Thursday, January 06, 2011


One of my New Year's Resolution is to write more poetry. Back in undergrad I took several poetry writing workshops because my mentor was a poet. At the time I saw it as an intriguing challenge, and like most things I put my mind to, effort alone tends to work near-miracles. I learn and process by doing. Surveying the quality of two years worth of short essays alone proves this.

Having said that, poetry is a discipline that is not necessarily my default. Prose flows naturally from my brain to my fingers, requiring a minimum of revision. Poetry, by contrast, takes a lot of work. But there are times where the images and atmosphere are strong enough that they merit writing. This was the case in what follows below.

I've been reading a lot of Edna St. Vincent Millay recently, and this effort is an homage to her famously profuse romances.



call me a student
of the subtleties

whose intentions
are not subtle

half the distance
of otherwise adequate
personal space

or a reassuring hand
reaching out frequently
redundant punctuation

but unnecessary

these how I found
my way into your car

for thirty minutes
of parked conversation
the engine still running

losing my composure
the words I wished to find
obscured by nerves

strange, bizarre combinations
revealing, bordering on obvious

producing strategic retreats
or quick corrections

now out of sorts
I look downward
to the floorboards

reappearing from time to time
to fully take in
your eyes

the increasingly
high-pitched, accented squeak
of your voice

recalling an ancient, overused
turn of phrase involving

sharp objects and
gelatinous impulses

as you nervously began
to twist a gold band

round and round
at the knuckle

eventually sliding it
off altogether

holding it loosely
in the palm of

the right hand
as though weighing its worth

for nearly a minute
before casually returning it

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