to all the poems i have never posted

they stare at me with hollow eyes
& really, i have tried to like them
but i don’t–

i scrubbed ‘em in the bath tub,
tongue-kissed, dyed their hair and
shifted them across the page like
a mad man’s game of chess, i

threw the pawn, bribed the queen &
kidnapped every tower
without much success–

now they’re spilled across the living room,
run in crazy circles on the carpet,
playing catch me with the cat and
some of them get eaten,
others disappear in cracks between the timber floor,
the rest lies bleeding on my lap–

“why not recycle them?”
my husband is a hands-on man
and even though he’s not a fan of poetry,
he has compassion for the words that
lie with ruffled hair and broken legs
behind the cushions on the couch
and he apologizes
when he sits upon one accidentally–
but honestly–

who wants to write a poem with recycled words,
labeled: “ i have been a tire” or
“my mother was a PET”
“maybe you should take them for a walk”
he says and wipes some from the glass
before he pours a drink–
“or what about a movie night–?”
nah, i tell him that i plan
to grow feathers in my armpits,
mainly cause i want to fly but maybe–

i could also nurse some
broken poems in the warmth–?

shaking his head, he
packs them sandwiches and pulls
a bunch of sparklers from the drawer,
takes a bow, distributes and lights ‘em, gosh–
there must be hundreds, then
he puts his arm around my shoulder
as we’re standing in the driveway
& with blurry eyes,
watch ‘em swaying twinkling flames
before they disappear around the bend
in a happy giggling firework parade

.

it’s FormForAll again at dVerse and we have a special guest, tending bar today.. jump over there at 3pm EST when the doors swing open…and in case you meet some giggling poems on the road…just bring them along…smiles

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57 responses to “to all the poems i have never posted

  1. Such a chortling, light-hearted poem celebrating the proper type of final party for those unpublished words you decided should NEVER be published. I love this, and your husband’s wonderful support!

  2. I have this whole collection… sometimes I pull things from all the castaways and put them together into something readable.
    Thank you for ALL your poems!

  3. I have a roomful of the things myself… what to do? – ah, must try the husband’s solution, starting with packing ‘em sandwiches (love that!) and seeing them off into that “happy giggling firework parade”

  4. Oh the tinkling and twinkling of your imagination crumpling rose-covered cushions, blazing across the night sky, settling like feathers of the dove on the tiniest twig at the end of the tree limb by my bedroom window. I see you there sparkling all the time. Your poems are magic.

  5. I can definitely feel your pain, on a daily basis, but you put this experience to good work in the poem. These two lines were a really funny way to used recycled lines: “my mother was a PET” / “maybe you should take them for a walk.” I also liked your visual analogy of the editing and revision process: i scrubbed ‘em in the bath tub, / tongue-kissed, dyed their hair and / shifted them across the page like / a mad man’s game of chess.

  6. I believe that there is something about those broken poems that says “come back to me when you are ready” that keeps us from tossing them out, much like the scraps of paper that I keep or the tiny phrases that have yet to bloom. And does it matter “Who wants to read them?” when the joy is giving birth to them? Wonderful poem, Claudia.

  7. Lovely!
    I used to throw out all my old scraps, once wrote a whole novel over over 135,000 words and because it was rejected 3 times, I deleted it off my (then) tiny 4.5 gig hard drive and threw every single page out. And a friend asked me if I was crazy. LOL I lived and learned.
    Wonderful writing.

  8. I really love this part:

    “i scrubbed ‘em in the bath tub,
    tongue-kissed, dyed their hair and
    shifted them across the page like
    a mad man’s game of chess”

  9. ROTF! This is pure genius!

    I am laughing all through this wonderful, inventive, ALIVE poem…..it is sooo joyful…

    and yeah, what the hell do you do with all those broken, unfinished poems that langour around with piteous eyes as you pass?

