Archives for June 2012

quote

Rest

It is only in a still moment
just before waking
that time slips sideways
and life, stripped
to its ash-tinted base,
drifts in hues of memory.
My palm brushes the sheet,
waves of heat drawing my hand
toward skin
in broad strokes
that shape a landscape
whose form is recalled
only in relief.
The rising sun slides in
bringing me sharply to
waking awareness
of life as caricature:
this lightly sketched
self-portrait that holds
more artifice than art
in your absence.
I reach back for that
endless moment
as your fading
voice murmurs
let me rest

chat

Adrift/Muse

Poetry is a recently acquired… oh, let’s not call it obsession but rather… interest for me. Reading it has allowed me to serve up a dose of the evocative in my normally quiet and routine daily life. As for writing it, well, that serves two purposes: it’s given me an outlet for those short sharp bursts of either inspiration or emotion that seem intent on elbowing their way to the front of my consciousness and it’s slowly influencing my long-form writing which is often too verbose and frequently contains repetitive elements.

Yesterday, my attention was caught by a phrase that went something like “…[it] washed over them in a heavy wave and [she] felt it draw something back with it…” and was struck by how well that expressed a large part of how my logical brain perceives creative inspiration. Unfortunately, only once has the experience been even close to that dramatic with the outcome a piece written almost whole cloth and seemingly with little-to-no conscious input.

I’m very much a construction worker when it comes to writing. I usually have a flash that forms the foundation but after that it’s board-by-board methodical labor. I was divided in where I thought this poem was going. My initial understanding was that I was going to write about “the muse” and I did write a piece along those lines but it wasn’t quite clicking into place. When that happens I’ll strip a poem back down to its core elements and see what else can be built of it. The rewrite wasn’t wholly successful because I ended up frustrated that it repeated thematic elements I seem to be stuck on recently but it rang truer than my initial attempt so now I’ll let it rest for a while until I decide whether to let it stand or tear it back down again.

What does your process look like and how often are you detoured from the expected path?

 

Adrift

Your voice rolls in
crests and breaks
with a discordant crash

It recedes and I lose
my footing – common ground
giving way

You are entrenched
and I am unmoored
in this rush and retreat

Nothing in me understands
how to navigate
this unexpected surge

A shift in the current
and I awake a stranger to myself
washed up on this new shore alone

 

The original piece:

 

Muse

The voice rolled in
crested and collapsed
with a discordant crash

When it receded it
drew from me everything
held tightly for too long

Base offering
spilled to the ground
from my cup

Until, sifting rough grit
through my hands, I find benediction
in the rush and retreat

quote

False Flower

At the breakfast table we watched
the hummingbird courting
a plastic red flower
seeking the sugar at its heart
glancing over at me you laughed
when it rose to hover at the window
peering in at my turquoise shirt
looking for a way to reach what
must surely hide sweetness:
biological imperative is assurance of that
I’m sending out signals
unaware
fool
I’ve no more sweet sap
rising in me than a stone
although the tender melting as I watch you,
tongue darting out to catch
that last
bit of honey,
makes even me think
I might be wrong

 

 

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This work by kayemnic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

quote

The Woman in Seat 12c

It was the expression on your face that told me
as you slowly flipped through the photo album
mouth compressed with grief
written in a parenthetical expression
that you were holding in emotions much too sharp
to ever let another person touch
A funeral, I guessed, going or coming

Though no one sat beside you
your arms were tightly circled
around your chest
as if to hold to you
everything that was being lost
A life lived in parallel with yours for 18 years?
The last person who shared your memory of growing up?
She must have been your sister
the blonde in the picture you lingered over for so long
one finger slowly tracing the familiar curve of a face
that was so much like yours

When the plane took off you closed your eyes
as if the pressure of forward motion
was just that much
too much
added to what you were already carrying
or leaving behind
I turned away when you brushed at your cheeks
staring out the window at the clouds
as if the unending blankness stretching out ahead
was what I had been watching all along

 

 

Creative Commons License
This work by kayemnic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.