Yesterday I convinced my best friend to tag along with me on a little jaunt to Atlanta. Atlanta is only about 3 hours from Knoxville, and it’s not a bad drive with enough music and someone to talk to.
The past few days have been a lot of fun – I’m home for the holidays, which means a lot of family time. My family has basically spent the past five or so days together nonstop. I bought a mandolin just before I came home; between practicing the mandolin, writing, knitting, annoying my brother, and baking – it has been a pretty full few days.
For the last several months, I have been primarily using this blog as an outlet for my poetry. I like using it as a place for me to share my creativity, keep track of how often I write, and encourage me to put up stuff on a fairly regular basis. But I also think that this is a good place for me to write about stuff that I’m dealing with in a less-than-poetic way.
It’s a hard thing, watching the body go to shit.
How the hip bones are buried, the fine layers
of muscle smooth over into softness.
How the ridges of the vertebrae
disappear like fossils beneath sand
and fingernails recede to the cuticle
scared to cusp the finger tip.
This poem isn’t done yet, but I thought that putting up the very beginning might help motivate me to finish it.
This is another redo of a poem. Even though I have technically already posted these, editing poetry is something that I am just not learning how to do. Editing poetry is hard – you have to accept that the majority of what you write is going to get thrown out. When you have a final draft, it may only have one or three lines from the original poem. It’s easy for your writing to feel precious – you created it, so, naturally, you’re at least a little attached to the parts that you think are good. So when someone who knows a lot more about poetry tells you to scrap 3/4 of it, it isn’t an easy thing to hear. Plus, you have to know when to stay true to what you think the poem needs to say. Yeah, that person may have more experience writing poetry than you, and you need to be prepared to do away with the majority of the piece, but you also can’t lose the part of yourself that you place into the poem. Anyway, the new title of this poem is Spoons.
So, I posted this poem first about a month ago. But I chose to workshop it in the Creative Writing class that I am in, and have continued to work on it. This is the next iteration of the piece.
We lock our knees together so
tightly that sometimes we drape our silky
bodies over winter beds and imagine what
dogwoods must feel in April.
We relish our purity, as if being untouched
makes our bodies rounder in all
the right ways, thinking of when we’ll be reduced to
something sweet against the cool cinderblock
of the custodial closet.
A generation of intellectual sluts
we open our minds – whoring ourselves
out to the gnarled poetics of men in blue ties, bespectacled men,
men who give us their publications like we are
panhandlers with growling thought, a bastion of potent
intellect, narcissistic in our naiveté,
Friday nights bent over
books, a cerebral prostitution
our brains stuffed with the words of dead men,
wing-tipped men, men who make lunch
appointments, our wrists bound
to the bed frame with strings attached to a final paper or
letter of recommendation, we recommend
getting drunk first,
it will make his antiquated erudition
easier to swallow.
The stringed lights snake their way up
the double jointed trees
their branches like arthritic fingers
hardening against the lake-wind.
bony college girls examine bags
of kale chips inside the market wallowing
in cheer, bruises of gold and green
doesn’t help the bad lighting.
I’m on the corner of University and Frances
trying to remember enough
physics from the class I dropped freshman year
to calculate the impact force
of a black sedan going 35 mph
against a stationary object weighing 151.3 pounds.