing and gives me a feeling of teeth falling out from gnawing on granite rocks . . . pacified sleepiness. The speaker is the early morning drunkard. The motivation incident is the drunkenness and lucid dream state of sub consciousness. There are no uses of the letters j, x, or z. If you put those three letters in this order . . . j, z, x, and say it as a word . . . it almost sounds like my name Jherek. I found a way to be left out of this piece in a literal sense. There are 26 lines. I wonder if the author was 26 years old when he wrote the piece. There are 163 words in this piece, if you count the (-) word, “slam-dance”, as two then 164 words. There are between 4-10 words per line. There is one stanza, 16 end-stops, and 10 line breaks. One example of line iambic is “maybe the insulation gnawed by rats”. Some words I had to look up were, communiques (communicative press for public or private), hypnagogic (drowsiness before sleep and lucid dream like states of hearing and seeing things), sepulchral (associated with gloominess, graves, burial vaults, funerals, and any burials), and gruss (loose accumulations of fragmented products formed from weathering granite rocks). Some repetitions that I noticed are the words without, us, shine, and maybe. Each line varies from the others in syllable choice or quantitative syllable choice. I found quite a bit of alliteration in this piece . . . using words like sepulchral-slime-shines-started or sleeping-pills-some-granite`s- gesture-surrender. I found much assonance as well, such as boast and those. There is consonance like, drunk and dawn. A cliché that I picked up on was, “is a waste of time./ I don`t know what I`d do without you / although that`s how I spend most of my time”. There are few rhyme words like, rats and back, slam and dance, or sleeping and creaking. I noticed some onomatopoeia as well, such as, gnawed and creaking. The only anthropomorphized part that I could find is that granite`s decay is being equivocated to life as a human or better yet, the narrator, at least it seems that way to me. I also found some paradox in being drunk and everything else being a waste of time. How do you carry with yourself, “hypnagogic dawn”? How can you look through something and see anything, “to those who`ve seen through us / and love us for what they see”? My favorite paradox is the part where the narrator can`t be without but is without all the time, “I don`t know what I`d do without you / although that`s how I spend most of my time”. The irony is that the speaker is making observations of abstraction while being the central view point of the piece. I think there is juxtaposition with the surrendering to corrosion being easy for granite, like it is easy to surrender to corrosion for the narrator. The archetype of this piece is granite. The use of synesthesia is prevalent with words like, drunk, time, within, hypnagogic, wacko, youthful, chatter, curious, depression, and a few more. I found one simile, “like a vacation without sleeping pills”, that seems ironic as well. Why would you want to sleep during vacation? This piece is full of negative capability with the use of words like, waste of time, gnawed by rats, sepulchral, wacko, depression, strain, least, loopy, without, unbearable, breakdown, surrender, and depression. I think that the piece contains quite a bit of pessimistic negativity. I think I also notice some ambiguity or obscurity as well. As soon as the narrator carries the hypnagogic dawn, it seems that many readings of lines such as, “maybe the insulation gnawed by rats, / maybe I`ll never be back”. Perhaps I don`t know exactly what is meant by insulation and gnawed by rats. What does it refer to? And where exactly may the narrator never be back to or from? Much of the piece has ambiguity / obscurity because I get new meanings from each reading. One thing that I found to be concrete was . . . ha ha . . . granite. The jokes on me. I wondered about the implications and ars poetical that I felt in this piece. I wonder if the gesture and surrender is the writing of a poem. Is the curious crew slam-dancing depression through hilarity and boasting in loopy poems? I`m not sure if that is the hidden implication or not. There are many ways to read this piece. It is certain that the narrator needs some sleep. One way to look at personification in this piece is by looking at, “some creaking rain/abating the granite`s breakdown”, the abating being the human quality and the rain doing the abating.
Here is the outline of my explication:
The Moon Pigeons Are Off Limits
Point of View
Seems deeply content with death while being on drugs or drunk. Seems to compare the narrator`s life/moment/death to the weathering of granite rocks.
Tone- Deep-Heavy-Dark-Stoned-Drunk-Rocked-Drugs-Tired-Babbling-Sleepy-Think Dream-Gloomy- Nature-Economic- Youth-Aged-corrosion- decay-death-linear. Gets my blood flowing, a feeling o of teeth falling out. Gnawing on granite rock . . . pacified sleepiness. Early morning drunkard.
Letters- no use of j,x,z. If you put those letters in this order . . . j, z, x . . . it almost or resembles my name . . . Jherek. This means something to me. Ha ha I am left out in a literal sense. Just my fun way of looking at a piece.
Lines- 26. I wonder if the author was 26 years old when the piece was written.
Words-163 or 164 if you count the (–) word, slam-dance.
4 – 10 words per line. In the “163”. . . if you use the one to minus the three and get 2 you still have 6, so you could have 26, there. Ha ha.
Stanzas – 1
One line of iambic is “maybe the insulation gnawed by rats”.
Diction- line logical- alphabetical sort of order. Abecedarian analysis.
communiqués- a communicative bulletin in the press for the public or private people.
Gruss- a loose accumulation of fragmental products formed from weathering granite. A rock. Asteroid.
hypnagogic- drowsiness before sleeping. Lucid dreams-out of body experience. Hearing and seeing things while falling asleep (hypnagogic hallucinations).
--------------NO (J) words
sepulchral- characteristics associated with grave/gloominess. Burial vaults-funeral and burials.
-----------------------NO (X) words
-------------------------No (Z) words
Without, without, without. Us, us, us. Shine, shine, shine. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe.
Each line varies from the others. Quantitative syllable choice.
Sepulchral – slime-shines-shines-shines-started
Don`t- I`d – do
Sleeping- pills-some- granite`s- such- gesture-surrender
Drunk – enough
Hilarity – is- strain
“is a waste of time.
I don`t know what I`d do without you
although that`s how I spend most of my time”.
insulation – depression
rats – back
slime – shines- arrived
slam – dance
Don`t – know
loopy – communiqués – who`ve seen – they see – some trees – factory – birdie
about – mouth – without – how
don`t – know
do – you
time – otherwise – like
sleeping – creaking – abating – paltry
rain – granite`s
gesture – surrender
Granite`s decay being equivalent to life as a human.
Being drunk . . . waste of time
How do you carry with yourself, “hypnagogic dawn”? Yes, be in a state of hypnagogicness.
“to those who`ve seen through us
and love us for what they see”,
“I don`t know what I`d do without you
although that`s how I spend most of my time”.
Self centered point of view. One`s observations and abstractions.
Surrendering as easy as granite surrenders to corrosion.
in its mouth
Simile = “like a vacation without sleeping pills”,
waste of time - gnawed by rats – sepulchral – wacko – depression – Don’t know – strain – least – loopy – I don`t know – without you – unbearable – breakdown – paltry – surrender.
As soon as the narrator carries the hypnagogic dawn, it seems that many readings of lines such as “maybe the insulation gnawed by rats,/ maybe I`ll never be back”. Perhaps I don`t know exactly what is meant by insulation and gnawed by rats, refers to. And where exactly may the narrator never be back to or from? Much of the piece has ambiguity / obscurity because I get new meanings from each reading.
Ha ha granite
Implications / ars poetica
I wonder if the gesture and surrender is the writing of a poem. Is the curious crew slam-dancing depression through hilarity and boasting in loopy “poems”. I`m not sure if that is the hidden implication or not. There are many ways to read this piece. It is certain that the narrator needs some sleep.
“some creaking rain /abating the granite`s breakdown”. “rain” - “abating”.
So don`t take the moon for granite.