Tuesday, October 11, 2005

not being in a poetry workshop this semester means i haven't been writing lately. sad, i know. but i have a bunch of things i wrote in prague this summer and i'll just keep posting them periodically until i start writing again. this was an assignment where we were given the first line and had to write from there using some sort of stanzaic form. i think i did alright. feedback please :)


Whenever I come here, it comes
to this—you, sipping gin

and tonic in the afternoon; me,
trying to make a metaphor of it all.

I watch watermarks forming
where our glasses meet

wood grain and the table between
us is a tree trunk, partly

hollow. Roots ensnare feet placed
toe-to-toe on wood floor, sap

dripping from inside out, sticky
but not adherent. I keep

looking for leaves, fuzzy buds,
magnolias. We search for branches

strong enough to climb, support
us both. Tree rings count

the days we’ve been reaching
around it, rough bark

peeling, interrupting our
fingers, barely touching.


Blogger Matt said...


This has a great atmosphere the nature theme is strong in carrying meaning through, of all things, metaphor.

A few suggestions:

1. The gin and tonic doesn't fit into the setting. What you would be missing though if you took it out is that age of the two personas.

2. Careful with broken phrases. (ex. "Roots ensnare feet placed / toe-to-toe on wood floor") Don't eliminate the words and punctuation that allow a phrase to make sense, otherwise your poem might become abstract and inaccessible to non-abstract thinkers.

3. I am not sure on this one, but I feel like there is tension from the first stanze with the "it comes to this" part. But I feel like there is effort for redemption at the end. If I am following you precisly, I would love to see that theme developed more, then use some of your natural images as metaphors or similies of redemption and grace.

4. The title is perfect in that it provides a location generally to grasp. But, do you mean up state NY or upstate Illinois. Maybe add something specific in addition to the upstate if it could prove relevance.

5. I can really feel this poem. It really has a soul. It reminds me of one of those relationships that in theory should have worked, but just couldn't because two people couldn't get past the small stuff to get to the wonderful big stuff.

Dang, you make my heart ache.

One final suggestion, write more, the world need as much heart as it can get. And I need it too.

Lots of drunk poet love,

11:16 PM | Permalink  

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