Joy Garrison Programs: Command Highlight

Joy Garrison Programs: Command Highlight

     A. Joy

I was born Joy, to enjoy
in a state of overjoyment,
an adventurous joyrider.

I play with a joystick
always joyfully, giving others
much enjoyment.

In this game,
my obstructors
are killjoys.

      B. Garrison

Ghosts defend me
through time, as I design
the ultimate garrison.

Understandably, my actions
lie on the periphery
of the fourth dimension.

I build protective barriers
so you can hold flowers
so you can smile.

     C. Command

The laws of life
move me along.

If I don’t see it,
I make it.

I theorize.
I change the facts.

As I change,
I command the world.

     D. Highlight

Watch me move the pieces:
A Queens Gambit
A fancy castling.
I always defend.
I always protect.
Do not seek my highlights.
I have not peaked:
too much to achieve.


Posted on:

the imaginary garden with real toads

Open Link Monday

The artwork is by Bonnie. Her blog is

This piece is a response to onestop poetry challenge:

I’m not sure what this work will mean to you, but I will assume no one will guess how/why I wrote this. After I explain it, it may make even less sense. 😉

Some time before seven this morning, I HAD to get on my computer to do some preliminary work on my screenplay. I booted up, and instead of NOT turning on my browser, I brought up Google Chrome, clicked on the one stop poetry page, and saw the challenge.  I decided that in order not to waste my time of not writing my screenplay, the only solution was to write the poem about my main character.

I had no idea what to write about. I read the first poem posted, by Esther Douek. This can be found on

Her poem is titled: “A Salesman with X-ray Vision | The Eyes of Poetry” . Her concept of X-Ray made me think of Four Dimensional art, as in Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)  Salvador Dalí. (1954).   Which you can see on

My protagonist’s name is Bashira Garrison. Bashira is a popular Muslim Girl name. It’s Urdu and Arabic for “Joyful.”   The main theme in my screenplay is “Protecting the Protector.” This is why her last name is Garrison. I called the character in my poem “Joy” instead of “Bashira” because I could play with the word “joy.” Poetry is all about playing and painting with words. So at least that part should make sense.

The image, above is saved as file name “ghist.jpg” . I thought it could be a mispelling or perhaps a variant of “ghost”, because it’s a ghostly image. I looked it up, and it’s a computer command: command highlight. The picture is one big highlight.

Bashira is an engineer who is developing a small unmanned aerial vehicle (SUAV). She often must re-programm the control system, so I thought that naming  this poem about Bashira (Joy) after a computer command would be apt.

Yesterday, someone asked me if my poetry was inspired by some sort of ” gift from a higher power.” It’s not.

This is how my poetry is contrived: I have one thing in my head, in this case doing some analysis on my screenplay. Then I encounter something I have to write a poem about, in this case a onestop poetry challenge. I take the two concepts and blend them into an abstraction. I look up words and phrases. I use them in my poem. In this case, I looked up variants of words with Joy in them. I looked up famous quotes for the words “change” and “highlight.”  That’s pretty much it.

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on July 8, 2011, in imaginary garden with real toads, One Stop Poetry, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Love your work hon!

  2. poetry is all about playing and painting…this had a bit of a techno punk feel for it…love how you structured it and the verses flow nice giving us insight…very well done…so when will the screenplay be done?

    • I don’t know when the screenplay will be done. I went to NYU grad film in 1980 (and dropped out) which was BEFORE Syd Fields. So, I just read Fields AND McKEE’s Story and Save a Cat, and been studying Chris Soth’s mini-movie method. I’m on How to Write a Movie in 21 Days by Vicki King. I’ve already outlined a lot on this story a few years ago on Dramatica, but lost that when my friend crashed my computer. I’ve written 35 pages and done several outlines. I am shaky on the middle, which is, as you know, the hardest part. As soon as I have all the beats, I think I’ll be ready, and it will just flow. It’s coming. But I’m spending too much time writing poetry and then promoting it on twitter, facebook and emailwhich I guess has it’s purposes.

      Thank you so much for the comment.

  3. Your description of your process is almost as interesting as your poetry! Thank you for sharing it.

    The structure was perplexing for me at first – but it made me linger and savor your lovely composition just a little longer.

    • Oh. Wow!! It’s you. 🙂 I was wondering if you would read my poem and what you would think.

      Yeah, the structure is weird. There’s an explanation to that process too. I started by using the word Joy, and then it went to her building the Garrison, the defenses, and it lost all it’s Joy, it started to be another poem, so I separated it. Then I came up with the Command and Highlight concept which totally didn’t fit, so I had to make four sub-poems out of it.

