Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Verse: Requiem

NB: I usually try to avoid writing something so obviously based on recent events, but this has been on my mind all day and would not let go until I let it go. I hope it has some merit.

Who were you
before everyone
knew that they
didn't know you?

Who were you
before last Thursday
before October
before you walked
out to the parking lot

Who were you
before your cellphone
went dead
before the reward
before the plea
for more information
that urgent SOS?

Who were you
before they mourned you
before they unleashed
their memories
before their eulogies
before they expressed
their regrets?

And who were you
before this unintentional
before I wrote this
before the nightly news
before you were
one more
grim statistic
who were you?

1 comment:

  1. "Who were you
    before last Thursday
    before October
    before you walked
    out to the parking lot
    alone?" -- I cannot get enough of hearing this stanza in my head, I love the sly rhyme, the 'ck' sound in triplicate - it sounds delicious. On the other hand, there is a feeling of dread with that specific day, that specific month, that specific location, and then the load-bearing dreadful "alone?" on it's own - made all the more ominous with the placing of a question mark - is it alone? or is it not?

    "before the reward/before the plea/for more information/that urgent SOS?" --- Here again you have hit me with rhyme, not expecting it. "reward" and "plea" are so far off from each other that it adds to the mystery of what exactly this situation is/was. What information? I love "that urgent SOS" - the use of "that", inferring that we know exactly what has gone down - I now want to know exactly WHY you wrote this! It's a good poem if it does that.

    Aside from this the rest of it sails towards the end without mishap, but without adventure either, without beautiful skies to report. If somebody asked the sailors what had the journey back been like they would say "fair". I don't think that "unintentional/intrusion" is very poetic, though the words sound alike and gloop against each other like two kids kissing one with a mouthful of jawbreaker, it just doesn't magic anything for me. I don't think the inclusion of "before I wrote this" is necessary either, as you haven't mentioned an "I" anywhere else. "grim statistic" I do not like. Grim is fine, maybe there is a better word for it. Statistic is frequented too often as a word for someone in the news. Conversely, I actually like "nightly news" - I've never heard that before, fantastic. I also don't think you should end on "who were you?", as you have started your stanzas with "who were you..." and it doesn't feel right to suddenly add it on at the end. I do however like the inclusion of "And..." at the beginning of the last stanza.

    I also don't like "mourned", I don't like "unleashed their memories" - there are better words and phrases for this, and from what the good parts are doing to my eyes and my brain, you are very able to think of those better words and phrases. Unsure about "eulogies". I'm liking "expressed/their regrets" -- you just don't hear that in poetry and I'm liking it.

    Good one.

    PS. you made a type I thinnnnk, "before they* unleashed"????