More poetry today.
This form is modeled after the poem “Meatloaf” by Donald Hall. Check it out sometime.
I like it because it’s almost like writing in free verse; you can say anything really. And it sounds conversational. But there are nine stanzas with nine lines, and each line has nine syllables. I used to dislike writing poetry in a prescribed form – especially when rhyming is involved – but I have come to appreciate that. It’s almost like coloring inside the lines. The guidelines definitely help me when I can’t think of what to write, or where the poem is going to go.
But there are occasions when I do like to stray from the beaten path.
Sometimes walking the streets of New York,
the days as metal as the buildings
I keep my head lowered as I stroll
the grey concrete roads of my city –
not on purpose, although sometimes I
feel its easier to face the world
in which my shadow always moves first
as the wind turns my cold cheeks to ice
and I wonder as I watch my feet
if the paths I chose will lead me right.
I once dreamed of being an actress,
and though it sometimes haunts me when I
watch the glass that mocks without mercy
and the voices that tell me to buy
buy, buy! I can’t hear my thoughts again.
Rage, rage but I will not go gently
for the light that shines upon my face
as I lift my head up to the sky
and breathe in deeply despite the cold
and raise my timid gaze to strangers
watching me, judging me like they know –
but no they don’t see everything, not
the girl who waits to break from inside.
And I blush but say nothing at all
while my eyes may give my soul away
my smile is linear, loyal
on those days I don’t feel anything.
I once wanted to save animals
soft and furry bunnies, kittens with
big eyes and puppies who chased their tales.
But if they had sad tales of their own
my heart could not bear to hear it, no
I would rather be immortal
like the gods of Greek mythology
but then they are just as imperfect
as us humans who hide our faces.
Our shadows, they are faceless, but not
formless. If you try to find her eyes
you would fall forward, grow closer to
uncertainty, unless you are sure
of where you stand. Is it on two feet?
What has four legs at dawn, two at noon,
and three legs in the evening, man
I need some more direction. I fear
growing up but not alone because
we are never alone, just look out,
not in. The early bird catches worms
and if I was a bird I would too.
But the heat of the sun melts my wings.
I fall back into reality
tasting more than the red blood on my
pink lips, the ripe fruits of the lush trees
that have to be shipped some place else
because here my city tends to grow
paper, smoke, and a high work ethic.
Entrepreneurs can have their field day
here. Tourists too, with their cameras.
Smile at this statue, or this bridge,
shadows on the streets blend into each
other, no can tell who is who
until you stop, look at a map, ask
a stranger for directions I look
up when you ask, raise my face to meet
yours. It takes me a second but I
pause my Ipod, wondering which way
you are going, if our paths will
cross again. But I doubt it, you see
we are strangers, alone together
but lonely? It is hard to tell when
your sunglasses hide your eyes from mine
So I look back down once you leave me,
My thoughts grow so loud again, I feel
Time pass, the chill air that means winter
but hints at the coming of spring and
then I smile despite myself I
know that I am home, there is nowhere
I would rather love and learn and live.
Local bars and speeding cars that honk
despite the two hundred-dollar fine.
My world is never quiet or calm.
I keep walking until my feet hurt.