  4. This is really incredible. Absolutely a Joy to read. Really enjoyed all you did in here, especially the various uses of Joy in the first Section. Well done:)

  5. I too enjoyed this poem. honestly I didnt think about the picture in regarding this poem, because I feel that while a small part of the process it is, it is also a more removed piece. I chose to read the words as they stood, and I feel like I got a great read into a very interesting character. To go along with your screen play origins I saw this poem as four vignettes, four small scenes, or four silent cut-shots that subtly build the whole picture. I like how you describe your process as well. I sometimes think I work in the same way, making poetry an amalgamation of many venues of inspiration. I think it makes for a more objective end product, something that is that much closer to the truth of the subject but not losing it all together.

    • Thank you for the comment. Poetry is screenplay, just not in format. I was accepted into NYU grad film at 21 based on my photography and poetry alone, cuz that’s all a film really is, when you come down to it.

      It was like four scenes. It was the characters name (status quo-Act I) the character as the protector (trying to resolve the conflict part 1 of Act II) the character taking charge of the situation, changing (part 2 of Act II) and then the resolution the Highlights of it all.

      Since I wrote it this morning, and posted it right away, I’m sure in a week or so I’ll see all the faults in the poem. 😉

      Again, thanks for your great comment. Hope you read some more and comment some more.

  6. Your mega-talent never ceases to amaze me! Please continue sharing your work.

  7. Great poem. Your explanation I enjoyed even more. I like hearing other people’s thought processes. I too am guilty of spending too much time on social networking and not enough time on writing. But, you are an extremely smart person so I’m sure your first 35 are technically sound and at least at revision 3 level.

  8. way to go,

    it takes talent to create, you did well.

  9. Wow, this is an interesting concept. I really enjoyed reading about your writing process with regard to this particular piece too. On the surface this seemed to me to be about the narrator either designing a computer game or being ‘inside’ the game. On second read though I saw the mirror image of moving through life and bringing it to the conclusion _ I’m not done yet. I like the way you’ve structured it, very effective. I normally don’t like capitals at the beginning of each line as it tends to disturb the flow for me but it works to the advantage of the piece in the fourth section as it gives the narrator’s voice additional strength. I think you could do with a couple of additional commas and a full stop here and there but these are tiny ‘nits’ in a very strong piece which I really enjoyed.

  10. Hi,
    I noticed that you linked this to the dVerse Crit Friday and I didn’t get to it by the end of the event. My apologies for the delayed response.

    Your poetry is delightful. I see that you have extensive notes but I didn’t read them yet. Perhaps after I do the crit as promised for dVerse. I would rather let the poetry speak to me first and not allow outside influences direct my thoughts.
    This may or may not hinder the critique of the poetry. We’ll see.

    Please keep in mind that my suggestions and comments are opinion only. Use them as you will, or not at all. All is good.

    Your word choices are intriguing because although they seem unrelated, you link them through your verse.

    A. Joy – There are so many instances of “joy” in this brief write that I miss all other parts of the section. I come away with joy joy joy joy joy rather than “that was a clever progression.” Of this entire write, this section is the weakest for me.

    B. Garrison – I love this word and looked forward to what you brought forth in brevity. I wasn’t disappointed. The first line hooked me and each subsequent thought maintained that grip. I think that some punctuation would help the flow between the last two lines but that is really minor.

    C. Command – Strong statements. I like “the laws of life” The severe brevity of this section works to enhance the absolute feeling of command.

    D. Highlight _ Now we play chess? In the joy section, there was a joystick. I love A Queens Gambit. I think that the lines about defend and protect could be removed and add strength to this section. Also, the first line adds nothing to the imagery or thought. Consider:

    D. Highlight

    A Queen’s Gambit
    fancy castling.
    Do not seek my highlights.
    I have not peaked, (comma, no colon)
    too much to achieve.

    I realize this is a long comment but in-depth critiques take many words. In summary, Garrison is your strongest section with Joy as your weakest. In my opinion, Joy needs to be rewritten to fit the rest of the poem. All the rest is minor editing.

    I enjoyed your poem, seeing the relationship between words that normally wouldn’t be combined. You’ve achieved a connection that is near impossible.

    Thank you for offering this for my review at dVerse Friday Crit. It has been my pleasure.


  11. Nice work…love the form and revelation in it.

  12. I also loved the form this took. And descriptions of how other writers work through the creative process always fascinates me. Really enjoyed this!

  13. I specially like the Highlight…..and your process and critique were very interesting to read ~

  14. Interesting writing. I especially enjoyed reading your process notes. Cool.

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