Monday’s Verse 6/26/2017

Readers,

I caught 1/2 of an interview with Sherman Alexie on Fresh Air last week. It was pretty awesome. As he says, Mr. Alexie has been the "Indian du jour," for a pretty long time now, and you’ve probably heard of him. He’s written novels, poems, essays, memoirs, and was briefly famous in the mid-1990s for "Smoke Signals," a short story from which he co-wrote a screenplay, which became an art-house favorite movie. He was born on the Spokane Indian reservation in 1966, and for more on his life I’d take a listen to that Terry Gross interview, or read the transcript.

The one thing that had me glued to my seat during the interview was this short poem he read; it’s one of the chapters of his new memoir. I know some of you out there really cleave to rhymed and measured poetry, and I think this one will satisfy you. I had to take a guess at the line breaks, since all I have is the radio transcript to go by. I thought this one was really powerful, in a Dylan Thomas or Elizabeth Bishop sestina sort of way. -ed.

AFTER BRAIN SURGERY

I forget what I was trying to say.
One word or another gets in the way
of the word I was trying to use. Nothing stays.
I forget what I was trying to say,
so I say something else. I compensate.
Like a broken horse, I’ve learned a new gait.

But wait.

Are these the words I meant to say?
I think these rhymes help me to map the way.
I think these rhymes help me to map the way.
But wait –Are these the words I meant to say?
Am I a broken horse? Is this my new gait?

Damn. I’ve lost the path, so I’ll compensate
by repeating the words I meant to say.
But these words migrate. They refuse to stay
in place. This is my new life, my new way.
I forget what I was trying to say.

-2017

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s