[Poem a Day] “Seagulls and the Rest of Us”

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As a kid, I always wondered why the seagulls would hang out over the old Middlesex Mall parking lot. We were miles from the beach. They always seemed lost.

Nowadays I figure it’s just because of the amount of stray food we’ve got lying around over here. It’s a full service buffet for the ‘lil windsailers. They chase what feeds them.

Lost or hungry, I think they fit right in here.

 

[Poem a Day] “I Haven’t Gone To Any Funerals”

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In the past 365 days, two people I knew passed away.

And truthfully, it wasn’t anything major. I hadn’t talked to either of them in a long time, and even when I did talk to either of them, we weren’t particularly close. One was around at quite a few bonfires back in high school. I still have his guitar in my room. The other was a girl I remember having this huge crush on back when I was little – maybe first grade. Met up with her again in my junior year of high school through a mutual friend. When we got re-introduced, the first thing she said was “Oh, I remember you. I used to like you.”

But still, I wasn’t particularly close to either of them. Not compared to the circle of friends I keep right now. So when they died, it really was something that happened on the fringes. We had all since gone off in our own directions. I caught the news over Facebook. I didn’t attend any funerals.

I don’t think I have the right to mourn – not in full, not like the people that truly knew them. But I think the idea of death – our perception of it, its presence in our lives – changes when it happens in our vicinity. When the people that go aren’t faceless – when they occupy even some minute bits of time in your life. It’s varying degrees of absence, but it’s felt, processed, and mended all through the same processes. Maybe this is my version of mourning. Making up for the fact that I didn’t know enough to give a eulogy.

I’d like to be remembered even on the fringes – just somehow – if I end up going to soon.

[Poem a Day] “Straining to Listen”

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Unrelated – headed over to a poetry reading today. I’ve read Ben Purkert’s For The Love of Endings two or three times cover to cover so far, and I feel like I’m still trying to fully absorb a lot of it. He taught a poetry course at the college I used to go to. Always kind of shied away from reading his original work to his students, save for a few pieces on the last day of class. Looking forward to hearing a bit more today.

 

 

[Poem a Day] “For Things Unearned”

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Not sure what to say about this one. I still think poetry is a place where suffering is fashionable, lived or not, and while I think that there’s nothing wrong with exploring notions of pain and hurt through creative work, I think that there’s a way to do it that comes across as disingenuous.

It may also be a way that’s thriving in a way that unsettles me right now, but I’m equally as unsure to say anything about it. I don’t have any stake in the matter, nor do I have any kind of authority over who has a greater right to write about some things over others.

I will say that if you don’t really personally feel a particular thing in your writing – if you only know the fringes, and haven’t wrapped your head around it fully – it will show.

Be careful.

[Poem a Day] “Something to End With”

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Developing as a writer feels like a constant struggle to modify how your readers remember you.

As you shift your style and refine your lines, you want to be known for what you have, not what you were figuring out. But give it another year of constantly writing poems, and everything you have today will be a step towards what you ended up with next year.

I don’t know what lines people are going to end up remembering from me. I’m just hoping I get remembered in the first place.

[Poem a Day] “And One For The Moon”

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I do use last year as a benchmark for myself. If I’ve somehow slipped behind a me from my past, I’m doing something wrong, and I need to weed out exactly what.

Nothing is worse than stagnation – looking up from a page one day and realizing you’ve written the exact same poem that you would have written this time 365 days ago. I need to know I’ve budged, even an inch.

Stationary things collect dust. I can’t afford that.