Lauren. 23. On the fence about just about everything.
When I see you-
-my jaw locks and I stumble on anything inconvenient
like my feet and words and furniture
I turn stuttering into a sport
I look at you for too long or not at all
and either way I’m blushing but my face
is always red and sort of squished anyway,
so I guess it doesn’t matter and it’s better even that
my tongue trips up and the sounds that come out
are clumsy and unattractive.
I need to warn you before we start
that I am strange and I don’t know how to do this
and will eventually ask you unbearably technical questions
about what it’s like to be you and my sentences
will trail off awkwardly and often because I never
know exactly what to say, even when I am
writing to myself because there’s no where or way
to send this, and everything I can ever imagine coming out of my mouth
is going to sound impossibly stupid anyway, so fuck it-
-I’m sick and sad and my hair is frizzy, and I’m always wearing an old sports sweatshirt and jeans.
stuck sitting silently, still-
shifting starts sticky seat squeaking.
scribbling symbols, school speaker states simple suppositions smugly:
selling sham secrets, spouting senseless statistics, shirking scrutiny;
substandard sagacity satisfies.
somehow synonyms, sightlessness, salvation, start sounding similar-
stupidity sells. sense supplies sparse security.
significance stays scarce, spiting sincere searchers.
some surrender, stop.
shhh, stop, sleep steals slowly,
says “stop struggling; submit.”
senses slow, seeking soothing stories.
slumber’s siren song softly summons.
suddenly sinuses snag, strident snore shatters silence.
students snigger, stare.
shame swamps, skins smolders,
sensitivity smarts (stupid stupid stupid).
sour, standoffish, somehow still sorry
self-consciousness stings, so shutdown selected.
stage speaker stops speaking, self surfaces
separated, stiff, stretching soreness shyly.
standing, song signals statement sent. screen shows sender.
slight solace, simple- still strips some stress.
sign someone sees.
surpassing shadow structure,
sun surprises, stopping steps.
serendipity squints, smiles, shine.
she says, soon.
some stories stay silent, stranded, significance suspended-
sometimes sunshine, small supports sustain.
[At some point during my collegiate blur, it was suggested to me that I should try writing a poem/story where each subsequent word began with the corresponding letter of the alphabet (“As baboons circled downwards, eating foul grapefruit hostilely in joint kinetic looping motions, nine ornery pigeons quarreled raucously, systematically testing unacknowledged vortexes with xenophobic yammering zest” … I give up this was just supposed to be an example). Clearly the aforementioned was too difficult for me, so instead I wrote a story/poem where every word began with the same letter, and picked ‘S’. It’s about a kid who’s doubting everything about the value of the information she’s learning, and dozes off in class and snores loudly, much to her embarrassment. Then she gets a text from the girl she’s got stupid-happy feelings for right when walking out into the super bright sunlight at the end of class, and feels sort of better].
I sent my grandpa a poem in the mail and he sent me this one back:
I did the dragon’s will until you came
Because I had fancied love a casual
Improvisation, or a settled game
That followed if I let the kerchief fall:
Those deeds were best that gave the minute wings
And heavenly music if they gave it wit;
And then you stood among the dragon-rings.
I mocked, being crazy, but you mastered it
And broke the chain and set my ankles free,
Saint George or else a pagan Perseus;
And now we stare astonished at the sea,
And a miraculous strange bird shrieks at us.
- William Butler Yeats
The note with it says “What does ‘the dragon’ in line 1 stand for? And the ‘strange bird’ in the last line?
My first impression is that the dragon stands for predetermination / being ruled by your fate, where the bird stands for freedom (it’s an evolution of the dragon; maybe the ‘miraculous strange bird’ is what a dragon looks like to you when you are separate from it, not beholden to it or ruled by it… that’s all I’ve got so far).
Help me out tumblr! I’d love to hear any impressions you have at all; I love my grandpa and I’ll end up with something to write back to him regardless, but I’m grateful that I have him and that he’ll share poems like this with me, and I really liked it, so I wanted to share it with you guys.
What do you think about while reading this?