Just a poem today, one I really love from the April 2013 issue of Poetry.

Order
 
 
For once, her was just my father.
We drove to the Computing Center
in a Monte Carlo Landau
not technically ours.  Lexington,
 
 
1977.  That fall.  The color
had settled, too, undone
orange-brown and dull yellow,
crimson.  And it was something,
 
 
yet not, the pile of leaves
just a pile of leaves.  Sorry to think
what thinking has done to landscape:
He loved punched cards,
 
 
program decks and subroutines,
assembly languages
and key punch machines.
Even my father looked small
 
 
next to a mainframe.
The sound of order;
the space between us.
We almost laughed, but not for years –
 
 
we almost laughed.  But not.  For years,
the space between us,
the sound of order
next to a mainframe.
 
 
 
Even my father looked small.
And keypunch machines,
assembly languages,
program decks and subroutines.
 
 
He loved punched cards,
what thinking has done to landscape –
just a pile of leaves.  Sorry to think,
yet not, the pile of leaves
 
 
crimson.  And it was.  Something
orange-brown and dull yellow
had settled, too, undone
1977, that fall, the color
 
 
not technically ours, Lexington
in a Monte Carlo Landau. 
We drove to the Computing Center,
For once he was just, my father.
 
 
Randall Mann, from Poetry (April, 2013)

Something about April always makes me think of sestinas, don’t ask me why.  I love that this poem, which is neither a formal sestina nor a pantoum, but a cross between them perhaps, moves from the large (the relationship between fathers and sons) to the small (father standing next to the mainframe, punch cards) and then back again.  Both sestinas and pantoums rely on words or phrases repeated in strict, orderly fashion; they process words, you might say, the way a computer processes the data fed in.  Our relationships might work much the same way.

I also love the way that the phrase “the sound of order” echoes Wallace Stevens’ “The Idea of Order at Key West.”

I’m about 10,000 words behind where I should be to reach my Camp NaNoWriMo goal for this month.  Wish me luck, fellow campers.