What Dreams

Number nineteen:

Some part of me

gets nervous

when you say

I was in your dream.

Regardless of what

I was doing,

where we were,

or what was

going on,

I can’t help but feel

some measure of

responsibility for,

or some investment in,

this echo of me

in you

because dreams are

an intimate space,

and there I was,

uninvited.

But I do like the rush

when you tell me.

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Uprooted

Number eighteen:

Like a tree

that has sprouted legs,

I was growing somewhere

with this simile…

Mor(e)on Writing

You can tell we’re halfway through the month’s quota when I’m struggling for material. But hey, still catching up. Here’s number seventeen, draft & clean:

When I have writer’s block,

or when I want to write a poem

about writing a poem,

it always feels so trite

to force the subject.

But then I think:

whenever I’m constipated,

don’t I still try

to take a shit?

Successful or not,

I hope the outcome

isn’t the same.

Meta

Might’ve used that post title before, but here’s # 16, draft & clean:

16_free verse

 

writing
can be a taxing thing
what with the
meditation
contemplation
execution
—an art
hard-earned and
deserving of compensation.
but if you don’t think
this poem is worth
paying for,
don’t worry—

it’s free verse.

Fibona-She

TL;DR: I used the Fibonacci sequence as the structure of a poem. Skip to the verse if you want the art before the explanation.

I like structure and limitation in poetry: I am forced to be more creative while navigating a predetermined form, thinking of new or unique “solutions” to a linguistic “problem.” Perhaps it is this admiration for order-in-chaos that brought my thoughts to the Fibonacci sequence, given its universality in both science and art. I wasn’t surprised to find that the “Fibonacci poem” already exists; I’m rather fond of Tool’s Lateralus, which utilizes elements of the sequence in both musical and lyrical composition, but rather than relying on syllables, the suggested poetic interpretation is to have entire words represent the numbers of the sequence—a potentially more challenging task.

If you’re not already familiar with the sequence, it is structured in such a way that each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers, so that each line is comprised of a number of words equaling a Fibonacci number in the sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…

After my 21-word line, I followed Tool’s lead and swung back on the spiral, repeating the numbers/word count in reverse. I include “0” in the sequence because of its thematic and metaphorical importance to the content. If you’re keeping a tally, I did treat a hyphenated compound word as one word, but I’ll leave that debate to the grammar police.

Now that we’re done over-thinking and over-analyzing, here’s the draft for poem number fifteen, followed by the clean cut:

15_fibona_she

what

remains

but silence

when words fail?

what verse may go unheard

when the author cries herself silently to sleep?

what holy plea, however impassioned, however grave, could stand before the indifferent void,

blacker than the proud and defiant ink of her abandoned fountain pen, blanker than the hungry pages of her unopened journal

and dare to claim itself worthy before the presence of this all-consuming God?

the author is not written by Her words.

He is not Her god.

when words fail

She is

what

remains

Uneasy Napping

Stream of consciousness, basically. Inspired immediately prior to writing.

Number fourteen, draft:

14_sleep

Clean cut:

 

When you don’t expect it,
sleep is a lot like
drowning,
I imagine:
that soft,
supported buoyancy
as thoughts lose
their edges,
the weight of your limbs
suspended
between gravity
and the air above.
Without warning,
on a heavy exhalation,
the Deep wins
its tug-of-war
and water fills the depression
of your eyes,
quickly overcoming
your face,
and when the next breath
doesn’t come,
your sympathetic nervous system
throws the switch
and you snatch yourself
out of the descent,
flailing for a moment
while your skin decides
what medium it’s swimming through.
You’re not sure
what happened,
but you’re here now,
head above water—
maybe choking,
but the air comes
as you rise from the drift
and settle back into consciousness.
I imagine
it’s something like that
when I regain my senses
and think it best to swim
in a different pool.

Power Play

Explicit content warning: the following poem contains sexually suggestive material and self-criticism. You decide which is more scandalous.

I don’t often look to my vices for poetic inspiration, which is a shame, because this sort of therapy can help to work through personal issues—like being a jerk, in this case. Draft for poem thirteen, followed by the clean cut:

13_power play

I’m not that into kinky shit,
but I certainly dominate
conversations.

Sometimes I forget to ask
whether my partner
is a sub,
and if I can’t hear
the safe word
over my own voice,
it’s usually
too late.

I’m not that into anal,
but sometimes I’m reminded
how an asshole feels.