Category: Poetry

Operation Poetry: Last Few Moments

As I struggled to even figure out if I had a voice as they say in the poetry world, I often vacillated between abstract and the more concrete as some of the examples I’ve posted have shown.  This is another one like Moment One: Last Few Moments

Old Mr. Aqaba shuffles by,
hat in hand, asking for Celia.
He thinks it’s 1950
He’s going to propose tonight.

A friend at school worked a local assisted living hospital in the Hill Country. He told me the story of a new patient who had arrived and spent his entire time asking where someone named Celia was before finally passing away in his sleep a week or two after arriving.  When his family came for his effects they explained he’d been that way for a while, Celia was his wife who had passed away.  This bothered me for some time and I ended up adding in the part about instead of looking for her because he didn’t know she was gone, that he was in a happier time in his last few days.

Operation Poetry: Reflection of Faith

The time period I was writing all these things was from late 1990 up to 1993, this is one of the earlier ones: Reflection of Faith

A creator of days sits behind an old desk,
sipping his tea, intent and collected.
Driven by power he plans and designs
events of a focused and purposeful whim.

Then after a time his tools change their aspect,
the elements of age slowly gain control.
And as the things he once guided now destroy
he’ll sigh and return to the certainty of his tea.

This one is really about writing itself.  As I began to explore creative writing in general I tended to find that the longer I wrote a story, the more I fucked it up.  Which is why for such a long time I preferred poetry or vignettes. My big problem was that I would start out with a good idea perhaps, and then over write the concept to a point where I would either need 100,000 more words to make it work, or just scrap it.

Pre-emptive snark: no it’s not me drinking tea there. The idea was that of trying to embody the problem almost from the point of what one might imagine a god or a painter or an engineer (or anyone trying to build or create something) reaching a point where the tools cause more damage than actually create.  For some reason that image took root in my mind as an old guy sitting behind a desk drinking tea.