Friday, November 21, 2008

Fortune (poem #2)

The sky is raining on my clothes,
an act that is spiteful at best.
But it is endearing, that colored line of underwear
that flaps in the wind. Endearing in the same manner
as stepping in dog shit in the rough stoned streets
(but look at the streets, they are old! Stone! You can just feel
the history).

But it’s not all bad, I ask you,
And you say, “The worst thing?”
"Having to ask prostitutes for directions,”
But no really, the worst thing:
“Being locked out of my house at four in the morning.”
Like that time the guy pissed in front of you
and you stepped in it, and he yelled
“Yo, dude, you saw me pissing there.”

It all seems to be about falling:
off the curb in Cinque Terre I scraped my knee
and now I’m left with a quarter shaped scar
and in Venice I slid like sledding and laughed and laughed,
and the last time, the worst time: the worst time,
the time I don’t remember and I woke up in the morning
with blood on one knee and a giant bruise on the other
(but it’s a matter of pride not shame.)

The next time I worry they are going to take more:
my wallet, my camera, my notebook.
Things that are valued more than the skin.
It always comes back to: one pound of flesh.
I've given three.


Amelia said...

i like this a lot.. if i were to make a structural suggestion it might be changing the things in quotes to be things italicized. i like the idea of two voice, narrator and some sort of societal weird collective other trying to tell you how to interpret thee unique and stressed out useless things that happen to you when you´re abroad. i feel what´s going on in this poem, fo sho.

Colin Welch said...

"and in Venice I slid like sledding and laughed and laughed," <-- I don't understand the simile. You were drunk at the time, obviously, but could you explain what "slid like sledding" means?

I like the quotations being what they are, it makes for a three-way conversation -- the narrator, whoever is asking about their experiences, and voice of ... i don't know... study abroad? I think it's neat. The line about "dude, you saw me pissing there" was pretty good. I loled.

Ok. Direction. First stanza = irony is teh suck; second stanza = weird shit is teh suck, let me tell you about it; third stanza = it's all about falling; fourth stanza = i dunno.

On first and second read I was with you until the last stanza; the third really pulled it together, with the crazy shit from the second part and the voice of italy/study abroad from the first part and it all clicked. The fourth stanza's images come out of nowhere, as does this fear of them being taken away; it's not present throughout the rest of the poem. It's almost as if this stanza, as it is written, is too personal, compared to the tone of the rest of the poem.

I should underline hear that I really liked the poem; that may not have made it through the critique. The first 3 stanzas are really strong, bring the 4th up to their level. You can be personal about this material while holding it at arms length, if that's the direction you choose to go in.

Tasha said...

Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments very much.