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at 6
i could not hold still
the images in my head.
gliding and looping
in infinity spirals
through
still slick
grey halls.
i sought to fix them
with iron nail
through hand and
foot
and navel.
impatient to learn stillness,
i ran,
hammer in hand.


At 11,
I realized
I was not being watched.
Mind, motions,
the minutiae of my life,
were a steam rail
into Past; while
I slid towards grey hairs
one year hence.
I plundered language.
I incanted each instance,
I spoke every second.
I sought permanence in the Word.
Desperate to
establish reality,
I became Description.


At 16,
I was Frustration.
Blocked from doing
any new.
Recursive thinking;
raw feeling.
Steeped in
thick grey
biological brew.
Sex/Pressure/Boredom
Escape.


On the doorstep
of 22,
tired of ceaseless fun.
Had enough stories.
Enough strobing places,
faces.
Enough searching for clothes
in strange grey rooms.
Enough tripping over holes
in strange grey matter.
Suspected the best stories
are those shared
in both the making
and telling.
I sat,
seeking joy
with an open hand.


Today, when I wrote this,
I could not remember
if I was 26 or 27.
Counting backwards
on my fingers,
I laughed.
It does,
it did not matter.
My tomorrow-to-be
self will know:
who I am,
I was,
and where I am going.
I do not have the perspective,
or the interest.
There is too much to do.
Both past and present
slide off into
grey abstraction:
a story once told
and to be told again
by a beloved stranger.
Sometimes I just don't have much to add.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2004-01-15
once by *soma :devsoma: always provides an interesting perspective in this retrospective about prospective life. ( Featured by keen )
:iconjamboarder:
jamboarder Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2004  Hobbyist Interface Designer
This was enjoyable for it's natural rythms through years of familiarities and dilemas of what what's-next will look like, and how to get there from the perplexed perpective of how you got here.

I moved through the poem effortlessly and arrived at the end with the same optimizm and dread I would find at the end of one life experience and (neccesarily) at the threshold of a new.

Great job man!
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:iconwernstrum:
wernstrum Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2004
first, congrats on the DD. This poem starts and ends well. Very enjoyable content/
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:iconwildoats:
wildoats Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2004
Another DD? Jeez.
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:iconscythecat:
ScytheCat Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2004
I love it!! It's written very nicely^^
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:iconolddragon:
olddragon Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
very well written. great job.
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:iconkeen:
keen Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2004   Writer
first stanza was the most compelling... a great read soma. :thumbsup:
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:iconsoulwrai:
soulwrai Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2004
wow....
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:iconfrail:
frail Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2004  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Unreal
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:iconjsenn:
jsenn Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2004
I like this poem. It captures the reader's attention completely and leaves poets inspired.
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:iconbalan:
balan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2004
I've always been a much better reader of classical poetry than modern, so the form was a bit of a mystery to me, although I did notice that visually it undulates in and out and in and out in a constant flow of assertion and retraction, which I think works well thematically, and might, after all, be the point.

At first I thought that the use of concrete ages as snapshots of spiritual maturity or discovery worked best in the beginning of the poem. The image of a child-like conviction crawling on the ground and 'driving the nails' was one of the high points in my first readings, and I thought the convergence of the real, physical challenges of the ages 16 and <22 (sex, etc) with the spiritual, weakened the later ages. Now I've decided that it is this very replacement of the ideal and abstract with the real and physical that not only gives the later ages their sad tone ('I sat') but accurately mirrors the transformation.

I very much like the almost complete disappearance of 'I' in 16 and 22. However, I personally might have inverted what you have done, moving 'I was frustration' to the end of sixteen, while opening 22 with 'I sat.' This because 16 is the first time the 'I' is lost in external sources, and putting it at the end would be a sort of self-revelation. Then, 'I sat', followed by the list of worthless pursuits could develop that revelation further. Ending on '..open hand' does the same, and I understand that you probably didn't want to have 'I' twice; I understand that it's tricky.

