Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Again

It's National Poetry Month again. I think it's time to get writing. We'll see how many poems I can post this year.

April is as predictable as ever in Reno in that it's unpredictable. It's snowing on and off today, but not sticking. It's cold and windy. Occasionally the sun peeks out and teases us.

The poem below was written for a friend who told me he felt like he was disappearing. The form of the poem is a sestina and it involves repetition of the final words in each line in each stanza in a specific pattern.

I added my own spin to the form by limiting myself to a certain number of syllables in each line. The first stanza's lines have 16 syllables, the second stanza's lines have 14 syllables, the 3rd stanza's lines have 12 syllables... and so on. This gave me a nice way to meld with the title of the poem. Plus it was a great way to choose words carefully.

Anyhow, here's my poem for today. Enjoy.


you bury yourself in words, hoping to become invisible
you hope we see you, not as you, but for what the background will lack
thickening your emotions until they become your armored skin
mystifyingly tiny in that emptiness you call your space
no one, not even tenuous conscience, can claim you as their own
so you wait in cloying ennui until sorrow becomes that wall

and the sun drops behind it, that right-angle-shadowed wall
nearly suffocating in its thick and invisible
comfort, making sure you have false hope shadowed on your own
brickwork, knowing it may only be yellow-ness you lack
yet leaving pastel nestled in its cozy back-drawer-space
no longer peeled back and vulnerable under that skin

facades become mastery over toughened skin
precipices are camouflaged beyond that wall
it is your own reflection you fear in that space
you go to when hope becomes invisible
you can concentrate on manipulating lack
embrace the sweet unknown until it is your own

something -- anything -- that is all your own
not seeping out from gaps beneath your skin
only palpable in what closings lack
backing anxieties against that wall
smudging ashes of dread invisible
and you can once again claim amber space

expand until you fill that space
remember, dear: your heart's your own
I'll wait inside, invisible
curled inside your close, waiting skin
stillness crumbling that blackened wall
giving those forging tools you lack

I hope you see that lack
and find a yellow space
seep through gaps in that wall
widen them on your own
let brightness touch your skin
forsake invisible

invisible, you see your lack
bring back your skin, expand your space
you aren't your own, erase that wall