Friday, October 1, 2010

Violent Nights

holding one eye open and one eye closed

thinking of street lights, cameras, and sex

behind a tower of palms.

four in the morning air stings like a drop on the eye,

a drop in a rusting pail of rain water and old leaves.

half-words tune in and out through a screen,

half reaching me sleeping, here and there.

stop. blinking.

busy, sleeping, eyes.

these violent nights, unframed, disturb

my consciousness, a made-up word.

eyelids stretch thin over grumbling thoughts

who wander, like ancient mariners hung.

one eye open, asbestos.

I enjoy how I use quite a bit of formal technique here even though a first glace shows little structure/form. Having just watched Rear Window for my film class, you'll see frames appear as a theme here (read visually). Also notice how the poem contains soft violence or is 'disturbed' through punctuation and imagery. As with most of my poetry, the commas and periods are entirely intentional so please read it that way in your head (or aloud...). The tower of palms line might not be clear... pretend you're very tired and then rub your eyes. Not a huge fan of the albatros epic but the S.T.C. reference just fit way better than the generic old man image I was going to use. If you're confused now you may have missed an English class or two.

Asbestos is a great word and should be used as often as possible. I've been reading Wheatley for my American Literature course this quarter and she italicizes heavily and with great purpose so i'm trying it out. Not quite to the effect Wheatley enjoys; i'm using it here simply to add some visual weight to the last three lines which are kind of just hanging there...