Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You still wrote me letters (Month of Poetry #18)

I said it softly. You asked me, did I say I loved you?
When a child asks you something, answer him.
For goodness sake: when a man asks you something,
answer him as if you'd care to hear it back.
I'd like to try and pose here, but my facade would
fall as flat as abandoned beer. I cared enough to
propose my hand across a pint glass, you took
my fingers and we marveled the reflections of the two.

Old women gazed, disapprovingly bubbled-wrapped
in a festival of ladies and letters. Written out of history,
we lived in a preoccupation as complete as that of a
dream-walk by the river and a missed last train.
We were off, racing hard against the last thirty years,
riding til the writing from our pens was slick with lather.

When 'to' and 'from' addressed the same, you still wrote me letters.
Those sealed-up thoughts, they were big, and the writing was tiny:
small letters, scritched with all the haste and mess of hope.
Time had sneaked up on us and we found it was months ago
not weeks, that we had said this bright new idea out loud.
Danger cats threatened teeth and snarls against us:
we stood and fixed our feet firm as the young mice
squeaked with alarm; pleaded scattering.

Some people seem to think it's exciting to deface things.
That we write among them is our talent, our saving brace.
Your lines drop a rope ladder, rawk up my skin in magic:
a spell is the right words. Delivered in the right way they stop
short the hunters. Let the tigers come with their claws:
you have caught me up out of reach. We are flung up high
these seats gonna be a nosebleed, but hey, we've got
plenty of years pumping blood ahead of our veins.


Today's poem is based on suggestions from eleven people (I obviously fail at my own intention cutting things off at eight phrases):

  • @msmisrule: "a spell is the right words delivered in the right way" (Diana Wynne Jones, The Magicians of Caprona)
  • @slimejam: “Time had sneaked up on us” (Magnus Mills, The Restraint Of Beasts)
  • @home_sewn: "when a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake" (Lee Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • @mike_sh: "We lived in a preoccupation as complete as that of a dream" (Marie & Pierre Curie, Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale Of Love And Fallout)
  • @scooter_lass: "Seats gonna be a nosebleed, but hey" (George Pelecanos, The Turnaround)
  • @matchtrick: 'Let the tigers come with their claws!' (Antoine De Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince)
  • @pinknantucket: "The young mice squeaked with alarm" (Jill Barklem, Brambly Hedge Summer Story)
  • @_camer0n: "I'd like to try and pose here" (Pierre Bourdieu, On Television)
  • @timsterne: "It's exciting to deface things that we live among" (David Shields, Reality Hunger)
  • @gretapunch: "the reflections of the two old women gazed, disapprovingly" (Neil Gaiman, Stardust)
  • @ernmalleyscat: "They were big and the writing was tiny" (Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha)

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