Friday, February 17, 2017

Winter 2016-2017 Poetry Sampler

Here's some of the free verse poems I wrote at the end of last semester going into the beginning of this semester. Unlike my novels, which I write with a lot of discipline and craft, these poems are pure unedited whim. You might say my novels are to my poems what my fine portraiture is to my randomly shot phone landscape pictures.

i am never sure how much you know the words in my soul

(inspired by a conversation)

i am never sure how much you know the pages between my story's covers; 

you may know the stars 
                                                                          in my eyes, 

but do you know their galaxies of hope and dreams that hover

                                               in the blackness 

                                                   of my mind?


(inspired by people's personification of a measurement of time)

two thousand sixteen;
the year of lowered flags and lowered
ah america!
contains sugar, bleach, 
and more than the recommended daily dose 
of exaggeration.

social oceans 

(inspired by a particularly long conversation about Myers-Brigg with a classmate during a morning walk on a shadowy day in October)

you can see the lighter introverts best/at their low tides/when uncover they their inner faces and hearts to the sun/and pull away the bedsheets of quiet waters all turmoiled and seen in their slightly/distressed eyes alone/like copper
extroverts are rivers/and more bends in their pebbled clear streams like/more thoughts in their mouths/and constant constant fill they the introvert oceans/fed by so many mountains of social energy and melted broken ice
deep introverts come in several flavors of tsunami 

flight path for dreams 

(inspired by the amount of time i wasted looking at Instagram while on a layover) 

i’m still standing on the tarmac
                                                  on a yellow stripe, yellow is
bright so bright i’ve got to squint against the turquoise questioning infinity of 
midwestern sky, so pure, 
                                        but it hides its pollution in the unseen pockets of its ozone-coated epidermis like we hide our sin in our sleeves;
and i watch everyone take off and fly,
fly toward dreams and new views in different windows 
and new smiles to swap with strangers in streets and 
new lights to leak through rainwater on untracked windshields, 
and i stay here grounded wishing to soar,
wishing on the planes and dreams lifting off in smoke and noise
r                       o                    a                              r 
around me. 
                                                         so thick their chemtrails i can’t see my stars
                                                   to guide my to my own place in the round maps
                                                                of constellations, indigo and tinsel 
remember, self, though you see the horizon endless in their social media graffiti 
you can’t feel their turbulence 
take your time
your gate opens soon.

cosmological biospheres 

(inspired by a childhood thought and a specifically philosophical professor)

electron round an 
atom in a 
molecule in a 
fiber in a 
muscle in a 
limb on a 
body in a 
nation on a 
continent on a 
plate on a 
globe round a 
star in an
arm round a 
galaxy in a 
cluster in a 
swarm in a 
universe in a 
                            {and somewhere in the et cetera is me} {and everywhere in the et cetera is God}

processed mountains 

(written on a rainy day)

appalachia, i look out upon your gray
and processed mountains, 
your murked waters and crawling trees
all kissed with smoke 
and scarred with rust;
raped by human lust for cold 
and harder cash. 
i whisper an apology 
and it fades into your sighing winds. 

myself summarized 

(written after re-reading my Humanities 103 paper)

i am wildflowers,
several shades of scarlet and withered sunshine 
{ etched in latin i cannot read yet understand a thousand 
and a hundred years aged }
underneath a champagne flute;
i should wish all of my words to be spoken
in italics.

i took a walk without moving my body 

(written after being sick)

a little soul sore
i opened the windows 
and my mind wandered off to tomorrows
where the same wind blows 

the mediocre rapture 

(written after I took a selfie for the sake of it)

collegiate martyrdom at the hands of society’s stupidity, ah the problem of a potential intellectual in a sea of online shoppers where only the academically intelligent children were the ones left behind 

poems for they i know part iii

(inspired by a girl at school)

carved pillars and ivy-crowned, 
laurel-bedded empress eyes in her name, 
and mazes of mirrors and murmurs.
but she is nutmeg and curled brown leaves, 
leaves curled by late summers,
tin buttons and foggy velvet,
and she dreams of shattered silver shields 
in oil-lit lamplight, as november winds 
whisper against the colored windows of paradise lost.

prince andrei's infinite sky 

(inspired by a five-second clip in the Soviet version of War and Peace that represents a character's first encounter with God and by that moment we all experience in which we recognize our own insignificance) 

string a thread around the glory of All,
wrap it taut about the wideness of the firmament. 
                                                           there lies a noble death, he says;
                                                           there, he says, sleeps glory. 
glory in spilt blood and split hands,
honor in prospects wasted. 
what is waste to infinity of blue? 
                                                         there goes one with the future in her hands,
                                                         that is what they say of me.
                                                          well, hello, future, how good of you to come!
                                                           i didn’t expect you so early!
the thread my thoughts, i 
attempt to braid it tighter to grasp 
the concepts of sublimity. 
but ah the wonder of the infinite sky 
is truly in incomprehensibility! 
and i watch thoughts of my own frailty.
                                                         is life’s goal to remembered after death? 
                                                         i would rather death remember me;
                                                         there goes that cheater.
on occasion, the wideness of the infinite sky
is captured as depth 
in the blue of his smiling eyes 

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