just the sound of your
sigh. such a simple soft sigh.
makes my heart swell up.
(listening to Henry’s sweet little sighs while sleeping, I hope I never forget how perfect those moments are.)
(Part of my 30 by 30 goal to wrote 30 poems)
This is the first poem I wrote this semester. It’s called an Ars Poetica, which literally means the art of poetry. I thought about what poetry was to me and wrote a poem based on that. Part of it is fictional but the whole vibe of it, I think comes from being in high school and little moments that stand out, especially with Sylva and Bryan. They’ve often been the inspiration of my poetry. I’ll be reading it along with one other poem that I’ll post when it’s completed about my grandma being a ghost.
Poetry is a chameleon
in a cove of hidden secrets
and lost love that you return to
when you wake the dust
in your attic and uncover
the moth-eaten quilt.
Poetry preserves moments
makes them eternal like the initials
of her name you carved
into your arm with your fingernails
when you were sixteen
on the back of your tailgate.
Poetry becomes the warmth of a flannel
holding off autumn’s first chill.
It floats by on the wind
the scent of a lost lover,
and lingers in your mouth
like the taste of a first kiss.
It takes you to the hill
rolled with sleeping spools of hay
and the pink hued sunset
you tasted her under,
on the quilt you drenched with sweat
before you moaned goodnight.
Tonight in poetry class my group (persona/voice) presented our information and poems. Along with this we were to come up with an in class writing assignment. One of our poems was an obituary that used a household object as a metaphor throughout. I printed out about 20 obituaries. I read through many of them and tried to pick and choose ones that would give my classmates something to write about. As I passed them out and they were talked about, I had this weird and sweet attachment to the people.
Here is the in-class writing I did. I’m not great at writing on my toes but I liked this a bit. My house hold object was scrabble letters.
My life was the letters of scrabble
jumbled in incoherent fumblings that
I mumbled while leaning against
the brick wall out the back of
BBQ Heaven, where I sweated for
35 years, since I was 21 when
my life seemed like I could
take those tiny tiles with double digits
and place them just so on triple
The board got
shook and the tiles went flying
into women, into grease into that
high that knew how to get us by.
Mama expected us in church on Sunday singing, “Ill fly away””
Oh Lordie, let me fly away.
In poetry class on Tuesday, we were given 10 words to use in a poem. We had about 10-15 minutes to write it. This is what I came up with.
The widow leaned against the kitchen sink
washing dandelion dishes.
Her throaty voice, quietly sang a hymn.
The branches on the elm, like baggage,
swayed to the rhythm of her song.
The fragrant saffron hung in the air
like unrelenting oiled hands. The sun sunk
just below the horizon creating a halo about trees
and a pink hue ghosted
the kitchen walls.
For my advanced poetry class, we’re taking one poem and revising it seven times over the course of a week. Here is the draft I’m starting out with, I’ll also post the final revision. If you have thoughts, suggestions, questions or praises feel free to leave them.
I Am the Girl
my brother’s yesterday
clothes hanging loosely around
I am white skin
a lie that seeps
happiness, fortune, free, easy.
I am the lie to forgotten youth,
rejections from the “rich”
school because poverty only (socio economic bullshit)
gives birth to unwed bastards.
I am the quiet,
tucked under the bed
awash in a dull flashlight
only companioned with books.
I am the one escapee.
I am the upgrade.
I am the graduate
from the neighborhood,
from the family.
I am a concoction
of Baptist praise and rosary beads,
in the name of the Father, Son and Holy
I am the Spirit.
The jet stream crisscrossed sunset out my car window was a dawn of new sight. Darkness had long since smothered my breath. This sky became the crux of change, an escape from the desire for death’s cold arms. They streamed oxygen into my blood and suddenly I was alive.
I want rays of sunlight to drip E into me, to push my blood into former flames of desire. I want to experience the anchor of love’s awakening days. I need to run off a wooden dock and plunge into the coolness of a lake on a sweaty summer day. To sleep in dreams that leave me aching of emotion and awaken, shivering and grappling to hold on to fear or love until reality settles. I want to taste the twister of warmed coolness of baked peach pie a la mode or to sit on grassy slopes and watch people and write poems. I desire to lay next to a man and hear him whisper “Don’t move your lips, just let me kiss you” as his hand slides up my belly, until I let him know that stars exploding in our mouths were enough for the galaxy we were roaming.
Those jet streams in the sky, whispered future sights, dawns of fresh hope moved through my soul and my heart beat once again.
[This poem was written for my independent poetry project, centering on depression. This was the final poem written for the project. I wanted to have a prose-type poem as well as one that showed the speaker coming out of darkness. I think it still needs some revision, I just couldn’t figure out what tense to use. The images were largely taken from things I wanted to keep living for. It was hard to return to those days, but hopefully in the long run it’s helpful.]
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