Half-Spoken Truths

It’s an overcast day, a day for brooding. I thought I’d take a look at some of my old poetry, but I was disappointed to find so many of my poems unfinished. It’s been some time since I wrote poetry; every time I try, I stall out. I’m not really sure that my poetry even is good enough to pursue, but I thought I’d throw some of the more interesting stuff into a post here.

From a notepad document:

My life is a series of silhouettes
the darkened figures
seem the shape of joy
the light reveals them to be
a prop pile of misery

This one, I think, is from high school, probably one of my early attempts at free verse.

Like awakening from a nightmare
Only to suspect
That you were not asleep
So do I awake

What is this?—poetry?
This isn’t poetry; this is bullshit
I should know; I’m full of it

Now you’ve wakened some
Suspicion of my own
Wrongdoing, evildoer
That I am

This is sickness; this is nausea—
This isn’t poetry.
Vomit doesn’t make
Good verse.

Go ahead and regurgitate
Your emotions, but don’t
Pretend you took the time
To impose order

Chaos is what a
Human is,
But it’s not
What a poem is

And if no one taught
You that, I’ll teach you
It right now.

I think that one has potential, but it really falls apart at the end.

This one is from college, and actually got a title:

Hate Song

I wrote a hate song
today, two thirty in the afternoon.
But I didn’t, no,
I never wrote it, just let
the fury flicks leap in my brain.
Skittish things, too quick
for my pen to capture.

I hate you, oh,
but I love to watch you
pluck words from the air.
A magician! I swear
I saw it in your left hand,
but now it’s in your right.

And you’re dressed for the part –
how did I ever miss
that cape and top hat?
I think I was distracted
by your sidelong glance.

Truth? I can speak it

And one last one. I guess you could say this one is finished, but I’ve never been satisfied with the ending.

You are the self I fear to find in me.
Like a nesting doll
if you open me up several times
you will fall out of me
easier than a birth
and less bloody.
What are you
you’ve been living in me for years
and I don’t know you.
How did you hide for so long
when you are not even small enough
to fit in my hand.
You tumbled out of me
like Athena from her father’s head.
I don’t remember swallowing you.
Did you crawl into my mouth at night
like a spider
with no map to guide you
how did you find your way.
These insides are unknown
even to me
I was never as brave as you.
Who would look inward
fearing what they might find.
But now you’ve opened me up
I can see the marks
you left behind
to keep your way.
If you found anything in me
it was worth taking with you.
Looking inside, I can find nothing
of value.

I might post some more polished poems in the future. We’ll see.


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