Thursday, March 30, 2017

Experiment #11

What wisdom is found in a wine cork! As I opened my current favorite wine this evening, I was delighted to discover that it feels the same way about writing as I do. In these lonely days I will take camaraderie wherever I can find it.

I wrote a lot of poetry as a teenager. It was my safe haven but it also was my undoing in a lot of ways. I recently came across a sampling of my work from those years and it is nothing if not marked by angst and tragedy. Because of this, I spent a good deal of my adulthood avoiding poetry. Rather than cathartic, I judged it to be borne out of the parts of myself I would prefer to forget. But the truth is that writing poetry is a healing work. There is something about giving voice to the parts of ourselves that are angry or hurt or selfish. Acknowledging them does not give them power over us as much as the opportunity to be heard and released. I would love to someday be in a place where my poetry does not solely take on the more melancholy parts of my psyche, but until then, I suppose my job is to allow it to move through me in whatever way it chooses.

This week's experiment was to attempt to write a poem given specific forms. I love writing poetry within the context of a predetermined structure. It brings order to the otherwise chaotic thoughts inside my brain. It is challenging and intellectual as well as intuitive. I am always excited to see the finished product because it is as much a surprise to me as anyone else.

Here is my first attempt at a terza rima (*hint* I stole my favorite line from the poem Night that I posted earlier this week. It's not plagiarism if you write it yourself, right?):

My Mind is a Dangerous Neighborhood

My mind is a dangerous neighborhood
It is best not to navigate alone
The thieves and the thugs are up to no good

The well-kept gardens are now overgrown
Choked by thistle and invaded by weeds
I cannot escape the seeds I have sown

I am found wandering where contempt breeds
Even the sweetest of sentiments sours
It is best to not find where that road leads

Safe passage is found within daylight hours
But at night nothing appears as it should
In darkness even strong men will cower

Forsake this prison if only I could
My mind is a dangerous neighborhood

I am also posting a villanelle that I wrote within the last year. I submitted it to the Moorpark Review, but it was passed over. I am extremely thankful, however, that my second submission, aptly entitled Reasons I Drink was selected for publication!

Beyond the Wall

Beyond the wall
Vine-choked in a sea of green
Brick by brick built tall

I hear my lover’s call
Ears strained though planted where I lean
Beyond the wall

Do not climb heights from whence to fall
Knowledge is a smokescreen
Brick by brick built tall

Shaded in shadows, made small
Hidden among what remains unseen
Beyond the wall

Blinded eyes refuse the downfall
Envisioning elaborate dreams
Brick by brick built tall

Laughter is an echo, only dry tears to bawl
Imprisoned in the in between
Beyond the wall

Brick by brick built tall

1 comment:

  1. Nice work with both forms.

    And congrats on getting accepted in the Moorpark Review!