Old 08-18-2017, 09:54 PM   #1
Tzara
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What is the taste of music?

In the last poem I posted in the 5 Senses thread, I accidentally put a sound cue (distant music) down for the sense of smell. It was a mistake, of course, but when Angie pointed it out to me, she asked "do you really want us to smell music?"

I didn't, and changed/corrected the cue, but it got me thinking about synesthesia--how some people experience input to one sense as another sense. Sound as color, for example. Isaac Newton would see colors with certain musical notes, as did the composer Alexander Scriabin. Synesthesia is also a literary technique, where one describes something perceived by one sense (vision, for example) in terms of another sense (say, touch). Something like The dawn stroked my cheek.

Here are some examples from various poets:
  • To the bugle, every color is red. (Emily Dickinson)
  • Nothing disturbed it; not the owl that came / rowing out at noon, soundless as fur (Amy Clampitt)
  • If I could touch you / my hands would begin to sing (Mary Oliver)
  • The [tenor's] high quavers / That hold like splashes of light on the dark water (Robert Pinsky)
(Examples from Nims and Mason, Western Wind.)

So, here's the idea for this thread--try and write a poem in which you make use of synesthesia, or even just try to write a metaphor or simile that uses synesthesia. I find it kind of difficult to do; perhaps you all will be better at it that I am.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:56 PM   #2
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Village Vanguard, June, 1961

His fingers caress the keys
as if smoothing a tablecloth,
setting silverware on linen,

centering china plates
before each diner's chair.
Tap. Tap. Gently squaring

each group of notes
as if they were ripe peaches,
rich and juicy

and almost sinful to consume,
they are so sweet.
The bass breaks in like water,

fresh, cleansing, readying
me for the final course and chorus
rich as strong coffee, sipped

at the end of an lovely dream.
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:59 PM   #3
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I'm on it
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:40 AM   #4
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She sat still, a statue, frying in the hissing of the tuned out
TV, and watching the wall paper on the fourth wall stay exactly
the same as it always was after the end of transmission. She
was holding something in her head and combing it just right.
Her hand, both of them, lay palm up, palm down. And as the
Air moved over the skin of her arm, just not catching the hairs
There, she felt all the applause she could give. Questions, and
Questions, and even riddles. Why are you ? ... smiling ...
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
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Taste the Whisper

Notice how the sound of the L
isn't explosive, nor the V.

You barely can hear the one vowel
that you’re supposed to hear.

It rolls off my tongue as lavender
perfume I dabble behind your ear,

but should I whisper there
as acrid as a four letter word,

then on this love seat made for two,
tasteless, I am nothing, My Dear.

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Old 08-19-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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Taste the Clouds

The ocean seems tired and lonely
the elements painted
in a quiet black and white.

The waves fall
onto the beach, exhausted
runners in the race of tides, collapsing
across their finish line
only to be sucked back
in a looping instant replay.

The Atlantic salts my lips
with the taste of grey
as the empty waters call
to life the dead.

I’m on your shoulders, laughing
as I hear your voice say jump

but when I consciously listen,
greedy to hear sounds of blue
sky and feel your voice
the memory jams, stuck in place
and silent. Its film worn
from overuse and broken
by the weight of time
between
the blue and grey.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:39 PM   #7
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There was a challenge ages and ages ago where a whole list of different criteria was left and one of them was to include a bit within the piece using synesthesia...I have looked but can't ever seem to find that thread, but I had submitted the work I did for it, and it can be found here.

Remembering Her

The glittering gold strewn about her shoulders
laid in counter point to the dark weave of her top
that beckoned to my fingers,
even as her blood-red lips called to my mouth,
and the warm popcorn-with-butter of her voice
dripped my name from hers.

"Remec? Aldarras? Fax?"
each inquiry was met with a look...
a cocked ear...
a raised eyebrow...
inviting her to continue
without actually saying so,
but then she said, "Sean?" and I nodded.
"Yes?"

She beamed and asked me if I loved her.
I tried to avoid the question,
hemmed,
hawed,
tried to dismiss it with a brief "Je ne sais pas"
only to have her repeat it.
I smiled and then shrugged.
"Prolly," I admitted, using one of her own favorite words,
"Coolness," she answered, doing the same to me.

