Strike the ideal!
Strike this plan!
I'd trade it all in for a batwing smile,
it's probably overdue.
I'm hardly a crown or a crutch,
sometimes I can barely stand myself.
I crave a confidant's belly,
I can't stay cocky forever!
You'd love this drink,
one part sake to
one part cherry kool-aid to
three parts "what the hell am I doing?"
I don't want to harm anyone,
that's my greatest fear!
I want no bruised body but my own,
beaten carefully over twenty-three years.
I am not myself here:
I'm quiet but laugh when it isn't funny.
Courage is gathered like wheat
blighted by fat yellow locusts.
Let me illustrate;
there's a new ideal:
The bullet is at its apex and
I need a beautiful young hope.
Because I am lost among the rocky pages
of two dozen yards of shipwreck prosed.
I'm just a reckless scribe surviving
solely for survival's sake.
To avoid dreams
is as much folly
as to imagine (fleeting)
they have come true.
Annotations: I wrote this in college for a seminar poetry class predominated by underclassmen. One of them was a freshman girl who wrote these very powerful little puzzle boxes of poems that impressed the hell out of me. I mean, they were great. I, in my ego, considered her to among the few poets in the class on my "level," a level which in retrospect could be defined as "poems nobody understands using SAT words." Anyhow, I maybe talked to this girl four times in person, but included her in nearly all of my writing that year, because I liked the idea of her -- a beautiful, impassioned young writer aiming to blow the walls off a college with cunning fingertrap poems. She was sort of ambivalent about this iconification, and wrote a poem about it in return. It took me a year to figure out what she meant, but only because I never looked in mirrors back then and so didn't immediately understand her metaphor for me, but it was sort of flattering (in a completely unflattering way).
In this poem, the character is confessing (lamenting? decrying?) his obsession for this image, his interest in leaving his painfully ordered, comfortable life to become part of the uncertain, jeans and t-shirt literature revolution she represents. The three middle verses are taken right out of my journal, and the rest is the exposition. There's also a couple of verses that just sounded good at the time, and I think that last verse is damningly ostentatious. But I think it's some of my best work.Posted by das at November 9, 2004 05:09 PM | TrackBack