Friday Poem: When I was a kid…

This is something I worked on in my Music Therapy Group. We looked at Andrea Gibson’s poem “Andrew” and wrote our own responses to it starting with the line “When I was a kid…”

Mine looked something like this:

When I was a kid
I took on many roles:
                Blue and Yellow Ranger
                Sailor Mercury and Tuxedo Mask
and saw no contradiction in it.
Fighting evil on the back porch
or swimming with Neptune at the beach,
legs turned into dolphin tail, making bottlenose noises in the banya.
I never cared to have a leading role,
was happy to cede Red Ranger or Princesshood
to my friends.
I’d happily serve so long as I could shapeshift too.

 

 

It’s taken on several iterations since then, but I haven’t quite become satisfied with it. It’s gotten both longer and shorter; I’ve taken the ’90s kid references out and put them back in… It’ll probably go through more iterations until it’s complete, and I’ll happily take comments and critique, even in this half-formed state.

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NaPoWriMo2015 Poem 5: the good old days weren’t and these aren’t so great either

the good old days weren’t and these aren’t so great either
after “Grand Slam” by Marjorie Maddox

There is a certain darkness dreams
cannot paper over, not even the one with the brimming
fountain that spills golden light over
its side and the light is our childhood——
It washes over you, reminding you of the days you stretched
yourself to remember but couldn’t until now. We are out-
side ourselves now the way we never were in
those days. I look at you in the doorway that easy grin lopsiding your face, your legs
long, angular, like a giraffe. You say, this
is our time now. Your nostalgia is
lying to you. The good old days were not the
good days — those come later. Our moment–
and I cut you off because I can’t bear you monologing —— I’ve replayed
too many of our conversations. This is not how it used to be on
summer days: us dancing not with, but around, as if winter
still has its hold. Days
like these I know the dream died when
I shouldered you aside, my breath like frost.
I thought I could do without you under the covers,
could tell stories better than the
ones you told, but you could always field
the hard questions. I sputter when
I’m questioned, I shrink, feel half my age.
This I cannot paper over; this steals
my breath; this is what takes me away
from myself, out of myself. No wishes
can replace me. I am not glorious
though I want to be, more than untroubled sleep
I want to be that
which holds you here through sheer panache, but confidence seeps
out of me until I’m back
to what I was — the child I like to pretend was better off there
in the past I could invent, but not go back to.
You carry yourself easy like the
master of creation. I’m jealous; you have no glory
but you’re comfortable —— I wanna get me some of
that self-esteem you have in spades, like that baseball
player you like so much who’s also long-limbed, brazen, but he hasn’t played in days.

About this Poem
The prompt is from this year’s NaPoWriMo website, Day 5, to write a Golden Shovel poem. The last word of each line in this poem makes up the entirety of Marjorie Maddox’s poem “Grand Slam”. It was pretty difficult to do this, especially to work baseball in at the very end, and I’m not terribly pleased with the poem but there it is. Critique, as always, is very welcome.

Friday Poem: the elephant

Friday #Poem: the elephant

This is another poem I performed at the Toscanini Slam Poetry event last week. This one is much older — I wrote it back in high school for a poetry class, about the playground outside the apartment building where we lived back in Kharkov, Ukraine.

the elephant

There was an elephant, once
in my hometown
small, and silent, but big enough
for me to ride on.

I’d get up on his back,
clunk clunk of…

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Friday Poem: the elephant

This is another poem I performed at the Toscanini Slam Poetry event last week. This one is much older — I wrote it back in high school for a poetry class, about the playground outside the apartment building where we lived back in Kharkov, Ukraine.

the elephant

There was an elephant, once,
       in my hometown
       small, and silent, but big enough
       for me to ride on.

I’d get up on his back,
       clunk clunk of metal,
And with a woosh, cold metal
       on my back, warm sun beats down,
Slide down his trunk
Into my mother’s arms.