For my submission to my friends’ zine, I was trying to write a poem that tried to capture the essence of feeling secure/free, the spirit of the first issue/mission of the zine. I tried to incorporate the quote from which the zine’s theme derives into the epigraph and stuff, and I did a little meditating.
Then I had to write a poem for class about my imagination of a perfect day driven entirely by images of this perfect day–IT’S ALL ABOUT RUNNING OUTSIDE, DUH. The rest of the day doesn’t matter as long as there’s a good ramble in their somewhere.
Both of these poems overlapped in imagery, tone and content. I was first kind of mad that I wrote the same poem twice, but then it was kind of cool to look back on their parallels and their deviations. The goals of both pieces want to be the same, but their differences in expression make them unique from each other.
So, readers, which one uses the pieces of a perfect day and feeling good better? Which one resonates more, feels more ‘put together?’
The best days open with the longest runs:
A calf to which the sweat clings, cut
with the curved continent of heavy
muscle and the sharp jut of the femur,
humming, ready. Sleeping mind
and streaming eyes. Early morning
is the slate-gray prelude to sunshine,
the shell-shocked wake of late-night apocrypha:
streets bleached, scored with silver rivulets
of rain and sprigs of sumac shivering
in their wash of dew. Where does the rhythm
of this road flow? From concrete islands
to mulchy trails to gravel paths and back,
canopied by a kaleidoscope
of limbs, lampposts and leaves. Lungs tear
under the erratic flood-pump
of blood. Breath stabs, a hematic bite
behind the teeth. Steam streams
from the rusted beards of storm grates,
pools of divination, tunnels
to dreamscapes beneath dark driveways.
“Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship…is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.” -David Foster Wallace
Dear God, forgive me for the horrors
I love. Forgive me for this run, the ripping
Apart of my insides. I undulate with this
country of concrete back roads choked
with sumac and paw-paw, the shards
of branch-broken dawn-stream in the median,
red, coral, gold. Oh God,
I apologize for my sick satisfaction with the death
of the small spider writhing in the neon glow
of morning: she is burning, burning. I am an insect
with her, trapped in amber, my pen-scratch wings
bent badly in the sepia strangle of sudden, crystalline
suffocation. I am still, a husk of a former life,
suspended in hard sap and the sorrow of dirt.
I must return to viridian chapels of drained dam-beds
and mud-bulged ravines. Deliver me from evil,
from the aching in my chest—I’ve got this hollow space
here, a hole I can’t fill where the demon eats me
alive. I can go no deeper, too burned by the hematic blooms
of grief. I petition for my soul so hungry
my mouth sours and all these prayers dry out.
In my retreat, I find the forgiveness of endless sleep,
dreams like mirrors of rain-wash on the path
like an open hand, inviting me to look inside.