Monday, May 02, 2005

Ravenna at Dusk

Today when I looked in the mirror
I saw my father looking back.
I like walking alone at night.
One can be happy not only without love,
but despite it. It’s best to fertilize roses
in March, plant gladioli bulbs in October.
I love the sound of thunder before rain.
Country Western dancing can be fun.
Oak floors with a Swedish finish last longest.
Espresso after six will keep you awake
past two. Antique floor lamps are cheap
at Capitol Hill garage sales in summer.
What can you do to give your life meaning?
It’s useless to repair socks once the heels are out.
My married friends make babies because they can.
Bath towels stack best when folded in thirds.
I have always found the lives of mystics
and clerics more appealing. I still read
the funnies and sleep in late on Saturdays.
Life is not so much invented as composed.
In high school I loved my English teacher
and wrote my first poems for him.


Peter said...

This was my first published poem (outside of high school and undergrad lit mags). It appeared in the NW G&L Reader in Seattle in 1991. What's interesting to me about it: I still like it.

Esther said...

I love it!

Radish King said...

Me too!

Kells said...

me three.

thanks for sharing this, Peter.

Ivy said...

So full of longing... *swoon*

Emily Lloyd said...

I love it, too--it really gets cracking at "Country Western" for me--starts going places I didn't expect (which always makes me happy)...great stuff. My first published poem is a horror I never bring up [grin]

Peter said...

Thx E, R, K, I, E: Don't you think it would be really interesting to see other's "first published poem?" If willing to share, and not too embarrassed/horrified: post.

Radish King said...

Don't you think it would be really interesting to see other's first published poem?


Charles said...

I love it too!

Peter said...

Rebecca: Show me yours and I'll show you mine.

Ooops! You've already seen it. Hahaha (grin)

Robert said...

Here's mine, from high school (a haiku, of course):

Dark glasses
hiding eyes from a shady world
seeing me, are removed

Actually I guess it's my first poem, not first published, but yeah, Peter's is better!

Suzanne said...

My first published poem featured a dead kitten, broken glass and white panties. It was picked up by a zine with porno shots between poems--a friend even bought me a beer when I got the acceptance--yep, those were the days.

Emily Lloyd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emily Lloyd said...

Okay, okay, but no damn laughing. What's so awful is that this poem shared space in an anthology of, ahem, contemporary lesbian love poems and WAS ON THE SAME PAGE AS AUDRE LORDE. So some people must have seen it, even if they tried not to. (again, this is outside of hs and undergrad mags--I was 19)

At the Michigan Festival, 1994
for Trish

[editorial comment: you're barfing already, aren't you? Also, I'm putting slashes where breaks after long lines were, because my sonnet breaks didn't come out right here the other day]

Brown skin, gold hair, green eyes--
you were the color of the woods you led me through/
to the hammock some lovers had stretched/
between two trees
and perhaps you'd been one of the lovers,/
I didn't ask.
My mother warned her son

about girls like you,
but you only wanted to talk: about your women,/
one who was too attentive, one
who ignored you./
I listened, but not too attentively,/
letting a daydream lazily rise
and settle into the haze between our bodies.
The hammock rocked us closer together,/
squashing it.

You lit each Camel impatiently,
as if it should have been lit the moment/
a smoke occurred to you, lying in wait/
for your warm lips.
Rattled on for an hour, ignoring me really, but eventually
you couldn't ignore
the hammock.
Its shameless rhythm reminded you
of something. We kissed.

You're good, you said, surprised,/
but I wasn't insulted. Girl,

I'd have waited all afternoon
to occur to you.

[I'm showing this to be game, NOT!!! for comments--it shall never be seen again {grin} oh sigh oh hell I wish it had a dead kitten]

Peter said...

Em: Thanks for this. I was rocked.

Peter said...

Suzanne: A porno/poetry mag? My oh my. Now I've heard everything.

Suzanne said...

It was probably the best lesson for a beginning poet ever: read the journal before you submit. *lol*

Ivy said...

Hi Peter, I put up an early poem on me blog.

Yes, I said 'me blog'. [I can be so ocker sometimes.] :-)