Sea Change

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4.20 Sea Change

Every Sunday there is a man screaming at the sea.
At dawn, I hear him yelling,
Voice straining violently
As the low tide waves do nothing
To drown him out and let me sleep.
I want to warn him that this weekly ritual is probably bad
For those fragile little threads in his throat.
I can hear them break over the surf,
Especially when he reaches the top of his register.
It sounds like losing one’s balance.
At first I thought he was drunk.
After the third time I thought it was rage,
Then grief after the fourth,
And then back to alcohol-induced.
I went to yell to the man,
But saw he had headphones in and could not hear me.
“Madam, il le fait pour chanter mieux,”
The guard says at my shoulder.
He grabs his throat in his fingertips
And makes a gesture that suggests strengthening.
I nod as though I understand this logic.
“C’est le sel – c’est bon pour la voix.”
Ah yes.
If I wanted to sound like beef jerky
I too would scream at the ocean.
The salt would cure my throat so that it never got tired.
In front of us, just out of earshot
The man keeps sing-screaming to the endless ocean
Off-rhythm and Off-key
Hoping to have a voice as tough as the surf.

NaPoWriMo Begins!

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Welcome to National Poetry Writing Month!

All this month, I will be doing my best to write regular updates, specifically poems. If I’m being honest, this blog is really just a poetry blog, since I rarely put my short stories or difficulties with the writing process here. Still, I like the idea that I may put other types of writing here, so don’t expect that to change.

But wait, it’s already April 2! I guess that means I have to catch up…

04.01 – Small

Wrapped in a giant white towel, my feet don’t reach the end of the chair.
Dwarfed by vaulted ceilings and tall windows, tucked into the hollow space of a building so grand and indifferent as to render me invisible.
How is it, being so tiny, so inconsequential,
I can at the same time feel trapped in
the increasing size of my own skin?
That my girth somehow compares in scale?
My mint tea arrives.
I set it on my tummy.
A big girl and a small cup in a big room.
The symmetry is poetic.

04.02 – The band

Would you like it polished gold
Or burnished copper plating?
Recycled from an antique mold
with palladium engraving?
Tungsten is more avant-garde
Silver is antique
Choosing one is always hard
When the choice is more unique.
Now do you want a tasteful stone
An imprint or engraving?
Inlaid with lacquer, set with bone
Cliched words worth saving?
We’ll do it up with leaves and crowns
Or wrap it round in tangles
We’ll acidify the whole thing down
To rustic, hardcore angles~
We’ll polish it to ice-cube sheen
We’ll drill it to the core
A finer band you’ve never seen
Than the thousands seen before!

***

Gah, ok, I can’t end it and it’s so late. Headache settling in says it’s time to try again. I keep trying to take a step back at the end, change to an AABB couplet, but it’s not sounding right. It’s already sort of cliched – the couplets, meant to summarize, just sound patronizing.

I forgot how hard poetry can be…

Awareness

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Awareness

By and large, our bodies are neutral.
Diligent, methodical, invisible.
We know we have joints, muscles, tendons, bones.
Until we look in a mirror we forget about the whole
Because it is not critical, not present.
Impact and illness are rebukes.
We do not feel our feet until they strike the ground.
We are not aware of our skin until it is hot, cold, or being caressed.
My throat sits silently under my chin, until it is in pain.
Then I am made fully aware of a tube in my body pushing air painfully in and out.
I hear you body.
I have made contact.
Fingers to throat, tender and aware,
Suddenly finding thin skin and gentle bends
How long have you been this way?
And how do I make you invisible again?
That is the goal – to keep the whole from fragmenting.