The Waters: Veilence

The Waters: Veilence

In writing poetry, the act itself seems(ed) a riddle to the outer world. While (as I’ve mentioned) the camouflage that surrounds the words does, I believe, come from the structure of the limbic system, there is another element that needs exploration. The act of veiling the meaning and purpose is in itself an act of poetry and an act of self-protection. It would not do to write “Jordan, I have a deep feeling of sadness that you choose not to be with me…”, for example. It is too direct, too open. It does not get across the experience of having such an emotional experience.

Veilance is not a “word” recognized in any official capacity. But this is just as poetry is not immediately (or ever) understood by the reader. The etiology of the word veil itself is interesting. The word blooms from the Latin word velum, meaning “sail, curtain, covering.” In a figurative sense, “to conceal, mask, disguise”.1 A nun’s head covering was referred to as a veil, giving the word a connection to the holy. Valence, the word I attempt to echo here, derives from the Latin valentia, “strength, capacity.” Veilance, then, is a poetic idea referring to the masking of capacities.

I’ll refer to some of the work:

From The Waters, pg. 22, ‘Trees like old bones in the days’ starlight

The piece, Trees like old bones in the days’ starlight, was written in December 2002. Northeastern Ohio winters are brutal, cold, deathly. When a word like “trees” is invoked, I am referring to something natural that should by right be supported by nature. However, in this case, the trees are like “old bones”. Old bones are brittle, easily breakable, especially in the cold. Being old they are worn, tired, nearing some end. “…[T]he days’ starlight” references multiple days, denoted by the apostrophe after the ‘s’ and not before. The starlight – the sun (not always thought of as a star) – belongs to a string of days, a period of time. So in essence, something that should be supported naturally by the world is nearing an end, as is witnessed by this period of time, yet it is not obvious to most. This is just as the sun is not obviously a star until you consider the idea more closely.

Inside of flesh, warmth stirs in the boneless

ghost;

The invoking of “flesh” turns the subject matter to a more internal place (“inside”), our personal experience. Warmth is a good thing, generally. Our instincts drive us to be warm – especially when threatened. Boneless means “unstructured” and “ghost” refers to the intangible parts of our experience and perceptions.

Not at all mirroring the days.

Combined, these first two lines (and the third above) point out – there is something not obvious that not many are noticing passing away from the world. However, the feeling being experienced is confusingly positive. With this offering of context, the rest of the experience is to be perceived by the reader.

Just as one could explain the plot of a movie in a few moments, the experience of seeing the movie is much more impactful. A similar thing is happening with the poetry here. The experience is much more palpable. The journey with the character(s), the connection provides value, the sum greater than the gears. The concept of ‘veilance’ is a way to frame this idea.

The Waters is available for $10. Order Here.

References

  1. https://www.etymonline.com/word/veil
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