Laughing, I took her hand and pulled her to me,
then switched to an arm about her waist.
We walked through the mall
just like that,
no pretensions,
no overt displays,
but I knew the mannequins whispered as we passed by.

We paused to look at them for a moment.
Resplendid in ivory, they stood
trimmed in Chantilly lace,
bouquets in hand,
garters upon shapely plastic thighs
that played peek-a-boo while they held up borrowed stockings.
They regarded us in silence while we watched
their practice ceremony.
In the glass, I saw how she was entralled by the display
before us,
saw it over and over,
reflections of reflections,
as the mall's mirrored surfaces revealed
what she wanted.

I dropped to one knee and took her hand once more.
Kissed it lightly,
lips barely brushed the leathered surface of her knuckles,
and asked her to marry me.
The mannequins began whispering again.

They're such rumor mongers, after all.

I should know.

Fax is an expert on rumours.
Usually in suffering to have them spread about himself.
Myself.
Not something I think I warrant.
But it will happen, regardless.
I will gather whispers,
and find furtive looks being exchanged behind my back.
And I will not care.

Not that I cared right then.
I didn't know if what we had was Love.
But I didn't care about that either.
All that mattered was feeling her body beneath my arm,
hearing the soft tap-tap of her shoes on the mall floor,
and smelling every word she spoke.

Which, I guess, told me that I did care.
That I loved her more than I realized.
The hidden sound of Love is the way it smells.
And listening to her always makes me hungry.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:43 PM   #8
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I see my Thursdays as brown
and Wednesdays have a yellow hue,
middle of the week maybe?
But then Fridays are always black
when really they should have a
prancing, dancing colour
for the end of a working week.unday=
....................
By the way Monday = White
Tuesday= Blue
Saturday= Orange
Sunday= Red.
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They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
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If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:47 PM   #9
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Hello

Everything delicious is poured
in a cup. It does not matter

if Thanksgiving dinner mixes
turkey and pumpkin pie

or pizza and cotton candy
join a milk chocolate bunny

and strawberry ice cream
in a sugar cone topped off

by a kalamata olive. I drink
and all is right with the world.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:11 PM   #10
GuiltyPleasure
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Blue Monk

J.J.Johnson and Kai Winding

Piano slices on your palate, then
black, yes black treacle sliding
on your mind, smooth ‘n sweet.
Now a mustard and honey blend,
piquant, tempting every taste bud.
Crisp not rounded, edgy, a new tang.
Indulge in spice then palate cleansing
ice cream to finish.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuiltyPleasure View Post
Blue Monk

J.J.Johnson and Kai Winding

Piano slices on your palate, then
black, yes black treacle sliding
on your mind, smooth ‘n sweet.
Now a mustard and honey blend,
piquant, tempting every taste bud.
Crisp not rounded, edgy, a new tang.
Indulge in spice then palate cleansing
ice cream to finish.
That is very tasty indeed.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:28 PM   #12
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you smell like magnetism
my blood an iron tang on my tongue
tasted through the pulse at your throat
it roars, a crested wave
low rumbling that builds

you crash softly
our collision of tongues
burst colours of orange and red
I move slow
to taste flesh ripe with sounds
my lips are tuning forks
chasing the pitch
that's makes you moan out
sounds that are wet with promise

my fingers stroke aphrodisia
a frenzy that strives to
pull colours the smell like sex
colours that are a scent of
what every one else is missing.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:48 PM   #13
GuiltyPleasure
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Before things had names
before reason and rationale
when the world had a tinier frame
his mother's voice was lavender
his father's laughter a warm sienna

Growing up he saw passing traffic
through shades of leaden grey
children's cries a sympathetic blue.

Back then the reverse was true
colours had sounds
the new green of spring growth sang
in a tingle of strings
snow was a muffled minor chord
but no longer.

Silence gives him peace from
his overloaded senses
but his only wealth
words
written long-hand
in an unavoidable scratchy
red-rimmed itch are
the price he pays for fame.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:50 PM   #14
GuiltyPleasure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline View Post
That is very tasty indeed.
Thank you - this thread is making me listen t music a whole new way.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:12 PM   #15
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Synespathetic

Blue makes me shiver
when it's done right
be it Picasso or
slide guitar.

Red makes me hot
as in sweaty sexy
from O'Keefe's Lines
to "Show me the your
hair, down there,
matches your head."

