poetry

All posts tagged poetry

Adolescent Rival

Published Saturday, July 7, 2012 by Chasing Neptune

This is a letter poem, written for class last fall. As the title suggests, it is about an adolescent rival. Picture any pre-teen “frenemy” combo, and you’ve pretty much got us. We had our differences, but this person made a huge impact on my life. Seven years ago (give or take a few weeks), she introduced me to my favorite band, My Chemical Romance, which is still one of the most inspiring entities in my life. And for that, I will always be grateful to her.

For three years, we inspected each other
under the fluorescent lights of the middle-school
hallway. You laughed at my bushy eyebrows
and mustard yellow highlights. I gawked
at your beak, snaggletooth, and
five-finger forehead.
 
We were two sharks in a small
tank — circling each other like the predators
we had taught ourselves to be.
 
I didn’t always hate you.
 
Once, we spent the summer by the lake,
cherry popsicles dripping down
our chins. I watched your stained
lips, as you mouthed the words to our
July song. And to this day,
 
I remember every syllable.

How Daisy Loves

Published Friday, July 6, 2012 by Chasing Neptune

This was a draft that I wrote for my Creative Nonfiction class, which was passed over for We Ride at Dawn. Even though I did not choose it as my piece for the theme (time of day), this short still holds a special place in my heart. Enjoy!

Even if every clock in my house stopped ticking, I would still know when the five o’clock hour rolled around. At this time, I am normally lounging in my dad’s spot on the couch, munching on a handful of Cheezits to placate my stomach until dinner. Usually, Daisy curls up next to me with her head in my lap, watching the small, square crackers and waiting for me to drop one. However, the moment the clock reads 5pm, Daisy leaps off of the couch and trots over to the staircase.

She places her haunches on the second step and her front paws on the first. As she gazes out the window towards the gravel driveway, her back straightens and her ears perk up into high alert. She sits quietly, waiting for a grey Silverado or a blue Equinox to emerge from behind the row of evergreens. When Daisy finally spies one of these vehicles, she leaps to the floor. From my place on the couch, I can hear her toenails scrambling against the hardwood floor in the dining room, as she rushes to meet one of our parents when they come in the door.

When my parents and I first brought Daisy home, I didn’t love her. She was a replacement for another dog, who had passed away just two months before. I felt that to love Daisy would be to betray and forget my Annie, who was like a little sister to me. However, watching Daisy day after day, as she patiently and loyally waits on the stairs for my parents to return from work, and knowing that she still sits in the same spot on the staircase, waiting for me to come home from a week at school, makes me love her, too.

Every day at 5pm, Daisy reminds me that loyalty and love do not weaken when given to more souls, but rather, when shared, become deeper and more meaningful.

Nail Gun

Published Thursday, July 5, 2012 by Chasing Neptune

This is an “object” poem from one of my poetry courses. The inspiration comes from my dad, who always complains about how inaccurate the portrayal of nail gun shootings is in horror movies. I hope you find it both entertaining and educational.

You do not fool me, Mister
I-can-shoot-nails-across-a-warehouse,
through three planks of wood,
and the antagonist’s
skull.

Hollywood may have exaggerated
your power — elevating you to the level
of a sniper rifle — but I know
the truth.

The metal spikes you spit
fly six inches, then crash to the ground,
their cries of pain echoing
off the concrete floor.

You may have tricked horror movie
enthusiasts, but you will never deceive
the carpenter’s daughter.

Week Twelve: Write One Poem Each Day

Published Wednesday, July 4, 2012 by Chasing Neptune

I forgot how much I needed this, writing, that is.

I went into this week’s challenge with two distinct mindsets: A) This is going to be absolutely horrible and embarrassing and B) I need this, who gives a shit if I can’t write right now!

You see, poetry and I have an interesting relationship. I went to college with the idea that I wanted to be a novelist, not a poet. After taking two poetry courses, I found that I like the genre and that I’m not completely incapable of writing it. However, I’m usually not one of those people who just “spouts” poetry. You won’t find me lounging under the stars with a bottle of wine and spewing out romantic observations of the infinite beauty of the universe. That’s just not who I am – I’m too analytical and gritty for that nonsense.

In class, writing poetry is easy. It doesn’t really come from me. The professor gives me a topic. I give her a few stanzas, keeping everything clear, concise, and comprehensible. Most of the time, I play it safe. For me, each piece I write (however detached I think I am from it) contains a little piece of my soul, and sometimes I really don’t want academia dissecting it.

