Friday, October 9, 2009

Relative Sickness

In a poetry workshop, we received a prompt to write a poem about an object. I chose a necklace my father gave me and it became a poem entirely about my feelings about him. Looking back it was not a very good poem, though it was replete with all the techniques I'd learned: concrete imagery, voice, dialgoue, suitable format -- more or less. Perhaps it was all too much. My feelings were much stronger in my mind than my amatuer attempts to demonstrate them, or so I thought. When I look over it now, I recognize them as my feelings, but something about the experience with my father has changed. We have not become any closer or more distant, rather I've moved past anger to resentment, a path leading to indifference. I don't want half-hearted people around me. I want to forgive him but it is hard for me to care. It's a gash that for too long has gone undressed. I often feel that resentment towards an absent father is such a cliche, and another reason why I ought to give up my anger. Still I think this sort of hurt has contributed to the individual I am, and not necessarily in a bad way. I would like to think that I am not the only victim in our relationship. So long as I carry on without a care for my father, it is something deep down that I want, that makes me feel better.
When I discovered PoetsOnline (which has a blogspot to accompany their site) I had to revisit the topic of my father again. Their prompt for the month of October is about sons and daughters or mothers and fathers. I decided to write about my father again. He is the subject of "Relative Sickness." I wish that I could write about my mother but I feel -- and this is probably a terrible thing to admit but true nonetheless -- that I have no strong feelings positive or negative that would drive me to write about her. I appreciate all the love she gives me and care and consideration but there is nothing in her character that intrigues, or bothers me to a point that I would seek to immortalize or verbalize it in my poetry. Perhaps that is more of a reason why I should continue to try.
I will submit my work to their site for the month of October after a few more hours of workshopping, hopefully they accept. The deadline for submissions is November 1. I suggest anyone else out there in cyberspace payng attention to me blog, submit a poem to the site as well. Until then, this is what I've done so far. For more information on PoetsOnline, check out their website at poetsonline.org or their blog at poetsonline.blogspot.com.



Relative Sickness


I want your absence something forgiveable

like a day spent at home because you're sick

the whites of eyes cracking into redness

from the body’s racking itself to sleeplessness,

the eyelids only slightly parted,

the mucus seeming to multiply,

the perimeter of face marked with sweat,

the muscles of the stomach wickedly pulsating,

the nausea rising its mashed tawny and pink bile of yesterday's eaten,

the constriction of the throat,

the swelled scarlet tonsils,

the hacking thrusting the clammed head forward,

then the driness, the voice scratched and unfamilar sounding,

and the room warped after lying still so long.



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