Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Poetry Reading 09/01/09

Alright, contest rules:

Pick a character of your choice

an author
a character from a book
a character of your own creation
or someone you know

and write a piece from that perspective.

Voting next week!

Post your poems!

1 comment:

  1. These are the two poems I read at NPS last night. I am blogging them per Pat's request, and of course also for future posterity.

    I. Honesty

    I’m afraid of the L.A. guy who’s older than me and has slicked back hair and his two friends who sit with him as they pound vodka at their parents ski mansion,
    And they all have the same gelled messy hair and are ripped, wearing v-necks, with a little bit of facial scruff.
    Who pop green pills and scratch their noses, who can get fucked up way better than I can, and get hotter girls because they’ve got some swagger -
    That L.A. guy who was on survivor for 60 days, until he was voted off because his team lost two challenges, and the rest were afraid of him because he’s in such good shape – that’s what his dad tells me between glasses of wine,
    His dad who used to work for the U.N. in Iran, in support of Israeli settlements in the desert, and then invented advertising in malls (you know the kiosks), and who’s in his 70s but could very easily beat my ass to the ground.
    I’m afraid I’ll never get my swagger, that I’ll always be complacent, that I’ll always feel impotent, that this feeling will only manifest in sour moods, or some internal rage that can’t quite make it’s way into a fist.
    I’m afraid of big dreams always being unfulfilled, of cancer, of cancer, I’m deathly afraid of throat lumps, I’m afraid of not being able to drink in moderation, of not being a romantic, not being a good enough lover, and of always being an addict even after 10 years sober.
    I’m afraid that we’re all just biologically determined, and that I am secretly doomed to fail with those whom I love,
    I’m afraid that people won’t ever really like me, and even worse that they shouldn’t, that I should just shut the fuck up.
    I’m afraid of sounding self-loathing and sad, that this will be a turn off for both genders who don’t give a damn,
    I’m afraid that our family dog is going to die soon, because he’s old and panting, and can’t climb a flight of stairs.
    I’m afraid of being restrained and I fear going wild, I want to go ape-shit but I’m afraid what will happen,
    I want to punch holes or smash my hands through windows,
    I want to cut up my knuckles,
    Then lick the tangy blood.
    I’m afraid of following my dreams,
    I’m afraid of following money,
    I’m afraid of being indecisive,
    I’m afraid of being a bitch,
    I’m afraid of not being sensitive,
    I’m afraid of not being a man,
    I’m afraid of most types of spiders,
    I’m afraid of who I am.

    II. The Crickets

    3 a.m. in the early morning.
    A stagnant haze of cigarette smoke
    Creates the illusion of fog out on the patio.
    She’s crouching, alone, over branches and dirt.

    To reach her I must navigate through conversations,
    Through a verbal maze of philosophy and jokes.
    Of people talking and people listening -
    I join them with a smile or nod,
    Then move on while hoping my gestures
    Will stay to represent me.
    My memory a substitute for actual presentness:
    I hope I’ve left a good impression.

    I glide towards her pensive figure.
    Her eyes are opened like two full moons.
    They are beaming as I crouch beside her,
    Following her gaze to a patch of earth.

    I ask her what she’s thinking of.
    She says, “Crickets.
    How they can be our best friend or our worst enemy.”
    I don’t understand.

    She says: “When you want to be alone, they’re perfect,
    A confirmation that you’ve reached your goal,
    But we’re also afraid of hearing them chirp,
    Because it means we are all alone.”

    I consider the implications,
    The conditionality of each response,
    And that this is where her mind is in the early morning -
    It’s neither philosophy nor a joke.

    Before I can break the spell she says:
    “I came over here because I thought this leaf looked interesting.”
    She points. She draws a figure in the dirt.
    “I swear its all just circles anyway.”

    I don’t know what to say
    Her eyes are wide like two full moons.
    We kneel together and listen closely,
    To conversations, and the crickets’ chirp.