Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Poem

I'm not sure if this is a poem, so let's just call it a first draft. Not sure if the repetition helps or hurts.


Naming Names

I was born in the Year of the Cock. Nappy hair,
fat lips, toothless smile. I threw words around
my back yard until darkness came,
and when I woke up, darkness warmed my bed.

That was the year I took Annie’s breast into my mouth
to taste her milk, the year I swallowed an open safety pin.
That was the year Jed and I dry humped between mid terms;
below the waist, my body was made of metal.

The cherry blossoms bloomed too early, opening
their tentative pedals to the sky. How many layers of dead skin
did I pull from my apple lips?

That was the year Prince didn’t want his name,
wrote “slave” on his face and seceded from the union,
the year I told Nikki I was tired of her shit. Then I met Tim,
danced with him on a pool table—the year I knew he’d be the father
of my children.

That was the year of the nipple, the year
Prince took back his name, the year of Prince Alex,
the year of yellow-eyed Ella, the year of the year
I found myself, the year God blessed the rage in me,
the year I brought sexy back.

That was the year I became January,
the coldest month of the year,
I come from the god of new beginnings,
always looking backwards and forwards.

9 comments:

Deb R said...

Question - in this line "below the waste, my body was made of metal." did you mean to write "waste" or did you intend to write "waist?" I'm not sure if that's a typo or a metaphor I'm not getting.

I really like the parts about Prince rejecting and reclaiming his name and your choice of name.

January said...

THanks Deb, yes I meant waste.

This may be one of those piece I salvage for parts to put into something new.

jim said...

Good poem.

I don't mind the repetition -- to a point. I think you might want to revisit the fifth stanza and maybe consider toning down the repetition some there. Just a thought.

January said...

Jim: Thanks for the feedback. I'll take a look at this poem in a few days and post the revision. It's missing something and I'm not sure what.

Deb, sorry I meant waist.

I give up.

Dana said...

Hi, I love so many things here, as I do with all your work. The next to the last stanza might not be needed. It seems to be recounting what's come and telling the reader too much. Just my thoughts.

Smooch!

January said...

Thanks Dana. As I read my poem, staza #5 is the weakest. I'll rework it and see what happens.

ecm said...

I love the circular nature of this.

paris parfait said...

Such a great and unexpected focus in your poem. Didn't you mean "seceded" from the union?

January said...

Tara: Yes, I meant "seceded".

I really should proof before I post.

Thanks!

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