Jenny in Rome: An Ode

look now, Jenny:
Rome under sun!
new stone, old stone,
sun on domes, urns,
on fort, on tree, down well —
flow of now, poured pure
to flow round pure stones.

sun sunk down
new routes for stone
— uneven, murky —
down, down, down.
stones under stone:
red stone, end-of-world stone.

to ken Rome, well up —
up to more stone
over new flow routes:
up slender tree, over round dome!
do you see, Jenny?

one Rome of stone
— new, old —
down under, up over,
turned round… Now

do you see?
up, over, round, under:
you see, you know,

you feel Rome now
— your Rome, our Rome —


Bill Waters, 2017

Algorithmic approach:
Phonewords for 867-5309 (from the song “Jenny”)

Remixed work:
Jenny, by Sigrid Undset

Rodney Dangerfield Meets
Oscar Wilde: A Mashup
in (sort-of) triolet form

Look out for number one
and try not to step in number two.
Only the shallow know themselves.
Look out for number one.
Nothing that actually occurs
is of the smallest importance.
Look out for number one
and try not to step in number two.

Bill Waters, 2017

Remixed works:
Quotations from Rodney Dangerfield (lines 1, 2, 4, 7, 8)
Quotations from Oscar Wilde (lines 3, 5, 6)

The Miller and the Gleaner

Behold her, single in the field,
Caught in the center of a soundless field,
Across the millstream below the bridge…
Earth has not anything to show more fair.

Diligent in the burnt fields above the sea,
A sweet disorder in the dress,
Hair — braided chestnut…
Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest.

Bill Waters, 2015

Remixed Works:
First lines of poems by William Wordsworth,
Philip Larkin, Howard Nemerov,
Josephine Miles, Robert Herrick,
Jean Toomer, and W. S. Gilbert.

Nine New Ways of
Looking at a Blackbird

XIV                                                                                 XIX
It was snowing                                                            At the sight of blackbirds
When the blackbird flew out of sight                      Why do you imagine golden birds?
Among twenty snowy mountains.
XV                                                                                  Once, a fear pierced him:
I was of three minds                                                   Traced in the shadow
In which there are three blackbirds                         Of one of many circles
And lucid, inescapable rhythms . . .                         Was the eye of the blackbird.
The beauty of inflections.
XVI                                                                                 The river is moving
The blackbird whirled in the autumn                       For blackbirds —
winds.                                                                     An indecipherable cause.
But I know, too,
The blackbird sat                                                        XXII
In the cedar limbs.                                                      It was evening all afternoon.
Icicles filled the long window
XVII                                                                                And it was going to snow.
A man and a woman.                                                 The blackbird must be flying.
A man and a woman and a blackbird.

I do not know which to prefer,
The shadow of the blackbird
Or the beauty of innuendoes.

Bill Waters, 2015

Remixed work:
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens