An invented form: the octecho


If sunset strikes and you're asleep,
A stiff upon some band of sand,
A pontiff sur la plage, tanned deep,
It makes no difference. The grand
Fandango wheels, shifts like the tides.
Trepanned, you doze, yet sniff no whiff
Of life. Stand, see how surf drifts, glides -
Time smacks its hands upon the cliff.



From the book Send-Up

The octecho is a deceptively simple iambic tetrameter rhyming ababcdcd, with this twist: the d rhyme also appears through the poem on the first syllable of the first line, second of the second, and so on, while the b rhyme appears on the fifth syllable of the first line, sixth of the second, and so on, reverting to the first of the fifth, and concluding on the fourth of the eighth. Its scheme can be represented thus:

d 2 3 4 b 6 7 a
1 d 3 4 5 b 7 b
1 2 d 4 5 6 b a
1 2 3 d 5 6 7 b
b 2 3 4 d 6 7 c
1 b 3 4 5 d 7 d
1 2 b 4 5 6 d c
1 2 3 b 5 6 7 d