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James Dean: Experimental Poetry by Abigail George

james dean

(An experimental poem in twelve haiku)

You’re bringing heaven (on) –
keep still (in memory) thread or I’ll lose you (your)
hands made to cherish.

You gave your heart away-to-Hollywood –
the evening is young as I-write-to-you (and your strange light).
(Wounded) you were a beggar.

In-this world (more than) a prospect –
ghost in death. In life. Legend (the story of your precious life)
we lost (all of you,) you in death.

Found you in rebel –
You never failed to amaze (I still find you)

Your clothes (a) potent shroud –
Women fell in love with you (in those strange days).
Smell of seventeen.

You liked fast cars –
Hollywood made you a hero (made movies about you, you)
swam in the ocean.

(Photographer) you took photographs –
Dynamo smitten by speed (made your heart beat faster)
Teen idol-actor you shone bright.

Your precious life for-the-hereafter –
Expert it was your calling (you weren’t)
all the so-called ghost laws.

You broke (all) the rules –
Your face is still haunting teenage heartthrob.
Farewell rebel-anguish.

Beyond Malibu –
Your hands as rough as a horse-plough (eyes full of)
Santa Monica.

Giving- in to restlessness –
Look away haunted, stranger, I want to say (idol you make me sad)
taste and remember.

You loved life hard. Fast –
You didn’t grow-to-be an old man (and so, you always)
awaken inside my head.


(Experimental poem in twelve haiku)

Silent all these years –
(you have) no substitute for worship (throughout your own)
courage and anguish.

From this novel river –
accept these prayers and hymns (this praise and worship)
(this) thirst on fire.

Love a giant-red sonnet –
make room. Make a way forward
I give this (all) to you.

Subdued vanishing –
you’ve seen-the-frailest leaves of Amsterdam
kind woman. Poet.

Cape poet. People’s poet –
I worship your work from a-far (our)
fate written in-the-stars.

This same fate brought us-together –
(like) the Cape’s movement of-swimming fishes
to the hands of the-fishermen.

You smell like mercy –
you assist truth with spring boughs.
Caregiver. Legend.

You gave your friendship –
You were the-one-who-walked into my dream
in other words, the-world.

Thoughts will flower gulp-them-down –
upwards to the northern stars-of-the-city.
gestures designed for-hope-and-trust.

To your friendship. Love –
anchor-this glare of light to something
perhaps your calling.

Sunday mornings in-the-air–
I thank you with this poem (to the angels)
upwards to the stars.

(To) feasts of churches. Good-writing –
divided crowds. Haunted trees (and very much like you)
the sun a prophet (much, much like you).


(A series of eleven haiku)

Heart has found its home
among your books. Among your-clothes.
I cannot catch breath.

There are men dreaming
(triumph) us together of-women-and-museums.
Yes, winter can harm.

In your late at night-shroud
the day at last is still (the-perfume-of-night-air).
Glorious moonlit-silence

People at rest-or-sleeping –
in summer filled rooms in need-of-freedom
under a tribe of-cold-stars.

Prophecy will warm you.
Don’t look for any root. Other-volcano-or-space.
The calm e-motion of dogs.

The meaning of supernatural-dimensions.
Thirst. Silent-thirst-comes-at-night. Yes, winter can harm.
This new-world of summer-leaf. Life-for-rent.

Nothing is warm for me –
(creator of-galaxies) just look at-the-leaves.
Day after Christmas.

Confession is winter’s-business.
Somewhere in-the-universe (millions of-stars)
Everything comes from God.

Just look around you –
(this) crest of the-wave of-the day. Sleeping dogs-in-the-shade.
The (great) fire lingers.

The stoned brave sigh of-clouds –
(in New York) sunburned-soaked-skin water off a duck’s back (in Central Park).
Swarm of (dog) owners’ feet

(martyrdom) pulled to victory –
A-hymn-of thanksgiving for God. Yesterday’s-man.
(so young) key to my release.


(a series of twelve haiku)

In your long white dress –
washed clean by ghost rain, radio-talk-on-corners
(you) champagne supernova.

Soul gone the way-of-the deaf –
has no one loved found-you in-winter-rooms
(here’s to) thinking of your voice.

You’ve been carried through-years –
armchair-politics. Night falling. Night haunting.
A waiting salute-to my-country.

Now you’re not around –
angel of the ghetto. Of-obscure-gangland-and-red-emergency
you’re swimming tangled

(the cape of hope) baiting the living –
in my sleep’s modern roots-paradise. In-my-sin,
(sea meeting sea) dignified and calm.

Clouds lifted hunted –
We’ve survived to live through another-state-of-emergency
haunted ghost woman.

The-human-family chanting your name –
I see you in my dreams staring-down-the-barrel of-the-gun
making love to-the-knowing-runaway-day.

Late at night you’re found –
inside-a-full-glass. Empty heart. Faded-away in this nation-of-ours
swimming inside my-head.

As I dress for the-summer-day –
you’re remembered but also-not-remembered
(like) wind and twisted scream

Men are impotent –
and we’re an orphanage of traitors-to-the-struggle
The young selfish

Children were so young –
remember when we kissed the-streets-of-struggle-heroes
they would touch your soul.

the children aren’t so young (anymore) –
in this mad song of conflict-and-the-family-of-lost-opportunity
falling to the edge-of-cracking-up.

Poems © Abigail George

Abigail George
Abigail George
South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.

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