Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Isn't that a town in Sweden? Or perhaps a kind of vodka. Anyway, a lovely young woman inspired me to write a poem.

Zero to Fifty
I take my measure, and it is zero:
Nobody invites me anywhere;
Nobody reads my poems, not even
My lovers, unless I twine
Around their legs and whine. Yet
Like everyone, I hold onto
A few signs the gods hold me
In some esteem. Count mine:
Nothing I care about has ever
Been stolen from me. I can sleep
Anywhere. Everywhere I ever lived
Has had an abundance of hot running water.
I step into the shower and watch
The water flow over tiles swirled
In grey and green and ochre,
All the colors of a beach at low tide.

Photo: Let the Right One In. I'm a social media vampire--you want me, you must invite me; I'm not allowed to invite anyone.


Micah Pollack said...

I take issue with the veracity of some of the lines here.

Slothrop said...

Yeah, that familiar feeling, of reading a born poet. You may measure yourself against others & think you come up short, but we're talking about a spirit that can't be quantified. It's true you get better with practice. But what you write is yours & nobody else can write like this.

Weird how this one reminds me (in a great way) of an early Smiths lyric. "Fifteen minutes with you...." A world where even intimacy is parceled out. To the minute. Fantastic first five lines, especially; your internal rhymes are as subtle as ever & your commands ("Count mine") are part of your unique style. I would never confuse your work w/ anyone's.

Is it just me, or are water & measuring (length, amounts, time) linked on some archetypal level? I've long been fascinated by clepsydras (water clocks); seem somehow closer to nature than sundials. Your last line about low tide breaks it all out; count is lost & all that's left is pure, cleansing sensation.

Slothrop said...

Oh yeah - have you read a lot of 'list' poems, or are you fond of 'list' songs? It seems like another element of your style. My favorite was "I Confess" by Dorothy, a single that came out on Industrial Records in 1980 & disappeared immediately. Should've been a hit. Brought out the hunger & shame behind hipster self-definition brilliantly.

libramoon said...