Revised Poems:

1.

A Fragment:

 

Dread could not

remember

his own

creation.

 

He simply began

from the black sand;

a living,

breathing

being

with no purpose,

nor reason.

Like a human,

but not.

 

This oscillatory state

took its toll

on his weary flesh.

He knew little of men,

only order and obedience.

It took this acceptance–being without choice–

for it to become easier to

trudge and stumble

through the desert he was born of,

following a set of beaconed prints.

Much easier

to let his body lead

than to form thoughts,

and carve out

a path of his own design.

 

Sand hissed beneath him

in sync with each misplaced

step of his boots.

They left unmistakable imprints

in the fine granules,

their liquefied buckles

trailing afterwards

like overeager hounds

lapping at his heels.

Dread had not felt or seen

his toes in quite some time

and wondered faintly if they had melted

into the plastic and laces.

Or perhaps

he had left them behind

at the place he had

first awoken.

 

Although there was no sun in the sky,

only perpetual, drab clouds,

he felt feverish.

Black spots danced

across his line of sight,

disappearing and reappearing

as they pleased,

taunting him.

Petty, mundane thoughts were his sole comfort—and

sometimes even hallucinations

of strange characters

imploring his company

on their journey.

 

Dread knew he must have appeared

quite the sight:

mumbling into the stale air,

sweating,

even in the bitter cold of the desert nights

with an unnatural blush

and open wounds

still tainted with blood.

He had begun to limp now,

dragging his left leg behind him forcibly

and ignoring the red stain that shadowed.

Without seeming to have any memories

or previous knowledge of his location,

Dread felt he was close to

something familiar…

 

What an unnerving fact

that he himself

Owned no memories,

and could rely only on

the intangible.

But what other options did he have?

For miles in all directions

there was nothing

but sprawling desert and

an enduring grey sky.

Nothing to tether him to reality,

only his reflections and

a redolent thought

 

(That was not his,

and not of him).

2.

CYCLE OF CREATION:

A

Burn dies a second death

No white light

–Little paradise–

And eternal, endless nothing

 

(Strange is the oxygen, that feeds a deprived fire)

 

A lonely candlestick remains lit

Even when punished

Tragic abuse, a teacher of houses and bolted doors

And her pupil, the melancholic robbed

 

(Wail, kittens; the carp streamers are still belly-up!)

 

And you will drown in a traveling bag

You and your kin

Gorging on the grapes of the East and groveling to lick at the dust

Such is The Apparatus, manned by men like Lyov and Rodion

 

(Did you know a cage went in search of a bird? Or of its findings in the wasteland? The brittle bones?)

 

Sentiment runs rivers down the cheeks

Of those who answered the first call: TO FEEL

The nipping cold and bittersweet shards of a mirror

Puncture holes in one’s own heart–little pity then, for sociopaths, and those in turn Judas kissed

 

(Have you seen the crabs in the sailor’s rusted bucket? Or the ‘gulls casting shade? And the catfish?)

 

What makes fire differ from it’s elemental nature

Is not so different from cardinal vice

A red string, which humans toy with daily

The Dark Triad is incendiary to all flickers of light, still yet in the womb–as is A THOUGHT.

 

(It’s a shame then,

A

Burn is doused as easily as

A

Man, when both endure the cycle of creation)


AND THEN DIE.  

3.

Kafka’s Sestina:

Our emperor

Knows of metamorphosis

Knows the judgment

of dogs The stoker

who shovels coal in a colony

Your god who hungers

 

Listless in hunger

Know our emperor

Acknowledge his desolation The colony

of metamorphosis

It fell to a stoker

Like your god fell to judgment

 

In court contemplate what the judge meant

There is no hunger

when you’re flying soaring HIGH but in need of a stoker

There he sits bored our emperor

A shriveled cocoon A metamorphosis

of a broken colony

 

Resting on a hill a chapel of worshippers in a distant colony

Untouched by your god the judge

Meant to be metamorphic

Meant to be metaphoric of hunger

He sits slumped in his chair our emperor

While you both watch his son the stoker

 

Maybe you are the stoker

Do you want it lit aflame the colony?

