Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I wrote this in a workshop at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and my classmates seemed to like it, but I'm uncertain. It's very different from my usual style.

Elegy Ending in the Seat of Toy Car

Your mother calls me last,
blaming me, blaming the way I
said nothing during our potato
dinners at their tiny house
of black knick-knacks, and I
say nothing again on the phone,
hang up with nothing in my throat,
nothing in the room.

You used to make songs out of nothing,
your hands next to your mouth,
spinning against walls in bars,
shouting with the music,
your hair a shock of green neon,
your pierced ear glittering
with a line of skulls.

You used to store ninjas on our headboard,
Godzillas in the refrigerator,
tiny motorcycles in the knife drawer.

You used to buy me pink:
bracelets and plastic rings, skirts
and cheap bandanas because you knew
I hated it and then you used to
have a reason to laugh.

That Christmas I gave you a remote control
Porsche the size of a shoe, it spun out
again and again against the bedroom wall
and in the kitchen you stamped on it
(or was that me).

I found the seat last week,
under the pile of books we were always
going to illustrate together, as small as
a bent thumb, blue plastic, empty
but with little marks where you had been.

I added some pictures from the festival in my photo album on myspace. Check it out! Sharon Olds!


Valerie Loveland said...

The first two stanzas aren't as compelling as the rest of the poem, which I like a lot. There are more specific images after the first two stanzas. (I also like in the second stanza, the glittering wiht a line of skulls).

I added you on MySpace.

Collin said...

I sort of agree with Valerie, but the poem needs a set up stanza. Maybe combining the two...boiling them down somehow. It's a fantastic poem.

Christine said...

Thanks, Guys. I'll think about making some cuts.