Yellow makes me mellow
chilling to Donovan
while admiring a late
Mondrian reproduction,

Guess you could say
I'm just a primary
type of guy.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:34 PM   #16
Tzara
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Fore

My fingers taste her body.
I learn how sweet
feels to fingertips drawn

over her belly,
and down her thighs. I hear
how smooth skin moans

to my long drawn-out touch.
I would place
my fingers in her mouth,

but I know she would lick off
those sounds
and I want to cradle them

on my tongue
swirl them like Devonshire cream
along, among her private folds.
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The how of painting has always been the image's end-product.

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Old 09-20-2017, 02:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
you smell like magnetism
my blood an iron tang on my tongue
tasted through the pulse at your throat
it roars, a crested wave
low rumbling that builds

you crash softly
our collision of tongues
burst colours of orange and red
I move slow
to taste flesh ripe with sounds
my lips are tuning forks
chasing the pitch
that's makes you moan out
sounds that are wet with promise


my fingers stroke aphrodisia
a frenzy that strives to
pull colours the smell like sex
colours that are a scent of
what every one else is missing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara View Post
Fore

My fingers taste her body.
I learn how sweet
feels to fingertips drawn

over her belly,

and down her thighs. I hear
how smooth skin moans

to my long drawn-out touch.
I would place
my fingers in her mouth,

but I know she would lick off
those sounds

and I want to cradle them

on my tongue
swirl them like Devonshire cream
along, among her private folds.
especially liked what you both did with the lines in bold text

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Old 09-23-2017, 08:10 AM   #18
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Post Why I Don't Like Watching The News

It's all on my Chromecast!
I don't get this gnome cast with
their heads in the ground
like they're looking for crumbs

You can tell by the smell
that this anchor's in hell:
half a shade brighter than night
puts the heat in their bite
and their venom's as bitter and black as it comes

My conscience runs through me
complements of a movie
Pick your poison and chew me
I've never felt better

Every show looks the same
and there's no one to blame
You were raised for this game
since you don't like the weather

Last edited by RubiDia : 09-24-2017 at 06:10 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:07 PM   #19
butters
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an oldie, and maybe not the 'taste' of music but it incorporates synesthesia so i'll drop it here.


each key stroked
resonates

small dark-bright notes
that punctuate
the white expanse

sounds
in 2-D shapes
symbols of noise

can i make writing
music to your ears?
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:52 PM   #20
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in retrospect

the night Donna died,
an owl took off into the night
what perch or bough it leapt from
I don't know, I was too busy crying
it was September in Duluth,
so still not even the rain made a sound
and the only movement was our breath
the survivor's guiltiest action,
you forget, in the city, how nature
happens suddenly, it creeps or explodes

I know that I was lost and I wanted there to be no clouds
but I didn't feel anything until the sound of wings
was the cold underneath my muscles
the flutter shaking through me
permission to breathe
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:02 AM   #21
greenmountaineer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepAsleep View Post
in retrospect

the night Donna died,
an owl took off into the night
what perch or bough it leapt from
I don't know, I was too busy crying
it was September in Duluth,
so still not even the rain made a sound
and the only movement was our breath
the survivor's guiltiest action,
you forget, in the city, how nature
happens suddenly, it creeps or explodes

I know that I was lost and I wanted there to be no clouds
but I didn't feel anything until the sound of wings
was the cold underneath my muscles
the flutter shaking through me
permission to breathe

Remarkable poem. The first line made me whisper-sing the Richie Valens hit song. He was my favorite singer when I was a teenager. Because I loved studying Spanish, “La Bamba” came in a close second, but there was something magical about “Donna”whoever and wherever she was to a 13 year old whose hormones were in upheaval.

This is what a good poem does IMHO. It evokes, points in a direction, and allows the reader to amplify. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:38 PM   #22
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I only know that fear is a bitter rainbow,
arching prisms slicing through my heart.
Not those of cheer, but colours of sorrow.
I only know that fear is a bitter rainbow.
Uncertainty sliding into the blues, although
leading to angry reds, we are forced apart.
I only know that fear is a bitter rainbow,
arching prisms slicing through my heart.
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
Sestina slut
Annie submits

Last edited by UnderYourSpell : 09-30-2017 at 08:25 PM.
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