The Evolution of a Poem

Less Than Forward Slash Three (Extended Edition)

I find it amazing
That you cannot actually see
Out of the corners of your eyes
Your brain
Instead of seeing the blackness that actually exists there
Fills in images
Of what it thinks is there

So, every time you see something out of the corner of your eye
Not just the small movements
Of a nervous subconscious but
Your most peripheral vision
It’s because your brain is assuming it’s there
It’s an assumption
An educated guess
Based on the images you see when you look around

That’s why I see you

I see you in the corners of my eyes because
Even my unconscious, rational mind
Cannot understand why
You’re not there
You wouldn’t be here
but I see your face
in the faces of dark men
on street corners and in shops

There are days when
I miss you so much
I will walk up to the dark stranger
Ask him his name, and apologize
As if I didn’t know it wasn’t you

There are pieces of you everywhere
I collect them like pieces of coloured glass
That you find on a beach

Maybe I can make another you

It seems like what may be happening this National Poetry Month is you’ll be witnessing the birth of a poem and its evolution. Sharp eyes will recognize the beginning of this poem as Saturday’s poem. This poem still isn’t complete. Whether it just needs editing, lengthening, shortening, or all of the above, you’ll have to wait and see during the next installment of my National Poetry Month series!

Same bat time, same bat channel. Stay tuned!

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Less Than Forward Slash Three

I find it amazing
That you cannot actually see
Out of the corners of your eyes
Your brain
Instead of seeing the blackness that actually exists there
Fills in images
Of what it thinks is there
So, everytime you see something out of the corner of your eye
Not just the small movements
Of a nervous subconcious but
Your most peripheral vision
It’s because your brain is assuming it’s there
It’s an assumption
An educated guess
Based on the images you see when you look around

That’s why I see you

I see you in the corners of my eyes because
Even my unconscious, rational mind
Cannot understand why
You’re not there

Author’s Note: This poem seems incomplete but this also feels like an excellent place to stop. I have another poem that’s a work-in-progress that may fit nicely tacked onto the end of this one; however I promised poetry, and for once I shall deliver. The accuracy of the science is debatable as I am not a doctor, just a graduate of high school biology.

Light Breaks

The light floating in
From the open window
In the old, dark basement
Plays with your features
Light and shadow morphing your face
Perfect in my memory
Broken in the light

The light from the open back door
Blocks out the hunger in his face
As if I’d seen it, I’d have known
That he was stealing
My hard-earned innocence
One greedy grasp at a time

Trigger warnings
Movie monsters and men in black
The dark and the broken
Play hide and seek in my head

Coloured light breaks through coloured glass
A reminder of my place in the world
Dust flies through the beams
On my way to the ceiling
Flat on my back

Come and get me

Writing Prompt #2

Happy Hallowe’en, everybody! I hope you night was sufficiently ghoulish.

I’m trying something new today. I bought a book the other day that is filled with writing prompts. So, on days when I don’t have anything to share, I will do a writing prompt from the book! To make things interesting, I might even do some prompts from the comments.

Prompt: Put your iPod on random shuffle, write down the lyric of the first song that comes on, and use it as an opening line. Here we go!

“Hush, just stop.” Amanda’s mother said. “There’s nothing you can do or say.”

“I loved him, Mom!” Amanda cried into her mother’s shoulder. “He told me he loved me, too.” Her mother smoothed her hair and dried her tears.

“I know, sweetheart,” she began, “but it doesn’t always work out.”

“And now he’s with Trisha! Trisha of all people.”

Amanda’s mother stifled a smile. She remembered teenage heartbreak. She remembered how intense and painful and how ultimately fleeting it was. She couldn’t say this to her daughter, though, of course. This was a lesson she would have to learn in her own time.

“Trisha was my friend,” Amanda continued. “We went to the Spring Fling on double dates. How could she do this to me?!” She began to cry again.

“I know you feel betrayed,” said her mother, “but Trisha liked Michael, too. You told me yourself when you first started dating… last month.” She tried to keep the sarcasm out of the added ‘last month’. It seemed like Amanda was getting her heart broken every other week.

“You would stick up for Trisha! You always liked her better than me!”

Amanda’s mother was startled by this escalation. “Well, that escalated quickly.” She was trying to make Amanda laugh but it did not work. “Of course I don’t like Trisha better than you. You’re my daughter. But you and Trisha have been friends for years; it’s not uncommon that you would like the same boy. Did you think of how Trisha felt when Micheal chose you?”

Amanda brushed the comment off, “she said she was cool with it.”

“And what did you say when Trisha told you she was dating Micheal?”

“That I was cool with it and I was over him.”

“Do you see my point?” Amanda’s mother asked.

With a deep sigh, Amanda answered, “yes.”

“Now come give me a hug and go finish your homework,” Amanda’s mother said with outstretched arms.

Amanda got up off her knees, gave her mother a hug, and went into her room. Loud music began to emanate from the room, indicating that Amanda was going to be just fine.

What do you think? Would you have gone another way with the same first line? Do you have a prompt you’d like me to do? Leave it in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Palindrome

When he kissed her
He tasted all of her mistakes
He tasted the source of her destruction
But he said she tasted like coffee
And kissed her again

He drew constellations on her cheeks
Joining her imperfections
To make perfect geometric patterns
With her eyes as Orion’s belt
Her mouth the North Star
He used it to steer him home

She was built like a hand grenade
He handled her softly, deliberately
He tried not to hurt himself, but he did
Still, he saved her from herself

He was built like an oak tree on a summer day
She handled him coarsely, too hard
She tried not to hurt herself, but she did
Still, somehow, she made him happy

She traced his lips with her fingertips
Making his simple perfection
Imperfect in the light
His eyes were distant planets
His lips magnetic North
She wanted them to guide her home

When she kissed him
She tasted all the sweet things
She tasted the place she belonged
But she told him he tasted like her downfall
And kissed him again

Excerpt #1 – This.

It was raining; not hard, just enough. It was a warning that a storm was coming. Jake tried to ease me into his car to take me home but I didn’t want to leave. The rain was beautiful, the air was cold, and I didn’t want this moment to end. That’s when he kissed me. I didn’t kiss him back at first. It was like I was half dreaming and I woke up when his lips met mine. He kissed me again, and this time I kissed him back. He was my first kiss and it was amazing. Experiencing it is so much better than reading about it in all those books I have my nose in all the time. The real thing was more passionate, more intimate, and certainly more satisfying. All those things girls who have never kissed a guy worry about, like where to put your hands, if you close your eyes, what you’re supposed to do with your tongue, it all just comes naturally. It’s like kissing is the most natural thing in the world and you’re just supposed to do it all the time. I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they told me that.