This one is a poem. And like poems it’s weird and layered and from a particular point in my life when I was feeling especially bitter about old blood and all the fun stuff that comes with past flames being present ash.
I can see this poem was published in August of 2016, which would place it right between Year II and Year III in my internal head canon. This one may have very well signaled my growth as a person, or regrowth from what I thought I was.
Because the title takes some explaining, and I’ve already done some of that, let’s take a look at the first stanza.
“Doesn’t feel like years have passed
Since I’ve seen you last
Yet there you are”
Pretty self-explanatory so far. Nothing abstract about it at all. Stanza 2 looks to radically depart from this.
“In between streets
Running in the urban dark
In between backlight of
Dim, orange street lamps
Like you’re the dark
Pupil of an haggard iris
With a backpack
Full of [bronze piano wire]”
Now at this juncture, you should be able to tell that this poem was not a technical exercise like Murmur was, but this one was more about the specific diction. “Haggard” sticks out, as it isn’t often I use it at all. The imagery evokes something like out of the film ‘Altered’, or if you’ve ever seen the box art for its initial release, it’s incredible eerie. I meant this stanza to evoke that feeling of looking at something alien, and the first stanza was intended to frame that revelation to come in the form of time passing. Familiar… but not quite.
The last three lines in this stanza specifically make me wonder, still, what context are we seeing this being in? What implements does it carry? Stanza 3 does a good job at more clearly revealing what’s going on, and who this could be about.
“Your hair is blonde now
Your hands are cold
Uncovered by gloves
Or something warm to hold”
Is this a poem about an ex? This is a poem about an ex.
Ooooh, and I can taste the bitterness that flowed through me as I wrote that last line. No more hand to hold, huh? Still makes me laugh how dramatic that is, but everything so far in this poem has served a purpose and hasn’t quite yet lost me in its content. I think for this stanza to have worked, I would have needed some slight preamble to reference, possibly, differently colored hair and how it’s changed.
Here I attempted to meet the eerie feeling with no longer knowing someone with a sighting of something that shouldn’t be. Does this poem have Lovecraftian pretensions? Quite possibly!
Stanzas 4-7 are as follows:
“Besides your tools
And your devices
Found from drifting
Up late nights
Like you have
In the core
Of your distinct
They all could have been put together to make a stanza like number 2, but I enjoyed the irregularity I was conveying through line structure and mood rather than meter.
One of the important things in art is to have intention with what you’re doing. As such, I can relate to you now and let you be the judge of whether or not I succeeded in my goal of making this poem of an odd tone and make it very bite-sized.
“With a weathered hoodie on
And joy ride jeans
Covering the jaunt
From infrequent rain”
This last stanza is weak. Pitifully weak, and I can’t right now tell if that was intentional to its writing at the time, because it can very well be interpreted to have been that way. Mostly, I was trying to wrap up the poem at this point, and my method of doing that was to circle the content back around to the description I gave earlier.
Without any structure on the back end, I think this poem could work but I would very much need to include some more content. The descriptions I give are rather unbacked by any kind of attachment I could have spent time laying earlier in the stanzas. I feel that I neglected to make those connections, and that this poem is a lot weaker than it should be as a result.
What does this poem mean to you? In the end, I’m filled with this cosmic horror -ish feeling like I mentioned with the Lovecraftian influences. For a poem so small, I enjoy it for what it is and even though it’s rather weak, it’s still a lot better than the others its stacked up against.
In the end, the title was meant to refer to how long no time at all can feel like when you see someone has changed so much. Years and years have passed by.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this little article. These rehashings are pretty fun, and I’m getting more and more into them as we go along. Still a ton of catalog left to go, and things are only going to get more flagrant and expressive as we go.
Next up to be rehashed: Death6ish!