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.
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.
For poetry class we have to keep an image journal. We jot things out, not in poem form, but ideas, images…etc. This week, I did one on self. I think my mood is apparent in what I wrote:
I am the wrong thing you did because it was right.
An undying martyr, ashen in the last pew.
I’m the letdown of your lost balloon.
I’m the pothole road that destroys your goodyear.
I’m the light that went out when the last match was struck.
I’m the soft lamb’s coat lost of its innocence.
[Aisha Nicole Drake]