Saturday, June 29, 2013

POEM: Wellwood Avenue (2 versions)

(Note: the first version is my first attempt at the poem, written normally.

The 2nd represents the same poem flipped upside down. Which one sounds better? It is a a very interesting thing to do to a poem.  The meaning is slightly different in the 2nd version, but it also suggests I am not in control of the poetry writing process as much as I might like to believe.)





We wonder how sunsets look to the dead,
From the tips of white granite
Which is now how we recognize their faces?

We know they are not really there, of course. We are
Very good at knowing the difference between
animate and inanimate: it is a difference of weight –

The living are always lighter. Geography
Sews an invisible thread to the inside of us, and
Pulls at us every step of the way, demanding us to return.

When I go, I want to build a place for you, my love,
To sit beside the godly pine. Place will be the shape of
My face, and the curve of your hips.

It is the running ripple of your spine, the meaty part of my hands
Which you have always admired. A place to clutch
cold stone. To wish beneath a glowering sky,

To believe in the heaviness of the dark oak past,
When I was your desire and we connected
To this sandy island whose soils once

VERSION 2

And perhaps neither of us will miss or be missed as much.
While my consonant arms wrap around you,
My name, and all the vowels will lodge in the trees.

Sit before marble and silence, and you will speak.
I will slip into your breath when you rest, when this sandy
Island a long time ago hitchhiked south on a glacier,

Before I was your desire and we touched,
Believing in the heaviness of a dark oak past,
cold stone. To wish beneath a glowering sky,

Which you have always admired. A place to clutch
the running ripple of your spine, the meaty part of my hands
My face, and the curve of your hips.

To sit beside the godly pine. Place will become the shape
of my face. I want to build a place for you, my love,
that pulls at us, every step of the way, demanding us to return.

The living is always lighter. Geography
Sews an invisible thread to the inside of us.
Animate and inanimate: it is just a difference of weight –

You will know I am not reallythere, of course.
From the tips of white granite
Which is how we will recognize each other’s faces,

Wondering how sunsets look to the dead


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