Thursday, July 2, 2009

Time-capsule poetry

Sasha's mom recently ported some old documents to a new computer, and she found e-mails I'd sent Sasha back in 1996. At the time, Sasha ran a site called The Sweetest Cherry that published original poetry, and two of the e-mails contained poems from my 17-year-old self. I herewith republish them, noting only that the first won an award and the second is almost unbearably pretentious in the way that only teenage poetry can be.


If you'll stroke my coals
With my favorite feather
I'll make us both
A cup of tea
We'll drink it like the Japanese
Slurping politely
I'll recline
You'll bite my knees

You'll wear olives
On your index fingers
I'll put bagpipes
On the stereo
Then we'll lie there
Almost together
The wolves will howl
And the snow will snow


Christened in Red Dye 40
I was, first of my generation
To be initiated crimson
Into life. And since that day
I've felt a deep vermilion shadow
Following me. Confessed, I have,
To many an analyst
My bloody torment:
Swathed in gory vividness,
I enter offices, shake hands,
And lie on couches,
Only to discover
Through their words of numb compassion
That the little blood my body holds
Must be content to hang in clouds
Around me, changing breath and love
And rest into ordeals of suffocation.
My veins lie idle,
I feel no pulsing in my breast,
And I am nebulous in the mirror glass.

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