March 6, 2013

NaCreSoMo #6: Poetry

Even more distilled than short stories is the poem.

This is a first draft. Today I erase
nothing.

Add
nothing.

This is a day. Hours of waking until you stop resisting the call to rise.
Loose water over your head, a ritual
of cleansing.
The preparation for leaving one's house a rite of passage--
one sock right shoe cap jaunted over left ear

Cold today. The dance to keep off the rain has failed.
I am not prepared for the kiss
of frost upon my cheeks.
I am not prepared for this wasteland of song,
melodies cut and discarded like so many curls of wood
from the hull of a boat.

To carry your cares in my arms
fragile as snowflakes
I cannot breathe for fear they will melt

I have forgotten what it means to be a part of someone else.

6 comments:

  1. I find it really hard to make meaningful comments on poetry, but these lines are super awesome:

    Cold today. The dance to keep off the rain has failed.
    I am not prepared for the kiss
    of frost upon my cheeks.

    I think it's something about the reference to the rain dance as a defensive ritual, preparatory for proceeding with the rest of one's day (life?) as planned, and that that plan for the rest of one's day (life?) is grounded on the assumption that that ritual succeeds - the possibility of its failure isn't considered, so its failure is simply shocking. I think that's something that I really like in fiction. And that's all condensed into three neat lines that do that work subconsciously.

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    1. Thanks, I was definitely going for some of that (ideas of ritual/expectation playing out). It's always interesting to see what other people find in your words!

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  2. I wonder, is...

    "This is a first draft. Today I erase
    nothing.

    Add
    nothing."

    ...part of the poem? Because somehow, reading it as part of the poem (the poem is nice enough without it) suddenly changes the meaning for me. All those moments of either unpreparedness or preparedness now seems like--despite the "nothingness" of the tasks--are either purposeful or accidents, but regardless, accepted.

    Very nice, either way.

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    1. Thanks. For me those two were kind of entry points into the poem...so they are part of it? For now? I guess?

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  3. Like Patricia, I find the first two sets of lines to be potentially the most interesting. I love "I erase / nothing", but "Add / nothing" troubles me, somehow. I think it's because right after "add nothing", you have the whole poem, longer lines, and a whole lot that feels like "addition".

    I'm also not sure about the last line and penultimate stanza. They don't seem so relevant to the rest of the poem, which had no second person. OTOH, maybe I'm reading it wrong.

    I'm with Chris on "The dance to keep off the rain has failed", though!

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    Replies
    1. I think this was (for me) very much like the draft of a song that Lily posted a few days ago--tons of interesting language but not necessarily things that all fit together.

      I might return to this as the month wears on--maybe break it into multiple things and play out single themes? We'll see...

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