I must apologize for the eternity it has taken, but here is finally the link to the latest edition of The International Imaginarium for Word & Verse featuring the incredibly talented poet Padmaja Battani posted last Wednesday night on our Imaginarium website for you to hopefully peruse and enjoy at your leisure:.
I want to thank my fellow bloggers Angela Wilson (AKA poetisatinta), and (Gypsie) Ami Offenbacher-Ferris for graciously accepting my invitation to participate which I previously posted on this blog. Like previous times, I have decided not to repost the entire Imaginarium here on this blog as I have often done with the editions of the Virtual Poetorium because I feel that it is probably too long a read and thus far too overwhelming for most of my readers (as a result, some really excellent poetry might be skipped, and that would be a real shame). So instead, I will just post this month’s Imaginarium group poem (which is probably one of my favorite segments of both the Poetorium and the Imaginarium). You might recall we have often rewrote the classic Wallace Steven poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” as our group poem in the past, but substituting other things for the blackbirds such as umbrellas and dandelions This month, we once again used that classic poem as a template, but this time we used manhole covers as our subject. The way it worked was all our participants sent us one to eight lines containing either the phrase “manhole cover” or “manhole covers”, and then all contributions were numbered and compiled into a poem entitled “Seven Different Ways of Looking at a Manhole Cover”. I want to thank Robert Eugene Perry, Howard J Kogan, Angela (aka Poetisatinta), Tim McCarthy, and the others who wish to remain anonymous for contributing and making the preceding poem possible (Angela’s contribution can be found published as an individual poem on her website Let’s Write…)…
Seven Different Ways to Look at a Manhole Cover
Among the busy city streets
The only things not moving
Were the manhole covers.
My mind was split thricely
On three divided streets
From below the manhole cover
Appears to be the gate of the overworld,
From above, the underworld.
Are heaven and hell separated
By the steel disc of a manhole cover
Or are they connected?
Among the concrete slabs
The only circle I see
Is that of the manhole cover
It holds back gravity
Concealing a black hole
Squeezed into this space
Beneath a manhole cover.
He rode over a manhole cover
In an old car
He dreamed of manhole covers for weeks.
I have often mistaken manhole covers
For subway tokens of the Gods
Or Superman’s rusty Frisbee.
There once was a missing manhole cover.
At which a curious fellow would hover
He fell into the murky mucky dark hole
As he lost all control,
“Mercy me” he cried to discover his lover.
—The International Imaginarium Group Poem for May 3rd, 2023