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William Haskins
03-09-2016, 04:45 AM
.............................Forgive that
.............................I did not write.
.............................Days being what
.............................they are, matters

Press me into
the earth until
the sky
is but a

Speck of light,

Tracing across my weary eye. But this is
a mere excuse.

The truth is, I fluently write
the language, but understand not a
single word. To be burdened with such
reckless negligence renders me low,
unable to bear tearing open my breast so
you may dig in vain for a heart.

The truth is, I grow quieter every day;
what thoughts once raced through me
like raw electricity now crawl slow through
my blood like mud.

Truly yours,

Kylabelle
03-09-2016, 04:54 AM
Wonderful.

CassandraW
03-09-2016, 05:42 AM
The formatting -- like a personal letter -- is just brilliant.

Making "speck of light" the salutation line to me implies that the person to whom the letter is addressed is just that -- a speck of light (alas, only a speck) in the bleak world of the narrator. He'd like to open up to the would-be recipient of the unwritten letter -- the thrice-repeated use of truth/truly, the implied wish that he could tear open his breast and expose his heart -- but cannot bear it. His depression will not allow him even to summon the energy to write the letter explaining his silence; his regret about this brings him lower still ("To be burdened with such/reckless negligence renders me low").

Another gut punch, William.

Stew21
03-09-2016, 06:21 PM
oh wow.

and don't know what to say.

This makes me ache in recognition

and as always you present it and write it better than I know how. These words know me better than I know myself.

That hurts too.

William Haskins
03-09-2016, 06:49 PM
thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

Stew21
03-09-2016, 08:46 PM
just to clarify, what makes it hurt is what makes it accurate, real and relatable.

it's not the kind of hurt that needs to be avoided; it's the kind that makes the experience what it should be.

Nothing wrong with feeling it. Nothing wrong with being overpowered by it on occasion.

it's a spur. I, for one, could use a spur to the backside.

I happen to think that feeling unpleasant things can be considered a compliment to the writer who made me feel them.

The only real disaster in poetry is indifference.

Kylabelle
03-09-2016, 08:53 PM
My greatest compliment to a poem is when my first feeling is something about "I should really quit trying to write." I won't, and don't, and can't, of course, and excellent poems ultimately stimulate me to write more. But what this means is that in the moment of reading I am so enthralled with the achievement of the words I can't imagine equaling it.

This poem is a step up the ladder in your writing, William, I believe. The complete simplicity of the use of structure for maximum effect, the complete lack of any verbal "poeticisms" (not that you employ them) to the extent this is recognizable as an actual letter one might write (aside from the formatting) is the kind of mastery I aspire to. There's a sturdy bridge here between the ordinary (the letter) and the extraordinary (the impact and skill of the poetics) that really sings. You've pared down anything of excess and left only raw bone.

Very beautiful.

Perks
03-09-2016, 11:36 PM
oh wow.

and don't know what to say.

This makes me ache in recognition




just to clarify, what makes it hurt is what makes it accurate, real and relatable.

it's not the kind of hurt that needs to be avoided; it's the kind that makes the experience what it should be.

Nothing wrong with feeling it. Nothing wrong with being overpowered by it on occasion.

I happen to think that feeling unpleasant things can be considered a compliment to the writer who made me feel them.



What's tremendous is that this poem works both ways. This is not a feeling I recognize, but I know it now. And you're right, the instruction is worth the hurt.

kborsden
03-10-2016, 01:14 AM
The truth is, I fluently write
the language, but understand not a
single word.

:) That... I think I've read many poems that say this about their author without the actual words, just the way they read.

William Haskins
03-10-2016, 04:35 AM
thank you again for all the kind comments.

Stew21
03-10-2016, 05:45 AM
3 things happened today.
One always happens; i find a key idea, image, phrase i want to explore. Then don't find time to explore.
Sometimes i jot it down.
Two: i read this poem.
Three: i saw a Pablo Picasso quote about inspiration being there but it will only find you working.
So there's a giant hammer now.

And suddenly I'm playing with one of my hundreds of abandoned "seeds".
Thanks, William.

William Haskins
03-10-2016, 05:49 AM
fuck yes. go write.

Stew21
03-10-2016, 05:53 AM
I need to change my answer about compliments to poets.
If you can make me write...

Thank you.

Stew21
03-10-2016, 05:57 AM
Just know the next thing i write has your boot tread tattoed on it

Sarita
03-10-2016, 08:46 PM
I just returned from a mini-vacation to this gem. I read it once and then told the podcast I'd been listening to in the background to shut up so I could read it aloud a few times. The form took me by surprise, as you stretch even more into the poetic mad genius that you are. Your word choice never disappoints. The sibilance of "reckless negligence" is divine, and the adjoining lines are achingly poignant. But my favorite is the closing. The entire thing reminds me of one of my favorite songs, that Dar Williams wrote for Townes Van Zandt. If I Wrote You (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZMs8gujz8o).

William Haskins
03-11-2016, 09:10 PM
thank you, sara.