April Poem #8

I’m learning something about poetry that I should have known a long time ago. Revision is the key. In the past, I’ve been the type to just sort of vomit up poems and leave them lying there, sometimes vaguely interesting but also usually a little putrid. My results turn out better when I do some warm-up writing and then mess around with the poem that comes out after it’s been born. I don’t think this April’s poems smell all that bad.

Someone Else’s Summer

I lived outside my body that summer.
The hay in the barn tickled someone else’s nose
as he watched your eyes go tender
holding a kitten against your cheek.

Someone else walked beside you,
kicking up dust on the gravel road,
the dog nipping at our heels.
	We sat down on the culvert,
	watched the water pass below.
	You knew it wasn’t me–
	But the dog, the dog was fooled.
	Smelled like me, must be me—
	scent the best placeholder for the girl
	who should have been there.

But she missed the scent of
Thunder and Lightning through the window.
Someone else opened her arms wide,
let the fat, cold droplets fall on her skin.
Someone else pulled the wedding dress from
beneath the bed and
told you her secrets.

Someone else drove the car
the night all the sickness started.
One phone call, one pause that was
Too Long.
Someone else drove the car
through that dark summer night
and that’s why we got so lost. 

2 Responses to April Poem #8

  1. Keir says:

    Have you thought about writing a poem about vomited up poems that are “sometimes vaguely interesting but also usually a little putrid”? I think the result might be rather amusing. Thanks to some of our conversations, I couldn’t help but get the image in my head of what might happen if you didn’t vomit them out. Which end would you rather have your poems come out of? That’s not to say that your poems bear any resemblance to the end products of either process, but I do enjoy the metaphors.

  2. Ah, but perhaps you forget that I’m emetophobic? To me, vomit is never amusing, my friend. It is only traumatic. Too traumatic to linger on in a poem, methinks.

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