The other day I posted a piece of art (this wolf here) and I’d like to share more art soon. I also have a full review of Breadcrumbs in the works, and several other ideas for posts. For variety, though, I think it’s time to share some words. I took a poetry class two semesters ago which I enjoyed immensely, and that taught me to think of myself once again as someone who writes poems. A lot of things I wrote in that class are too personal to share (sometimes you just gotta write break-up poetry. Some of it was pretty good. Doesn’t mean I wanna post it) but this poem is solidly in the realm of fiction. It’s actually the very first poem I wrote for the class, to fulfill an exercise in iambic pentameter.
You never knew how far I went to find
your weary ass that night, when you were dead
upon the doorstep, dead, but not too dead
to speak. And never mind that I was crying,
fainting, rhyming, raging, lying, ‘cause
you rambled dark and dreary, like a mad
man, like a priest. And though your lips were shouting
“Memphis!” and your hands were holding diamonds
still I held your body listless through
the darkly dripping streets. And so we wandered
more like lovers, more like leavers, more
like brothers, till the dawn-glow left us breathless
reeling sightless towards the sea.
I still feel a little weird about poetry as something one shares, because it seems incredible to me that anyone else wants to experience the same poems that I do. I memorize a lot of verse, and I occasionally inflict it on people because it’s hard to stop once I get going, but if someone asks me to recite a poem, I say, incredulously, “Really?” Do you know what you’re getting into? Won’t you be bored? I’ve come to think of poetry as a mostly private experience. The poems I know are for saying aloud in the silence, walking by houses in a twilight neighborhood where all the doors are closed, or wading in Lake Superior when the sky is black and the stars are white and the seagulls are an eerie concert, just out of sight. This class I took was amazing because it introduced me to so many different kinds of poetry, to good poems being written today, and to people my age whom I respect and whose company I adore and who get just as excited about poetry as I do. Our professor made us feel worthwhile for everything we produced, and then challenged us to do so much better, and so much more.
Oh, and Wanderlust? I am puttering through Chapter 10, which is now Chapter 11. This is disconcerting, because this chapter has been Chapter 10 for years. I’m sort of writing off the map now, because I’ve changed the ending. What I’m writing now I’ve never written before, so this is the part where I try to get something down there to replace the nothingness, knowing that I’m going to rewrite and rewrite before it’s ever good.