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Before the Thaw - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Before the Thaw
I mean it. I want to use words like "luminous" and hear the smoke
Jetting from your pursed lips. I want to feel the fabric in your
Quote as you start to topple into my shoulder. See?
It's not a question of learning. I know. I don't know how.

The other day I was walking through a thicket in my mind,
Bare-limbed trees slashing like sloppy brushstrokes
Through a watercolor sky. I was myself. And then I was
A bird. The distinction matters less than the pronoun, I

Thought, watching my feet crack one circle of ice after
Another on the walk to the bus stop. Beer bottles cluster
With the bones of summer. "They've been making whoopee
Again," my mother would say. Even though I'm not a witness,

The hemlock is still green and the outbuildings crumble redly.
It's thick in my head. When I push my way past the words
I don't need, some of them snap back to sting my cheek. Yes,
I said "quote." Is there a difference? Your lips are torn

At the edges. Sometimes I get the urge to bring back the dead
Skin with my teeth. It was like a set from a horror movie.
I'd slip into the outhouse in winter because it felt like sin.

I can feel the weight of your dreams through my jacket.
My shoulders ache from the flight. Once, I followed
The creek all the way to the tracks in the woods and searched
For something to own. By the time I pried the spike out

I was numb. I still have it somewhere. Can I kiss the spot
Below your ear? On the way home I'll lean my head against
The window for the chill. The night will smell like your hair.

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Current Location: 85704

11 comments or Leave a comment
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: August 20th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
that's very nice.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 20th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks! I sat down yesterday to write something quite different. And then this poem started coming to me, coming through me. A strange but exciting feeling.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i love when that happens; you sit down and start to write and before you know it, you have a whole finished poem.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 20th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes. Too rare, though. . .
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: August 20th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
that anonymous one was me. bleh.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 20th, 2006 02:11 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's lovely.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 20th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Vielen Dank. Not so lovely as those clouds today, though. . . :-)
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: August 20th, 2006 05:20 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Is there an intentional structural form here? Seven stanzas - 4 line, 4 line, 4 line, 3 line, 4 line, 3 line. I'm too tired to figure out if there is any intentional meter, but it looks very formal on the page so I was wondering if you consciously constructed it in a specific form or if it just came to you this way. It's quite good.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 20th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, yes, though I didn't really know why I was doing it that way. It just felt right somehow. I remember liking other 22 line poems. Maybe that's a form. Rilke has some, definitely. It's free verse, however.

Thanks for the compliment, too, BTW.
schencka From: schencka Date: August 21st, 2006 01:16 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I really like this poem, especially your metaphysical (German?) meanderings mixed with the loverly elan.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 21st, 2006 01:39 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My elan is German! But I'll take the compliment with a smile. . . :-)
11 comments or Leave a comment