Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Revising BabyGirl Part 2

Is this a "finished" product? I do like this draft much more than the first but I wonder if the last two stanzas appear as though they're competing to be the last words. The current last line was the last line of the last draft which I decided to move down in order for the new entries, stanzas 4-6, to have the best possible placement. Still, line 12 seems to command a statement worthy of the last line. In order to combat its finality, I added a "just" after the refrain, I wonder though if it is enough or if I ought to consider shuffling some more or simply scrapping one of the stanzas all together.

Also I pared down the formality, resorting to non-capitals and ampersands. I wanted to create the feeling of this girl's experiences being inconsequential, expendable, and easily forgotten in the form of the poem as well as the language. Maybe it's over kill, maybe it's not. In either case, it is all in the name of re-visioning and as a result the poem is definitely toting a new air.

Also, I mulled and I picked at possible title ideas. I tried to pick out a nice word from the poem but I thought doing this would give too much privilege of one image over another. Then I thought about what the poem was about and I immediately came up with the token words: abandonment, melancholy, sadness, longing, lost. They were helpful and kept me from teetering too far off the end finding a title. I thought first okay in the poem there is a lost girl. Lost Girl, whack. Okay, I thought, what about an inversion, Girl Lost, better but still eh. Then I thought more about the poem; the girl wasn't lost yet, what is really going on is her slow deterioration. So I thought okay, Approaching Lost. It is still a little if-y but it is definitely a step up from the previous title, Baby Girl, gag I know.

Without further ado, I give you draft numero dos.

approaching Lost

let's say i'm still bow-legged & broad-backed, foot bottom hard
from dragging in the okra-colored garbage bin to the back;

let's say i'm a gash that for too long has gone undressed,
gangster pathogens have readied me for labor so i'm paying;

let's say the amphetamines you gave me keep my teeth from
rattling & my bones from turning cold on my sheetless bed;

let's say i'm forgetting where to find the planets you say give
absolution of typhus & words like the color of your hallowed dog;

let's say i tell time by the number of bowls i've stirred, dusty corn
meal & milk residue live in the ionosphere of my salty fore arms;

let's say the tears i get diving into clay bases are stigmata,
& my hair is like a peach i saw you bite into when you were here.

let's just say i'm losing you pulling up alongside, asking me to come
with your sun-diluted eyes, saying i'm pretty, asking my name.

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