Journal 6- Anaphora

I remember the worst pain was scraping my knee on the sidewalk.

I remember my heart feeling like it was in one piece, and

I remember when you used to carry me on your shoulders.

I remember thinking you would live forever.

I remember everything you seem to be forgetting, but

 

I want my knees scraped to hell.

I want the heart I had before it needed patches.

I want to look down on the world from your shoulders,

I want you to be immortal with me.

I want you to store everything at the top of your head.

 

I want what I remember.

Journal 5

Life Cento

This is the world we wanted.

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.

This is the past,

where everything is perfect already and nothing changes,

once you lose someone it is never exactly

the same person who comes back.

He manages like somebody carrying a box that is

too heavy. He tells me I am the only woman he’ll ever love.

He was leaning on the barnyard gate. All of this

happening in a time no older than your last

heartbeat. For if a man should have been content

it was him. I kneel beside him to see how far

I might sink. If you eat too much of it,

you want more, you can never get enough.

Dreams, brains, fur, and guts: what we are,

oh yes, I can love all things, just not at the same time.

 

[Louise Gluck, John Berryman, Marie Howe, Sharon Olds, Jack Gilbert, Richard Jones, Etheridge Knight, Marcus Wicker, Paul Muldoon, Ocean Vuong, Ai, Molly Peacock, Jan Richman]

Journal 4

The cows stand under the trees in the wet grass, lifting their neck to pull leaves down.

We slow the truck, pull over to the side of the road to watch them.

How graceful they look, how unlike themselves.

We get out and lean on the fence.

The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

In this first version. I broke up the lines where there is a period. By doing so the poem still pretty much reads as a prose piece but with longer pauses at the end of each sentence. The longer end-stopped lines make the poem read at a slow pace. Just as how the speaker slows down to watch the cows, the reader is forced to slow down to essentially do the same.

The cows stand

under the trees

in the wet grass,

lifting their necks

to pull leaves down.

We slow the truck,

pull over to the side

of the road

to watch them.

How graceful they look,

how unlike themselves.

We get out and

lean on the fence.

The cows don’t seem

to notice we are there.

This version reads at a much quicker pace with the lines significantly shortened. By doing so the poem seems much less peaceful and rushed almost as if the speaker is constantly shifted their focus from one thing to the next. This pace does not fit well with the subjects of the poem as cows calmly grazing would not move at such a rapid pace and neither would someone slowing down to look at them.

The cows stand under the trees

in the wet grass, lifting their necks to pull leaves down.

We slow the truck, pull over to the side

of the road to watch them. How graceful they look,

how unlike themselves. We get out and lean on the fence.

The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

This version is a little freer in where the lines are broken up without losing the calm steady pace that matches well with the subject matter. By combining enjambed lines as well as end-stopped lines, it provides enough variety to prevent the poem from feeling monotone as if someone were reading sentence after sentence. There is a rhythm about this version that was not present in the other two.

Journal 3

Followed

Driving over the train tracks I noticed the headlights in my rearview

Mirror, they were as bright as a locomotive in the dark.

 

I turn left, hoping they turn right but they are following

Closely, as if I was the engine pulling a boxcar.

 

I try to figure out the make and model

But the night is as dark as coal.

 

My phone is next to me, I can call someone. The battery

Is low as if it has no more diesel left in its tanks.

 

It has been fifteen minutes and they remain

Behind me, speeding like they have a train to catch.

 

My heart races and I am unable

To catch my breath as if my car stopped on the tracks.

 

I make a sharp turn and they drive past. I make it

Home with relief like I just pulled into the station on time.

 

Followed (Revised)

Driving over the train tracks I notice the headlights in my rearview

Mirror, bright as the sun on a cloudless summer day.

Bright as the best crayon in the box.

Bright as a clichéd future.

 

I turn left, hoping they turn right but they are following

Closely, as if I were a tour guide at a museum.

As if I am their guardian angel.

As if I am the arrow on their GPS.

 

I try to figure out the make and model

But the night is as dark as my favorite eyeliner.

As dark as a movie theater before the movie starts.

As dark as a winter night.

 

It’s been fifteen minutes and they remain

Behind me, speeding like Alice’s white rabbit.

Like they are qualifying for the Daytona 500.

Like my frightened heart.

 

My phone is next to me, I can call someone. The battery

Is low like the bass tones of the song on my radio.

Low like the minimum wage.

Low like a whispered secret.

 

My heart races and I am unable

To catch my breath as if I just ran a mile.

As if I have been sobbing.

As if an elephant sat on my chest.

 

I make a sharp turn and they drive past. I make it

Home with relief as if I just found my lost phone

As if I passed a hard final.

As if the officer’s blue and red lights were for someone else.

Journal 2

Otters

Virginia Beach, I dream of the beach and the salty air.

The waves crashing against the rocks. Crash. Crash. CRASH!

I’m falling down the stairs again, I roll like an otter dancing in a river.

Otters have a pouch to keep their favorite rock,

Keeping it close like an old love letter you just can’t throw away.

I hope I didn’t break a bone.

Who knew you could fall down the stairs so many times?

Fall is one of the best seasons! Falling on the other hand…

I want a pet

Otter, I will have a house filled with otters.

I would run an otter sanctuary and raise baby otters,

Of course, one would have to be named “Almond Milk.”

That would be so lit!

There might be a bruise on my butt.

I hate the beach, all those rocks.

What would my favorite rock look like?

I could tie a garbage bag to my stomach as a pouch

To keep my favorite rock. Opa could help me find a rock.

These stairs are rocks and

I can’t stop falling.

There’s a scrape across my forearm where I tried

To catch myself. Forearm, stairs, back, stairs, ouch, stairs.

I get along with stairs about as well as Jennifer Lawrence.

Otters match me in grace, we glide and roll across the water but

The water hurts. Help me up.

Journal 1

Taste (15 words): Chocolate, queso, chip, peanut-butter, spinach, tea, orange, popcorn, peppermint, lime, metal, grape juice, sugar, butter, almond-milk

Touch (15 words): Heat, fur, pain, stifling, carbonated, prickly, itchy sweater, burlap, sand, marble, paint, satin, canvas, shock, rock

Smell (15 words): Roses, firewood, chlorine, gasoline, movie theater, garbage, eucalyptus, stale, alcohol, wax, bacon, sunscreen, cucumber, sea, perfume

Hearing (15 words): Barking, whir, ringing, tea kettle, screech, sizzle, pop, smash, boom, yell, thunder, prayer, snore, hum, drip

Sight (15 words): Blur, smudge, reflection, blinding light, dull, read, dust, book, painting, starry, fog, spots static, person, computer

Action/Motion (10 words): .Drive, run, dog, sweat, going, travel, bus, speed, vertigo, motor

Abstractions (3 words): Life, sadness, anxiety

Anything else (7 words): Purple, box, brick, Audrey, Sunday, mom, Van Gogh

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