Exactly;

  • 08:05:07 pm on September 9, 2008 | 0
    Tags: ,

    Spent a significant part of the day reworking “Syano”, which for reference purposes had the following form as the first (sort of) draft:

    He finally left the night
    your mother wept for the last time.
    You clench a fist still wet with drool,
    pound your overlarge head
    against your mother’s breast, mouth your first word
    on her nipple; she moans and leaves you in turn.
    In the morning, the neighbors poke your cheeks,
    checking for extra teeth, gaping wounds,
    marks of sin, but eventually they take you in.
    You grow to be a farmer, with muscles
    of packed soil and a carabao’s wits,
    so everyone believes you when
    you tell them you are happy,
    that the fields flourish beneath your feet,
    and that the sky is mostly blue.
    Eventually you lose half your teeth,
    but still your wife complains of sore nipples
    and bitten tongues. The children have learned,
    early on, how to snore at will.
    You never had the words, farmer,
    so while the neighbors sleep,
    go sit on your stoop,
    let the night air puff up your baby cheeks and leave.

    ***

    Now, I’ve made only a little progress so far:

    He finally left the night
    your mother wept for the last time.
    You clench a fist still wet with drool,
    pound your head against your mother’s breast,
    and mouth your first word on her skin;
    still, she leaves silently in turn.
    In the morning, you do not hear

    the neighbors digging. They take you in,
    nurse you on cow’s milk, swaddle you in the dirt-
    stained clothes you would quickly outgrow.
    *
    *
    *
    *

    Eventually, you lose your teeth
    but still your wife complains of sore nipples
    and bitten tongues. (The children have
    learned, early on, how to snore at will.)
    You never had the words, so
    as the neighbors sleep, sit on your stoop,
    let the night air rush by your cheeks and leave.

    ***

    Yeah, yeah, I’m missing four lines. But although it may not be obvious from this partial first revision, I believe I’ve cleared up a lot of things about this poem in my head. I have a better idea of what I want to tackle within it: progression, cycles, an entire life compressed into three strophes.

    I guess this is what they call procrastination.

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