Friday, March 16, 2012

3 Poems

I wasn't able to finish a story for this week, but here are three poems I've been tinkering with that feel story-ish.

Nothing and Everything
Moving on, straight up the sidewalk,
heavy on my feet but alive in my head.
I want to vomit out what’s left inside
until I remember nothing.

Not far up the street, the lights are off in my place.
I couldn’t read her face as she shut the windows.
When she’s still, she’s like a frozen lake.
What’s left unsaid means everything.

She once told me about her nightmare of losing her home.
Maybe that’s why she stays in failing relationships.
She has been all around this big, loud city
because something bad feels better than nothing.

I’m laughing now but not because I’m happy.
I’ve finally accepted what I’ve known for a long time.
I never thought that it would be so hard,
but I used to think I knew everything.

Maybe she’s still standing there at the window.
I don’t really care if she stays this time.
We’ve repeated the same things so many times
that going through the motions now means nothing.

There’s a place by the ocean where I may go now.
It has so few people but so much life.
It makes me feel warm to think of staying there.
The sea eventually forgets everything.

Novelle hides her battle scars with makeup.
She calls her father Satan
because she hates the man,
yet she still receives him at her shabby little country house.

Novelle hates her money.
She has very little, but all of it comes from Satan.
She spends her nights throwing it away
in the dives out of sight of her father’s palace.

Novelle buys homemade primitive art
which Satan derides every time he comes to visit.
After he leaves, she lays on her mattress on the floor,
staring at the art on which she spent the devil’s money.

Novelle tries to escape the old family traditions
that Satan imposed upon her in her youth.
He may be old and weak and impotent now,
but she can still feel him on her back.

Novelle died on the night of Good Friday
outside the city when peace had ended.
No one knew the alcoholic devil’s daughter
was ever not herself.

Through The Doorway
I step in through the doorway
and out of the evening cold.
Lamplight reveals the lines on her face,
but her eyes are not so old.
She is still the same woman
who first led me into the fire.
I was shy then and I’m still shy now,
but I am no longer a liar.

She gently takes my hand.
I come forward to do it again.
This will not be my first time;
does that make it a greater sin?
When the condemned is executed,
I will lose one of my many enemies.
But I must hold my trigger finger
until after I am released.

I know God has always frowned
on my dishonest, cursed ways.
Rolling these dice now costs me nothing;
the cards are all fully displayed.
None of the players are talking
as the criminal loses her life.
Perhaps now my lover can be called saved
though no one ever called her wife.

I step out through the doorway
and into the cold, empty street.
I know how far I am from the border;
I must move and stay on my feet.
Yesterday is gone along with the woman
who lit the match that charred my soul.
Now I will carry nothing more
than what it costs to pay the toll.


  1. I liked these! It's hard for me to find criticism for improvement for poetry (since it's so based in emotion), so I'll just tell you what I got out of them.
    NOTHING AND EVERYTHING: Contrast between loud city and frozen lake/unsaid effective. Plays out like an inner reasoning or debate... maybe he's not ok with forgetting everything now, but once he does he'll forget that he even had a problem with forgetting.
    NOVELLE: Symbolic relationship with man's relationship with evil (implied) very interesting. In fact, a lot of this poem, I assume, was allegorical for something, though exactly what is still out of reach.
    THROUGH THE DOORWAY: Dark, somber tone matches well, and the character's reveal into a familiar archetype is subtle and thought-provoking. This would probably be my favorite of the three.

  2. I also find it difficult to suggest any criticism. The last is my favorite in terms of rhythm, but the second is my favorite overall. I suppose I'm biased toward the subject matter ;) I do wonder at the deeper meaning, but it leaves me to make up my own, so that I can relate it to myself, which I really like. That way it has personal meaning and interpretation for me alone- for instance, I especially like the line about Good Friday! It is especially meaningful for me, and maybe other readers- your character died that day, Jesus died that day- this year, my Grandfather died that day, and it's my birthday... considering the day I'm gonna fast and go to church, but I think I may eat something after sundown to celebrate Passover with a dear friend wooo ;) I also really like the rhythm of the lines, "There’s a place by the ocean where I may go now. It has so few people but so much life." in the first poem.