The exception to my cautious-ness came in the form of a “choice” poem (aka – no topic, do whatever the hell you want). I paced the floor for hours, trying to figure out what the hell I wanted to say. To me, writing (and all art) needs to have a purpose, needs to do something – either for the artist, the audience, or the world. So there I was, bitching about my lack of freedom and simultaneously incapable of doing anything with it.

I got mad at myself. And in typical fashion, I thought about writers and lyricists that inspire me. All of my favorite writers have a very important aspect in common: they all take a position or a piece of themselves and wrap it up in a metaphor, one that relates to everyone, but that very few people fully understand (as far as the writer’s intention is concerned).

So that’s what I did then, and I loved the result. Not only did I like the poem, but I liked how it made me feel to write it – inspired, empowered, and happy. Therefore, when my world came crashing down a little over a week ago, I decided to check myself into creative rehab for a week. Some of these poems are the metaphors I love. Some are extremely literal. But each one taught me something about myself, and each one contains a little piece of me.

In case you’ve been in the dark, here are the results of my challenge:

  1. Wednesday – A Poem about Loss and Friendship
  2. Thursday – I Am Emma Bovary
  3. Friday – Pet Peeves
  4. Saturday – The Problem with Society
  5. Sunday – Perception
  6. Monday – Oasis
  7. Tuesday – If I Am the Ocean

If I Am the Ocean

Published Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Chasing Neptune
If I am the ocean, with caverns
deep and unexplored, with waves
only a ripple of my world’s shifts, with creatures
who have never seen
light
 
you are the sky,
 
hovering above me: always looming,
ever lurking – sometimes forgotten,
but never gone.
 
I am your victim.
 
Sunny, you suck up my waters,
and I dry the throats
of millions. Rainy,
you fill me up, and I wash away
sheets of rock. Windy,
you churn my belly, and I drown
Japanese fishermen.
 
You hold my sun, dragging it
over my waves, trickling
golden glitter across their tips.
You hold my moon, gliding it
across my surface, painting
me black.
 
If I am the ocean,
seemingly bottomless,
you are the sky,
infinitely boundless.
 
If I am the ocean,
cerulean blue,
you are the sky,
powder blue – a pale,
 
shallow reflection
of my own colors,
                     my own soul.
 
Without me, no child
would ask of you, no sunset
would change you, no one
would see you.
 
Without me, you wouldn’t
exist.

Oasis

Published Monday, July 2, 2012 by Chasing Neptune
Sand, rock, warm-bellied
critters – I cannot see the border
of the desert. West ended in a broken
camera lens. North ended in a wooden
cross.
South never began.
 
Dare I go East?
I do.
 
And I find it. My oasis.
 
Grass tickles up my ankles to
my belly. Palm trees lean
over me, offering shade, relief,
protection. Cool waters wash
the dust
off
      my
            bones.
 
I open my eyes. Still miles away,
my oasis, lurking against the skyline.
I take one step, smell green fronds
and fresh algae. I take two steps,
smell burnt sand and reptilian
peels.
 
Heat waves, from earth and sun,
intertwine. My oasis shimmies
and shimmers. Can I see through the air,
hot and trembling,
to my turquoise paradise?
 
Or is it merely a mirage,
as close to my hands
as it is to the horizon?

Perception

Published Sunday, July 1, 2012 by Chasing Neptune

Huddled against the wooden gate,

the children watch the beasts.

Orange light spills over the ground – consuming

child and beast and me,

the caretaker.

As hooves inch closer, the little girl places her fingers

in her mouth, tucks her head into her brother’s arm. He stands

taller, quivering lips whisper, I think we’re done

here.

Another step – the beasts sniff at their tennis shoes,

breath pouring out of nostrils in steamy clouds. The children

shiver, eyes wide open and throats

closed.

It’s okay. They won’t hurt you.

Fingers crawling up the beasts’ necks, I find the base

of their horns and scratch the spaces in between. They curl

their heads back, staring up at the children with blank,

blue eyes.

Necks arching further, the beasts look up at me.

I smile, seeing only Jack and Pete,

the goats I raised from infancy.

The orange light flickers – electronic fire –

and the children gasp. They cannot see my sweet

boys. In the glow, they see only sharp horns, pointed

hooves, and soulless eyes:

the devil’s creatures.

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