Life: good

Jul. 1st, 2007 11:54 pm
I am not stressed about anything right now. It's amazing. I can't remember the last time I wasn't under some sort of stress over school or work or paying rent or a relationship or a friendship or a pet or something. But as late, I sleep through the night, I wake up in the morning wanting to get out of bed, I take long walks, I come home after an uneventful day to be slammed against a wall and molested by The Boy before I even get a hello, and it's pretty damn good.

I haven't been writing as much as I should, but that'll change as I get back into the habit. Speaking of which, I'm going to be making my poetry posts private soon--I'd like to start submitting and putting together my thesis, and having that stuff available online could be a bit awkward. So if you want anything, save it, and if you decide you want something after it's gone, just let me know and I'll send it along. This is of course assuming that you want something. If not, feel free to go on about your business.
I've been struggling with what Sicily means to me lately, because all I can come up with is home. And it was more than that, and less than that, and I was so insignificant among the sand dunes and the ruins.


Columns that held up the sky
temples ancient and crumbled
hills like brown patchwork to the horizon.
I will gain your sunburnt shore.

I will walk back home to you. I will
wear sandals and carry my heart in a backpack,
shuffle over the needled beach of Baltimore,
beyond the foam and fishermen.

The ocean will spread before me. I will walk
along its warm surface and sleep on whales
and eat fistfuls of salty plankton
as I pass the Straits of Gibraltar.

When stars begin to press themselves
into the vaulted darkness, then I will listen
for the waves, lapping at your edges
that reach seaward to pull me home.

And another one, related in theme and imagery )
Last night, I realized I needed a poem to turn in for workshop and didn't have anything in presentable order.

This was at, oh, eleven-ish.

Five hours later, I had something strange and lifted from a bunch of places and weirdly formatted and simultaneously the most abstract and the most concrete poem I've ever written.

It's in need of massive revisions, mostly for language, because I think I like most of the experimental rhythm and form and am going to keep it relatively intact.

Anyway, I'm pasting it in here because I'm terrified that I'll lose it somehow and it's about five solid hours of writing.  Yeah, I don't know what this is.

     to Edward “Son” House

[0.1.1  walking]

it’s just that sometimes
    when you look too hard
the horizon disappears

and that sometimes
    when you squint
all you see is the journey

Is it really, unbelievably sad that I saw a review of Pandaemonium, a movie about Wordsworth and Coleridge's collaboration on Lyrical Ballads, and immediately thought "Milton!" followed by "Coleridge/Wordsworth OTP!"


*dies a little bit on the inside*

I really want to see it, though. Because. You know. You can't go wrong with lines like, "Sam, opium is not your worst addiction. Your worst addiction is to Wordsworth."

Oh dear. Now I want to write poet!slash. Does it count as RPS if they're dead?

A better question: what on earth is wrong with me?
You know, I used to think that people who said poetry was all about your feelings were kinda, well, entirely full of something that doesn't smell like roses.

Last semester, I revised that opinion to "almost entirely full of something that doesn't smell like roses."

Because it's like this: there's poetry. And poetry, for me, is something fundamental, something that's born more than created. Which is not to say that it's just writing down what you're feeling. It's not about that at all. When I write, it's from hundreds, thousands of points of view, from different times and places, through different senses, across different prejudices and mindsets. I'm not writing about me. I'm certainly not writing about how "i feel stuck sometimes/ like gum to the sole/ of the world's shoe."

Because I am not fourteen. But that is beside the point.

The point is: the poems are not about me. Most of them don't even say anything about my current mood, and at any rate, by the time they're revised enough to post or show to anyone (which is usually at least twice, and about two revisions before I pronounce them [temporarily] complete) they don't have any connection to my original frame of mind.

Every once in a while, though, one of the lines, or one of the images, or one of the quotes, will be so intensely about me that it will echo inside me for weeks afterwards.

The inchworm is proof of the existence of God, my brother said once, breaking an amiable silence that had folded like goosedown around us. He went on to explain why, how nothing that had evolved could possibly be that stupid-looking, how only a deity with a sense of humor could design something whose main function in life was to serrate the edges of leaves with its teeth and fold itself in half in order to move a few millimeters farther along. None of that made it into the poem. In fact, none of the context made it in at all; in the poem, it's something said by a "he" to an "I." The "I" is not me. The "he" is not my brother. Every time I read it, though, it means something to me that it means to no one else.

What brought on this sudden navel-gazing? you ask.

Two lines.

Bend an ear to the kettledrum heartbeat
of the pendant earth.

I wrote these a few weeks ago, scribbled in my notebook on the drive to Philly with my dad and brother. And I can't stop hearing them, listening to them beat out a tempo in the hollow where my ear meets my jawbone. They are possibly the most amazingly personal lines I have ever written, and I have yet to figure out why, since they do not relate to anything I can express. (Percussion, perhaps? Maybe I miss playing the tympani? Milton? The loss of paradise, the rushing void of the universe, something quivering and fragile and somehow as strong as the mountains?)

So I suppose my real question is: Is this a universal thing? Do you have anything you've written that feels very...I don't even know how to say it. Intimate? Are there aspects to writing that leave you wondering when you lost that layer of skin that kept the world from burning your fingertips?
Dress Rehearsal

I start with your hands.
Twist them into surprise, fear,
fingernails to elbows to shoulders tipping
like a mast crooked
to unfavorable winds.

Your feet follow in my footsteps
or I follow in yours, blocked off
in neon tape, stage level. You turn
me turning into you turning
toward your my once future lover, dangerous
threesome with a man I don’t know
yet, not tonight. I haven’t met him
because you haven’t. Our feet point
to his feet. I don't know him.

I take your skin and fold it
into my own, your chin across mine
and your frown dragging my mouth
down, weighted fishhooks
at the keyholes. I wear your sagging back
and hips thick with farmwork, thick
and hard as living. Your lungs
fill mine with air you have breathed
like shotgunned cigarette smoke,
and breathe me your secrets,
honey breathe me what you know
so when I am you and we walk
skin in skin across that wood
together we make truth, baby,
together we are truth.
And I survived the relatives. Am now in full-blown ice cream and alcohol recovery mode. Fortunately, my roommates are amazing people and only look at me like I'm crazy some of the time instead of all of it.

Also: I come bearing sonnets!

for [ profile] bm1893, who requested "Robin Hood, the new BBC version" and who received in exchange a sonnet from Djaq's POV about the twin she mentions in Brothers in Arms.

Becoming )


for [ profile] ravenclaw_devi, who requested a sonnet from this picture. I realize that I know absolutely nothing about the fandom, but I took the caption and the picture and put something together that may or may not absolutely butcher the meanings of both. *hides*

Freefall )



May 2010



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