The River Incult

the geese nervous
in the wolf grass,
their necks question marks
unanswered

fishhook rain worms
cast in the shape of query
spit out and drowned in pools
on the sidewalk

the river incult, incant, trolling its
inquisition questionable, a
what have you
mist, missed?


For dVerse Quadrille

15 thoughts on “The River Incult

  1. For readers like unschooled readers like myself:
    incult = boorish, coarse, uncultured, rude, uncultivated …
    Don’t worry if you don’t know it, this google ngram shows that it thrived mainly in the 1920s. Smile

    As for me, Q, I was with you a bit until the last stanza where I became a drown worm being gobbled down the goose’s sinuous neck about to be broken by the wolf.’

    But it looks like other readers are all over it. Envy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Agreed, the last stanza is questionable, Glad you liked the first two, those seemed to have more that would engage the reader. Wasn’t clear how to wrap things up, so a bit of a Hail Mary there at the end. I struggled with “incult” as well. I was pretty sure few people, if any, would know it. I was betting that it would land on the ear more like “uncultivated”, e.g., wild rather than boorish, although you are correct. Also that I could quickly trip into “incant” in the poem, and I’ve sort of dodged the issue. I think what interested me was not that people were supposed to know what it mean, but that they weren’t. Then I could maybe bend it to my own purpose of sound and slightly mysterious. Anyway, if I had a process, that was it!

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  2. Thanx for the explanations, Q.
    (1) Hail Mary: Definition of a “Hail Mary Pass”: A forward pass, usually thrown out of desperation or in the dying moments of a game, that travels a long distance from the line of scrimmage.
    But , I must say, since you were winning with the first two stanzas, you should not be making a hail mary — you were already winning. LOL
    (2) But since you mentioned process, I am curious when the obscure word “incult” came into your poem. By the feel of it, you poem started out fascinating (first two stanzas , as I wrote) and then, with the 44 word limit you thought “damn, best finish it up” , so you jumped right to the troll by the river them, thought of Incant, and then tied it to incult. So now with these pairs, you needed mist, missed to continue the word game. Then you went back, pleased with incult, and stuck it in the title. Twas not a reader friendly title, ushering the reader into the poem, but a hint that the poem would end with fuzziness, a missed mist.
    Is that about right?
    But we have discussed before, you write more for yourself, than for the reader, and certainly not for the average reader, correct?
    The cleverness is clear, however.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! All very much on point. I needed the hail mary because I was out of time and sort of out of gas after the first two stanzas. I really had no clear idea how to wrap up. So if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle ’em with BS as the saying goes. I stood back when I was done, and it wasn’t *completely* terrible, so hit the post button.

      Interestingly, I *started* with the word “incult”. I’ve been walking up and down the river since the weekend kind of mulling on incult and what it meant or might come to mean. Then my usual interaction with geese and dog, and it rained and there were long squishy worms on the sidewalk in the shape of question marks/fishhooks. Riding the ferry the last couple of mornings there has been a lot of mist. As usual, I had more questions by far than answers.

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    2. And then yesterday afternoon saw the “troll” prompt in dVerse. Hmmm…. Maybe trolls incant. They are for sure Incult. But maybe trolling like fishing. Hmm… Oooh! OK, that might pick up on the worms. Hmmm.. What about the geese? Shit. Not making sense. Whole thing questionable. Hmm… Oooh! Oooh! I might be able to make that the glue! (Cut, snip, dork, mull, harrumph, push, click). Hmmm.. Well, I guess that’s the best I’m going to get out the door today. Press publish.

      Liked by 1 person

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