'recursive thinking' is a problem for me. It sounds like something a 16 yo would write, and therefore fits into the stanza, but that is also the problem.
I have a similar reaction to 'or the interest.' It does fit the spiritual age, but the entire poem up to this point belies it. Without the laugh just before I might take it as a lie, or denial, but it doesn't seem so in context.

My favorite lines are ' tripping over holes / in strange grey matter', 'Counting backwards
on my fingers' and 'i sought to fix them / with iron nail / through hand and / foot'
though I have to admit, the navel thing went by me.
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:iconangstforless:
angstforless Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2004
fascinating commentary and definitely the kind of thing worth reading. I enjoyed your comments. I wonder though, if the "I" referred to is in fact, the elucidation, if that moment of clarity is muddled by the id. a clarity of concept and a realization that it is only a fragment of awareness. not sure I am making sense on this, but what if it is: first the perception, then the enlightenment? not so much a retrospect look as an ongoing realisation. I wonder, though I definitely have the value of hindsight in my bag of experience, I know there have been times when at the moment, I performed an action, had the thought, then realised the futility of that thought and the context implied. it's a liberating thing to understand the place of an action in the schema without seeing the entire picture initially. sort of a prescient view of the moments underpinnings. I could be going beyond the intent of our beloved poetess, but I think that we all have that kind of awareness and sometimes, it's not until we write it down that we realise it. my favourite line: "Both past and present
slide off into
grey abstraction:
a story once told
and to be told again
by a beloved stranger. " to me summarizes the connection. that complete realization of interconnectedness and reiteration. Life expressing itself ad infinitum. again. I may be way out there, but at least it is a territory I am familiar with. ;)
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:iconbalan:
balan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2004
I read through your comment about three times before I really got a grasp of what you were saying, but your thought is pretty interesting if it is what I think it is. It sounds like you're talking about the process of trying to rationalize an instinctive act, and how those actions may seem, 1. futile or inexplicable under such scrutiny, or, 2. they may, being examined in hindsight, take on a greater relevance and context than they could have had in the 'present.'
I still hold to my comment on the 'I's in the 16 and 22 stanzas, but seeing your interpretation, I can see how they work just as well as they are. Your favorite line is certainly more powerful if the poem is taken in this way.
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:iconangstforless:
angstforless Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2004
though verbiage be convoluted you did understand! thank you for making the concept clearer. I believe I've been spending too much time with the right brain and my left is becoming petulant from neglect. and I think you hit the nail right where the poem got me. it seemed very powerful for this reason. looking at it in your observation I could see the revision, but I also know Ms Soma has some mighty sharp eyes and no trouble with the left side that I can tell. That's why I came to my observation. :) again, your comments inspire me greatly. and Thank you for taking time to read and respond. and Thank you Soma for awesome work, consistently. :hug:
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:iconmaxine:
maxine Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2004  Professional Traditional Artist
after reading justb's comment i just noticed the whole of the first verse is uncapitalized, the way a child might write it (or a lazy person like me) a nice touch! i love this. myself, am now on the doorstep of 22, having lived through those first two verses. it's one of my favourite things about poetry, when it lets you into someone elses head and you discover you have been to the same places. i think this will have to be the very first poem to enter my favourites. wonderful!
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:iconmaxine:
maxine Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2004  Professional Traditional Artist
congratulations on the daily deviation by the way :) i feel a bit smug that i got here first this time!
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:iconjustb:
justb Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2004   Writer
I liked its unfinished feel. I felt the opening line being uncapitalized signified it's unfinished feel. It's always good to reach a point when time becomes unified with a poet's dream of writing again. The little voice that spiraled so often to infinity and back grew up and did not hide but sought to speak the truth. Again, the hand opened, but this time tiny seeds were spotted a memory of a worn coat pocket. Time to plant a tree.
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:iconangstforless:
angstforless Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2004
you inspire love. this poem gives some real depth without becoming trite. the "s" alliterations are tricky but give a fluidity to the rhythm of the words. mostly though I know this. I felt this and remember how it feels to look back and find out you were actually looking forward. now is all we have.. and oops.. there it goes. :) thank you!
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