Today we’ll be taking a look at a poem I wrote back in November of 2016, called Warsxzaw. As normal, I’ll be giving a little backstory before I dive into it all, as to let be understood what is likely another one of my more cryptic poems.
If you don’t wish to have my analysis spoil your possible interpretation, follow this link to the poem’s original appearance on the site: https://radioreality.city/2016/12/19/warsxzaw/.
This is a poem about that grey relationship of mine from Year Two. Where I dated someone who was colorblind, and so made me try to come up with poems that were particularly concerned with tones and hues. As such, I thought of the weather in Warsaw, Poland and analogued it to the grey days you have when you’re monochromatic colorblind. Grey days give way to rain, and so that became a fixture in the poem as well.
Since Warsxzaw is written nearly a year after the better part of that relationship, this poem tackles the idea of permanence and the importance of place. This poem is about the place.
There was always the
There was always grey
Threatening to drain
Onto the small world.
From heavy nebulas
In the heavensya
Where mist rolls
To aerosol ticks
Through open sky,
Past trees and
The ticks land
On wet blacktop,
Crawling in cracks
Under car tires
Driving over roads.
This first motion takes great care in describing the world, and how devoid it seems to be of color. In fact, it seems to host parasites in the rain that drops and crawls everywhere it can get. This is a world that isn’t hostile, but it is infectious.
Here we also see the first mention of my inspiration directly, in Warsaw.
Droplets of glass
Grey land, and
Run into gutters.
All taking place under warxaw clouds
On oily, wet black top
Then the ticks are made of glass, and they smash against the blacktop. The blacktop is oily, making a very obscure reference to the fact that oil commonly has a film of color on its surface. More street features. Another reference to Warsaw in warxaw, meant to raise the question of why this particular movement is occurring.
In sun, in rain,
In black ice day,
The promise that wherever you are, if you’re under a thin veil of glassy rain, walking on oily blacktop streets and sidewalks, and beneath a grey sky, you have always been in Warsxzaw. Warsxzaw isn’t really a place, then, it’s an idea. The idea of what it’s like to be colorblind and looking at the world from a perspective that only sees shades and lights.
There was always the wet blacktop.
But this poem also references the change in time. Warsaw becomes warxaw becomes warzaw, finally. The connective idea of Warsxzaw brings their respective times, places, and perspectives together in this unity of an idea.
Being colorblind must be like being in Warsxzaw. So much grey, so much rain that you feel on you hands, to look down and see the black and white tones crawling all over you, crawling all over the world. How stark that must be.
I wish I could see it like that sometimes. That’s gonna be it for this interpretation of Warsxzaw.
This poem is part of a long-standing series that seeks to see things from the perspective of monochrome colorblindness, which if published would result in an incredibly strange collection of stuff. Monochroma is the flagship from the set, but it’s not going to be the one I tackle next. I think it’s time for a change of pace and a looking at a poem from a different era.
Next up to be rehashed is going to be Hawaiian Corvidae. This poem is about sacredness, about islands, and best of all, about crows.