He yawns in his sleeves our emperor

Maybe he thinks it petty judgment

Like blind justice, her self-serving hunger

Lending fools a downward spiral into anti-metamorphosis

 

Specter chrysalis cracks open denudes wet wings liquid antennas the metamorphosis

Complete in the hands of the stoker

Shivering moth bleats in hunger

Its stomach grows teeth incisors to chew the fat from the colony

Red eye gleam blink away the film of no judgment

And still he is asleep in his chair our emperor

 

Eroded time, cycled years. You are told our emperor departs. His arms spread wide in revelation of his metamorphosis.

From womb to dust facing judgment from an inferior being who shovels Man in furnace to burn: the stoker.

In a colony that hungers.

4.

you are dead:

timid tremulous year

even born of odd

dryad’ tree to plant in the garden of green adder

ro to your dear

on a coast; she in wait dae by dey

first dore of red rayde

open close & dare

maybe erode your dread:

that fermentation from longing over an era

past & present ode

not future (he is like a sun rey)

5.

fishbowl

 

in soil i wake wobli

no fib–to wosh my bowils

wo she does accompany

since i dreamt of a fishbowl

at first the silf’s hands not mine

how i wish i would not sow

what ils i’ve hidden by showl

bow low not to bils unpaid

pretend there’s no hil to climb

i fil no blow against glass

no hol from which water streams

what bo punctures what drink boils

you think it not man’s foli?

Reflection:

 

Aesthetically, my poetry tends to resemble itself. I use a lot of the same words or phrasing over and over again. This is not necessarily a problem, as it does lend to the fact that someone could pick out my poem in a stack of many others. (However it does mean that my certain brand of uniqueness is matched only by my obvious inability to exit my comfort box). This inability to change or try something new is probably the second biggest problem I have. The first and foremost, is my inability to form an emotional connection with my poetry (or prose). I find myself to be nearly exclusively an intellectual writer. I don’t ever write for sentiment, and I will change the format or wording of a poem if I think it sounds more interesting or complex that way. That’s not to say I don’t put myself into my writing, just that I cannot give myself wholly to my work. To be honest, it’s very disheartening and frustrating. Another unique quality of my poetry is that I never rhyme, and I hardly ever maintain a formulaic rhythm.

Many things motivate me to write. Sometimes I get hit by an instant flash of inspiration for a novel, or an idea that I could contribute to another work or start fresh, or something as simple as a phrase or word that gets stuck in my head. I think the more important questions to ask, however, are “Why keep writing?” and “Why start writing in the first place?”. I, personally, have no idea how to answer both these questions. To be honest, I don’t really enjoy writing: I don’t enjoy taking the time to sit down and struggle over a stanza or a paragraph; I don’t enjoy fighting constantly with myself to stop editing as I’m writing a first draft; and I especially don’t enjoy comparing myself to those who I consider to be true masters, or even friends I know who also write. There is just something, somewhere, inside of me, that requires I keep writing no matter what. You could say, I hate writing…but I love it. And it is, and will always be, a part of who I am.

Some of my poetic and prosaic antecedents are: T.S. Eliot, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and John Steinbeck. Personally, I feel my writing style strongly resembles a blend of all four artists. For instance, my poetry usually follows the rhythm and formatting of Eliot; my concepts, story, ambience–overall tone–resembles Kafka’s horrific dreamscapes; my characters are emotionally detached and yet very human and complex like Dostoyevsky’s; and much like Steinbeck, my setting and characters are incredibly detailed to create a more vivid image. Although I am not yet anywhere close to being as great as they are, I can recognize that with more practice and study of their works, I may come close one day. However, I still wish to retain what makes my writing unique and my own.

When it comes to revision, I am a bit excessive. I constantly revise, even when I am supposed to be only working on a rough draft. I don’t seem to have something inside of myself that can compartmentalize when to edit and when to just write. I wish this was a skill I could learn, however, I’ve always operated this way. I think it’s due to the fact that I constantly worry my work isn’t good enough (which is something I feel very strongly about). I’ve always had a problem with thinking my writing is or isn’t “good enough”. I usually feel it’s good enough compared to the average person, but I don’t want to be as good as the average person. I want to be the best. I want to write as well as my favorite writers. But what I think it really comes down to, is I want to fall in love with my writing and my characters. I’ve never felt that way about anything I’ve ever done before.

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