Thursday, February 28, 2008

March Morning


Tonight I dream I'm lying down in a field
and she's there, and everything is the most beautiful green
and she tells me it's ok to be sad again. When I wake

I go out, past the room, past the relatives
waiting for the wake, sleeping on our living room couches,
out the front door to the driveway,
to the car under the morning sky where I sit
and try not to wake anyone when I scream.

In my old room, my brother's room,
I can still feel the folding metal chair
at my granny's bedside where I sat and listened
while wheezing she tried to tell me something
I forget now, even if it was important.

Nobody walks past that room – nobody but me,
to get to my room.

When death arrives gradual there's nobody to blame,
so when blame comes and drowns the house by inches
outside the real world feels continuing and harsh
like March wind coming in under the front door,
snow held in bare hand, the telephone at night.

The sun still does rise on that lacquered wooden cross
she hung on the wall above her bed, but
we moved the bed after a couple weeks,
my brother moved his baseball cards in and that was that.
The room is still empty somehow, but with the months that passed
it's easy to forget she died here.

My mind's learned now
how to walk past the room without thinking of her
but my heart beats slower when I do,
and seeing the sun rise makes me sad,
and when I stick my hand in the snow I don't feel much.



i'm looking for some critical feedback.

4 comments:

Gunter Heidrich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gunter Heidrich said...

The first two stanzas are, beautiful. You need nearly no more than that and a bit of paring down. Below is an edit. Hopefully I didn't alter the meaning of anything.


'Drown The House By Inches

Tonight I dream I'm lying down in a field
and she's there, and everything is the most beautiful green
and she tells me it's ok to be sad again. When I wake

I go, past the room that only I pass, where the laquered wooden cross and sunrise makes me sad, and the bedside makes my heart beat a little slower, where wheezing, granny tried to tell me something.

(I forget now, even if it was important.)

-past the relatives
waiting for the wake, sleeping on our living room couches,
out the front door to the driveway,
to the car under the morning sky where I sit.

continuing and harsh
like March wind coming in under the front door,
snow held in a bare hand, the telephone at night,

I try not to wake anyone when I scream.'

sovietturkey said...

Whitman-esque at points.

I'm usually not a fan of simple diction, but the calm narration here is outstanding. I think the "try not to wake anyone when I scream" betrays the patience of the piece, on top of being an unoriginal phrase, so you may want to rework that. Maybe using a synonym like "howl" or "wail" to capitalize on the consonance of "wake anyone when", though even those suggestions might be out of place in terms of connotation.

The rhythm/structure of the last stanza bothers me. It's all one sentence, which is in line with the preceding verses, but it almost falls apart in terms of rhythm. Whereas you have almost a subdued, steady beat earlier in the poem, the end is kind of frantic and sudden; too long and bumbling. It's mostly just the last few lines, and I think the problem stems from "but", "and", and "and" right in row. Get rid of them and place the commas/breaks a little more effectively, and the conclusion should have the finality and arrival that I think it's lacking now.

On the other hand, everything I just said about the final stanza coincides with its "I don't feel much" (i.e., desensitization; a dull, unsatisfactory ending that perfectly portrays the speaker's condition), so that might warrant keeping everything as it is.

So, those are my suggestions, though they're more like a mother penguin's regurgitated breakfast for her chick than actual, legitimate 'feedback'.

kidjumpsearly said...

haha no no, you guys have both been really really helpful. besides, last week my poetry in performance professor circled all of "what's more important" and just wrote 'no,' so he's set the bar pretty low as far as literary critcism goes.