I don’t write these days. If I’m pulled towards a creative endeavor in either poetry or prose, I literally just sit in front of my computer or notebook and let my hands speak. I’ve always wanted to understand why writers say they experience this phenomenon, and now I can say that, so too, have I learned what it is to be at the mercy of a muse.
The context of this poem is a broken timeline of disjointed emotions, strange alignments of reality’s timeline with the poem’s muse pushing me to write, and I feel as though as I connect more to myself, I can connect more to the vibrations that push and pull the right manifestations of whatever’s demanding to be felt and understood out into the open.
Poetry is both an avoidance mechanism and a coping tactic. You face your emotions head-on, but you never state what they are directly. This poem is a mix of memoir and fictitious narrative of both previously stated terms. I couldn’t tell you where one genre ends and one begins, because both are true and false at the same time within either appropriate or inappropriate contexts.
Don’t think about it too hard (or do). It’s art. It’s your choice.
I want you to love me like your favorite book,
with all the torn pages and doggie-eared chapters.
The worn-away letters and odd annotations you thought appropriate to add before you studied my markings a second time and recognized how far you were from understanding my plot line.
No labor-intensive language with which to consciously confuse-
I want you to learn yourself as we share a point of view.
You picked me from a pile of paperbacks, the rattling road of used books coated with dust.
I think I grabbed your eye because I caught my breath and coughed.
I saw you and I breathed in a sharp inhale of…
The putrid scent of past perusers, the stench of adverse ages
that tickled my throat with a thick ‘nough coat my words still waver when you read them off my pages.
You skimmed your fingers over all the others holding themselves in indifference like hyphens, hoping for your attention,
covers coiffed as crisp as we could hold them, hoping our
synopses would snatch you, and the
images on the faces of my fellow foolish fables began
rolling, iridescent over your irises,
became an eerie eclipse, you licked your lips,
reached oh so close to me,
you brushed against my binding…
There was an empty space behind me in my bookcase. In that corner lay nothing;
not a dust-speck,
not a trace.
And so, my paperback pity wore down my grace.
I built up a hardcover wall in its place.
You flipped through her pages, the context ill-matched with yours;
you placed her down upon the table, left her there a second, a minute; more.
Closed your eyes, fingers flitted once again past my spine,
above a row, and then below, then…
Right on mine.
You tipped me out of my resting place and dusted off the sill.
Took one last glance at that paperback beauty, still
her possibilities aroused your curiosities,
as for me, you felt the same-
but the risk was slightly greater,
You wet your thumb, bowed low in your stance
explored my leaves as you’d climb a tree.
And when you’d finished skimming,
you took care with my cover,
walked up to the counter, and
How happy was I to have been picked as your fairytale,
filled to the brim with adventure.
Dragons to conquer, mountains to scale,
veiled wizards to coax out from where they sequestered.
We’d spend nights together, you’d go nowhere alone,
my name became the most common phrase in your phone.
You’d nod off at times, under imagined stars,
and lie to your mother about where you are.
But of course, fairytales aren’t free of malady.
You’re no Prince Charming, I’m no Snow White, the Witch has cursed our personalities.
You may set me on the counter for a day or two,
and I may refuse to make any sense to you.
Tolkien-esque runes ruining all we’ve created,
a labyrinth with poisoned center of every silence we’ve debated.
It’s true our plot lines seem to skew,
our genres mesh like glass windows and the trajectory of a rock that runs straight through.
Like James Bond dressed in grunge drag to protect the natural habitat of the burrowing pixie-wing’ed Turks,
and it’s so goddamned downright ridiculous that it just seems to work.
You post-it note my pages
To remember your favorite parts,
But you still treat me as you would a critic would a masterpiece,
analyzing a work of art.
So worry not, should I decompose, though I’m bound by weakened glue.
My narrative will never stray from the North we’ve agreed is true.
My character arc has escaped the tree-pulp prison I was born attached to.
if a book can have a favorite person, my favorite person is you.
I thought that after not posting a poem in a gosh diddly darned amount of time, I ought to. I’ve been working on this piece for just about a month and… a week, now? The Dreamer – which is the closest thing you can possibly get to Grand Rapids-quality coffee that I’ve found thus far near to CMU’s campus (and not only because they sell and use MadCap’s beans) – is holding an Open Mic this Friday night, and I wanted to bring some new stuff to the table. This is one of two new pieces I’ve finished recently, and I decided to post this one due to its gentler nature. I hope it gives you a new perspective on how your favorite book feels when it’s held in your hands.