Author Topic: Autumn  (Read 1493 times)

Offline actpoet1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Autumn
« on: June 09, 2006, 08:15:47 PM »
Autumn

I

The screech of giggling girls
smacked me from sleep. I turned.
The ultrasound printout, like a marker buoy,
on my nightstand. 

That day leaves fell in ones and twos
as we drove to the hospital.
Inside a narrow room in John F. Kennedy Hospital,
a technician slid an electronic device
back and forth over my girl’s protruding stomach. A gentle snowfall
on the screen lit her dark womb.
A head: two eyes, two lips.
A body: two hands, two legs, two feet.
Thump of a four-month-old heart.


That night, my girl and I lay in a pile of leaves
on my friends front yard, imagining our daughter’s scent,
her favorite color. Imagining the pleasant wound
her tongue would cause to our eardrums
when she would say ,“I love you,” for the first time.

A head: the budding image of two eyes and two lips.
A body: the budding image of two hands, two legs, and two feet.
My heart hiccupped as the printout
tumbled from my shivering hands.

Through the window: a tree whose leaves have died. I cursed that, and all the trees,
knowing their leaves will rise again.

“Autumn, come in. Daddy wants to see you,” I whispered to myself.

The absence of Autumn and my girl, a gust full of
dead leaves scraping against
my eyes.

II

When leaves resurrect
on trees each season,
who I am nearly
caves
in.

III

You were to me:

a blast of coolness to
lungs like black crippled legs

a rush of rain to
grass like iron wool

Could I have given you my love?

My heart would have glazed over in
soot like the toilet bowel
you slid down to your
unmarked grave…

That is why.

IV

Some days
I don’t flush that toilet
because each flush erases
pieces of you. Instead, I cup my face
and I long to gather those
red swirls in my hands and mend them with
that dark mass so life would
spring back to you.

Most days that decision
is a twelve-gauge needle jammed in my jugular.

Other days that decision
is a blast of oxygen into my asthmatic lungs.

Every day that decision makes
my heart fragile
as an ash on the wind.

V

I am now more terrified of rainfall,
snowflakes and dead leaves.

Because outside the window above
that toilet
raindrops, like dots and dashes will fall
from the sky,

growing into puddles.

Because outside the window above
that toilet
snowflakes, in ones and twos will fall
across the sky,

growing into snowmen.

Because outside the window above
that toilet
dead leaves, in ones and twos will fall
from the sky,

growing into piles.   

Because underneath the window above
that toilet
red swirls and that dark mass
sank into the bowl, slowly

shrinking you into an unmarked grave

SAY8
Write on,

actpoet1

If you want, click on the link below and walk into my mind. My name is in the middle on the right.

http://users.skynet.be/spier/argoboatbruce.htm

Offline Bryn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 353
Re: Autumn
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 11:05:04 PM »
Damn but your poetry's good.

Your toilet left me feeling empty, and not in the usual way, how strange. Seriously, I hope you're sending this stuff out, its extraordinary. Although, since its here and not in a book, I would think it improved if you reviewed a few of your more jagged lines, especially the ones with the more technical feel to the language; there is the faintest whiff of the point being over-laboured in a couple of places.

On a seperate point: Here -
                                                                     '...a twelve-gauge needle jammed in my jugular'

 - it's a powerful line with gauge, jammed and jugular repeating the j sound, but the situation of that line and the 'factual' way it is asserted conflicts with the mood of the voice addressing the lost child in the surrounding stanzas. Perhaps you could bridge this audience/voice/child gap by refocussing the emphasis on what is in the needle. The use of 'jugular' seems gratuitous; try a word whose sound reflects feelings of despair and grief, not dumbfounded anger, (i'm being picky but there's little else to be on this one).

I'm impressed like i said by what the toilet symbolises and that you pulled it off, but i think you might be pushing it in the last section with the repeating stanzas: there is a feeling of the voice attempting a crescendo of emotional outburst, and falling flat at the end as it diminishes to despair, but the repetition does not reflect this; i would say, let that last section function as a whole instead of grounding each stanza with repetitive images, or at least use them more cautiously.

But this -

'Instead, I cup my face
and I long to gather those
red swirls in my hands and mend them with
that dark mass so life would
spring back to you.'

  - quite stunning really, alone and in the context of the poem. Now make sure you're in a room with a wide door before you try to walk through it...your head, you see...I'm teasing.

Bryn.

PS. Ask the son of Sycorax to have a read. I'm sure he'd give you more perceptive feedback, and probably a little more succinctly and eloquently too.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 11:19:49 PM by Bryn »

Offline actpoet1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Re: Autumn
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2006, 12:54:40 PM »
Bryn:

Thanks again for your comments. I will heed your advice. Please check the message I send you.

Until we meet again.
Write on,

actpoet1

If you want, click on the link below and walk into my mind. My name is in the middle on the right.

http://users.skynet.be/spier/argoboatbruce.htm