Note: this is a first draft of a poem about time and self. I’ve always enjoyed looking at completed poems and wondering how they got there (“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop is a good example of the efficacy of drafts), so I thought I’d make the process transparent for something I’m working on. I also want to include a piece of art with each draft, with this version’s accompaniment being “Woman Descending Staircase” by Gerhard Richter. While I like the little experiments in each stanza, they aren’t yet connected in a meaningful way.
Get Over Myself
Pipes jut in the sad remnants of our once-was basement
and I find myself by the goodwill sofa, whispering to
myself that I never properly got the bookshelf stocked.
Indiscernible invisibility, specks of ourselves play
in a song that never finished once we were done with it.
Rain pickled on the porch, the porch processed
the scene as we trampled up the stairs, eyes stared
at the exposed brick of next door’s brownstone.
You kissed me like a retronym in the bedroom, right
by the rotary phone and my stack of floppies
with wimpy ideas. Tasked with pushing the light
across the room, I sat and traced the shadow lines
until they came around again.
Far above, I thought (still think) that I failed
too many times, not for abundance of failure but
for lack of trying. I made it about me, and
there you (were) lost.
The great thing about time
is that it goes on.