[Poem a Day] “Discarded Mementos”

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The Duchamp addition just sort of came to me halfway through writing this piece. I think about him sometimes when I’m scrolling through Instagram.

He’s an obvious fingerpoint when the whole “anything can be art” idea comes up in conversation, and to be completely honest, he can be used to support either side of the argument – it just depends on whether you think he’s a hack or not. His sculptures do pose an interesting question, though – whether it’s the actual formative quality of the art that makes it art or if it’s the intent behind the formation that does.

…why are you looking at me like that? I don’t have an answer. I just make shit, man.

[Poem a Day] “And Ripples”

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Stuck inside, waiting for an impending nor’easter that hasn’t quite hit yet. At least the trees’ll look nice in a few hours.

Around this time last year, I was cutting class to go skip rocks down by the old Raritan river. Kill some time in the woods, maybe grab a drink or two at my favorite bar later.

And I hadn’t written an actual poem in a damn long time.

[Poem a Day] “Maybe Someday It’ll Come Back Around”

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There are at least three different Barnes and Noble bookstores within twenty minutes of me. I go there a lot, but I find myself buying things from them less and less. There’s a Bukowski book I’ve got my eye on, but I’m putting off buying it till the one that I already have has settled into a rhythm in my bones and I don’t have to flip through the pages to feel the poetry anymore.

They – the store, not my bones – never have anything from Simic. Which is a damn shame because people keep telling me to read him. Him and Ashbery, but reading Ashbery is kind of like slamming my head into a very intriguing brick wall.

Sometimes, me and my girlfriend go to Target, browse the paperbacks, make fun of r.h. Sin and Rupi Kaur. I think about hiding a copy or two somewhere in the greeting card section, where they won’t seem so out of place.

I went to the street I used to work on the other day and found an old bookstore. Stacks and stacks of heavily used old books written anywhere from hundreds of years ago to two-thousand-fucking-fifteen – your guess is as good as mine. Decided to pick up two small poetry collections after I read a piece I genuinely liked in each of them. Spent five bucks.

Turns out one of the authors was from Jersey too. Wrote about the strip malls on 22 in terms that me and my friends would throw around after a few drinks at our usual haunt, when things start teetering towards bittersweet nostalgia.

Funny how things work out.

[Poem a Day] “A Veil in Everything”

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Some poems are things you just need to let play out on their own. I feel as though I’ve got lines simmering beneath the surface without me really having to think about them, and something just needs to come along to pull the layers off and let it rise of its own accord.

In this case, I read a random YouTube comment and this just sort of happened. It’s the bastard child of an offhand comment about death and some Bowerbirds and Bon Iver, and I feel like there’s more there if I just keep writing, even if I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

The next line that comes to me is “old folk songs scare / me to death because I’m / not there”. Let’s see where this leads.

[Poem a Day] Another Excerpt From “Railway Bones”

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Still working on this piece. Something about it just feels important somehow. Like in a weird, spooky, premonition sort of way. Not entirely sure why.

I’m finding myself keeping an odd balance while I’m writing this, though. Since I’m used to speaking as “Blue” in most of my work, I’m trying hard not to take this poem to its umbrella meaning too quickly. The focus really needs to be The Man On The Tracks, I think, and I’m trying to keep the “camera” focused on him while still retaining a lot of the introspection that makes my style what it is. Sometimes I’ll find the language drifting higher and higher and I have to pull myself back to the tracks and keep the images concrete.

That being said, I really like this bit right here. I remember actually smiling to myself when I wrote the second stanza.

[Poem a Day] “Railway Bones” – An Excerpt

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Apologies for all that radio silence yesterday. It was a pretty nice day out so I went out an enjoyed it. Sort of lost track of things.

Like I said in the Instagram post for this poem and as you might have gathered from the title of this blog post, this is a bit from a longer piece that I’m working on right now called “Railway Bones”. I’m trying to approach this piece a bit differently – where before, more or less all of my poems can sort of be interpreted to have me, Blue, as the narrator, I wanted to speak through a character this time around. I haven’t really given him a name – taken to calling him “The Man On The Tracks”.

It’s an interesting experience taking this approach, though – I didn’t really have a projected message in mind when I set out to write this guy’s story, I just had him and a rough setting: the noonday sun and these abandoned tracks he’s following for some reason. I’m sort of discovering his motivations as I move through the poem, finding out what drives him, and how he occupies the space he’s in.

Don’t quite have the whole piece done just yet. Maybe I’ll throw it up here once it is.