Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Elliot's Poetry Corner

I never ever ever ever ever ever post poetry. Well, no, I think I did once. LONG ago. But I'm about to again. In lieu of a real Tuesday Excerpt (and being that it's after midnight and therefore Wednesday) I will post a few. Here goes:


The following poems were written between August and December of 2005

This Is My Favorite Poem

I wrote this poem,
so I can love it if I want.
And maybe I will;
I’ll take it to the park,
go on long walks,
perhaps pick up some snacks.
I hope it likes me, too,
that it won’t hate me, start biting me or
try and run away.
Or maybe,
it’s just a poem,
and so long as I am writing it,
I can choose to end it
before it turns on me.


Closing Time

For the past two months, I’ve signed my name-
-on lines at the bottom of different pages-
what feels by now like thousands of times.

I sign again and again,
and I write the date beside my name.
At least that changes.

My signature, never beautiful is now
an awful mess.

The bank must ask,
“What does that say?”
when they see it.

The keys sit on the table, waiting for me.
One last signature, smeared by the sweat from my palms;
the large number on the last page frightened me.

With this last initial, I can finally go home.


Labor Day Weekend

I stayed up Friday night,
drinking whiskey and writing a novel
which I promptly scrapped Saturday morning.

Sweat pooled on my desk as it poured off my forehead.
I worked for eighteen straight hours then left,
thinking fresh air would revitalize my ambitions.

My wife complained the clacking keys kept her awake,
as my characters found themselves at last.
I slept through daylight and woke in time for dinner.

Through conflict I typed, into resolution,
composing a lie of a life that never was.
The throaty call of “Are you done yet?” turned to
“Oh good, you’re done, get some sleep.”

Long since abandoning whiskey for tea, I read my work.
Sitting back and smiling for the first time in three days.


Now...clearly, the three day novel has been discussed. And Closing Time was written in the midst of buying the house. But that first one, well...I think it's possibly the only poem I've ever written that I enjoy reading, to be perfectly honest. I mean, I think if I were to ever forget that I wrote this poem, and then somebody read it to me, I'd think it was early Billy Collins. And no, I'm not just being an egomaniac...this actually happened. I wrote this two years ago, and a month ago I stumbled upon it in a folder from school. It had no name on it, and it was not unusual for my teacher to type out a play instead of copying it from a book so we could read it. So I saw it, read it, and thought to mysel, "This kind of smacks of Billy Collins. You know, before he got really good." Then I found it on my back-up discs when I got my old laptop's hard drive recovered...with my name on it. Two separate drafts, even. I guess I did write it. Anyway, I'll take credit. I sort of remember writing it anyway.


alf said...

I know your pain of signatures. I've yet to buy a house, but with 11 letters in my last name (think about it, my name doesn't SEEM long, that is until you try and sign it...), the whole signature thing gets old. Not that I don't love my name, because I totally do.

A goal of mine in life is to marry a man with the last name of Jones. Or Paul. Or E.
That is a complete lie, but I can't say that wouldn't be an added benefit.

Molly said...

I love them all. They say poetry (all writing, really) is a window to the soul. You have an amazing soul.

Yep, your mother said that.


the wife said...

And your mother did such a good job of raising it.

Yes, your wife said that :)

Lisa said...

And your mother and your wife do such a good job of keeping it in line.

Yeah, your sister-in-law said that. :)