Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

The experiment continues…

For new readers, I am going through old notebooks and posting old writings, some as old as 15 years.

Why?

I don’t recall…I am sure it seemed like a good reason at the time, and now I am just trying to follow through.

The piece below is a poem I wrote when I was 19 and in first year university.

Posting poetry is especially hard, since, like many I am not comfortable with it.

I spent a few years experimenting. Much more while I was in school, since I was reading a lot of it.

I continue to read poetry as I come across it, but haven’t written anything in over ten years. I never produced anything I was particularly proud of.

The poem below was inspired by a man I saw everyday on the Toronto subway. He was always there, no matter the day or time. I decided that, that was how he spent his day, just continually going around the loop, like a modern day hobo riding the rails.

Here it is, for better or worse in its original form, unedited.

Oh, and slightly unrelated, my favorite poem: T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I still believe the line “Do I dare to eat a peach?”. Is one of the best lines I have ever read, for its simple imagery and complex meaning.

Now speaking of inadequacy….On to my poem…


The Circulation of the Dead

 

The wanderer

drifting the streets,

never going forward,

hacking and smoking,

asking for more.

 

He scratches where the hair used to be.

Same jacket for eight years;

Shoes for twelve.

The yellow coat balances;

the shoes are the streets.

 

He is everywhere, looking.

For pity.

The pity they gave to the guy at 7/11.

Sorry, fresh out.

He’ll try again tomorrow.

 

He keeps circling by,

a never ending trip,

smoking his poisoned lungs.

There is no help,

he is already dead.

I have written stories since I could hold a crayon and string an amusing thought together. 

At 17 I was given a notebook to contain my lunatic rambling, self described profound thoughts, and ideas the usually should be left as such. I have kept one ever since.

I have had many types over the last 15 years. Moleskin was always my favorite. Maybe it was the history of them, which is convienently provided with every books sold. It could have been the elastic holding it all together, or the ribbon marking my most recent transgression. Most importantly it was how it felt in my hands, and how it seemed to make the silliest of ideas seem like something more substantial.

I have saved them all, for reference, or more often if I am feeling the need to be humbled. Most entries are downright embarrassing. 

Ah, youthful exuberance.

I once read that James Joyce was terrible when he first started out. He would then go on to write Ulyesses (Which I still hate, but heard that it did alright).

Reading through these old stories, notes and poems is at times horrifying, sometimes funny, usually insightful and always an interesting window to the past. 

While I thought these old pages would stay buried, thankfully never seeing the light of day. I have recently decided it might be a fun, humbling and cathartic  experience to share some of these tales.

Over the next while I will be posting them here, unedited, full of flaws and misused, well intentioned literary devices.

No one may read them, but at least I can see I wasn’t afraid to throw myself out there at my ignorant worst.

Come back and enjoy. Try to laugh with me. However, I will forgive you if you end up laughing at me.

Thanks for reading.

– Jason 

Follow on twitter – @FredThePeacock