Sunday, April 01, 2007

NaPoWriMo 1

Happy National Poetry Month!

While I am over the moon about writing a poem a day, I think I had forgotten how hard it is to come up with a poem a day--Yikes! It's only Day One! At least last year, I only posted the poems I liked. This month I'm putting it all out there.

So my April poetry won't be pretty but it will be interesting. Needless to say, everything is a first draft. Feel free to comment but be kind.

And I'm *really* looking forward to reading your poems this month! If you have a new poem and would like me to read it, just leave a note and I'll stop in to say hello.


First Job

At 16, I worked the concession stand at Circle 6 Theatres,
offering butter flavoring on large tubs of popcorn and upsizing
large drinks to the size of vats. I envied the folks going to the movies,
entering a dark room to come out the other side changed.
The shopping mall where the theater was located was a Petri dish
of human interaction—young Navy boys on shore leave
trying to pick up high school girls looking to cement their
jailbait status with all of their jailbait friends. After the late-night
movies ended, I’d walk down the house aisles
to find everything from used condoms to
drink cups filled with chaw. Eventually, I hated it all,
the hookups and breakups in the front lobby,
the unflushed toilets and syrup-covered floors.
When I came home from my evening shift
I smelled like burnt popcorn, my feet sore
from the overworked-underpaid burn that comes from standing,
a burn deeper than flesh or muscle. I stayed at the job
through most of my high-school years.
Wasn’t until later when I moved away from home
that I did all those things the lobby kids did in darkened theaters.
Now, Cirlce 6 is closed. The mall once filled with destinations
is home to stores with cool yet misspelled names
like DRESS 4 LESS, VIZIONS, and KOOL SHADES.
Rarely do I smell popcorn and not think about
the hard work of making people happy,
But, oh, to disappear in the dark for few hours
and come away as someone else—I long for it.

*The spelling of Theaters in the first line is correct.

**And now, I'm off to the movies!**

11 comments:

Brian said...

Well, you've showed the other side of the romance of the movies. :)

I like the poem,the roughness of the draft works in the sense of jumbled memories. Perhaps less detail or a prose poem.

I have my first poem posted. Hope the movie was fun.

twitches said...

The mall as Petri dish is good, and accurate - this has so many sensory images that conjure up memories, most especially movie theaters connected to malls...a little slice (or should I say kernel?) if history here...

gkgirl said...

ahhhh...
this i like...
it feels real.

January said...

Thanks for the comments.

January said...

Brian, this is a prose poem so I'll sort through the details next month to see if I need to edit. I have to admit, I did enjoy writing this piece.

Alex said...

Ah, Circle 6. I remember it well my friend. I love the petri dish line.Working there certainly took the luster out of movie going but oddly enough I look back on it fondly.

Robin (Capitulation) said...

Oh how I love the movies! The next time I go I'll be checking the seats around me, making sure everything is clean! Ooh, the petri dish...!

I'm doing NaPoWriMo, too, wondering what the end of the month will look like.

Bug said...

i love the way you describe seeing a movie: entering a dark room to come out the other side changed.

Beautiful, and true when the movie is good, like The Lives of Others, which I saw this weekend and highly recommend!

Happy poetry month!

la vie en rose said...

it's gonna be a good month! i can't wait!

michelle said...

I love the details in this! Good luck this month...

Jone said...

What a place to work. I was there throught the poem with you. I have my first two poems posted. You are so right about the idea of writing one per day and the actual doing it.

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