    LOL!….this is the fate of EVERY poet…and yes….we try to love them, but perhaps beckoning them into the car, taking them on a long trip to a farm, and leaving them there!!! They will survive (most of them) and become even fiercer (eating mice.)

    Loved this poem….still laughing.

    Lady Nyo

  10. Wow Claudia, I LOVE this…..sometimes I think you are in my head or I am in yours..I just love this…nah, i tell him that i plan
    to grow feathers in my armpits,
    mainly cause i want to fly but maybe–

    i could also nurse some
    broken poems in the warmth–?

    AWESOME!

  11. I love this! Mine are stuffed in drawers, boxes and under the bed. Sometimes I take them out to give them a second chance, but…yeah…no. Maybe I’ll take them into the wild and set them free. Great writing!

  12. smiles…like this much claudia…the care of our old children, poems birthed…sometimes we do have to …and maybe give them a hair cut…like the growing of feathers…and the fireworks at the end as well…def visual and in your own style…smiles…

  13. Love it, the whole idea, visuals, humor, fantasy. Really a tour de force of imagination and wordplay. There are so many creative metaphors and images that inundate me with an exuberance and charm that just sweep me off my feet. No analysis possible, except perhaps to say that your love of words and life are so intertwined there is nothing left but a wild heart in my soul.

  14. Wonderful take on the prompt and an original look at those discarded poems that somehow don’t find direction. I keep mine in a box in the wardrobe…taken out from time to time but they go back… Great write!

  15. Oh, all the b-sides as I call them, the island of misfit poems….sigh…yep, I have folders upon folders, littering the shelves of my closet and then more in the attic…I used to write alot in high school and never did anything with them. Since I started blogging I pulled them out, actually retooled a few and posted them, read through a lot of them, but either that writer is not me now, or I felt embarrassed by them…they just rest…but I can’t bear to get rid of them…but I’m like that with a lot of things…really nice visuals here, and a great storytelling. Nice write claudia, thanks.

  16. I love your view of the world, Claudia and how you express that…and I love this wonderful narrative of your castaway poems…and you brought your husband into the mix too…very cute!

  17. I’m going to get my best beloved to read this! Maybe she’ll understand why the piles that just keep growing linger on. If not, at least it’s done my old heart good. A thousand thank yous!

  18. now they’re spilled across the living room,
    run in crazy circles on the carpet,
    playing catch me with the cat and
    some of them get eaten,
    others disappear in cracks between the timber floor,
    the rest lies bleeding on my lap–

    I love this stanza the most. Unlike you I put every single thing I write on my blog whether they be good or bad. Although I must say I just write because I have had so much spare time on my hands lately and its nothing too serious for me, maybe one day I might start taking classes and make something out of it but not for a long while yet :)

  19. I had to laugh at this because I can relate:

    my husband is a hands-on man
    and even though he’s not a fan of poetry,
    he has compassion for the words that
    lie with ruffled hair and broken legs
    behind the cushions on the couch

  20. Oh my this was delightful. It reminds me of when a couple of lines came to me while cooking . I immediately stopped and scribbled the lines down, but had to quickly return to the pot I was stirring. By the time I was done cooking, I had forgotten all about the lines. Three days later a friend of mine hands me a paper towel with writing on it. “Rai, I found this next to the sugar, you dropped some verse again.” It was her kitchen I was cooking in at the time.

  21. Where the hell do I start. Firstly…you tackle a subject that is so close to any writers heart. The ones that don’t make it. they might be the early ones, or the once that have been forced, maybe the ones you didn’t really believe in. All I know is…we all have them….they can happen at any time. Do we keep them? stack the cupboard shelves with them? or do we get rid of them? not be precious? Difficult call.

    Secondly- you turn it into SUCH a descriptive and beautiful poem… I could see the paper floating across the floor- the cats pawing at them, the pages slipping through the floorboards- you bought the pieces of paper to life.

    your style….no one write like this.

    My fave-

    now they’re spilled across the living room,
    run in crazy circles on the carpet,
    playing catch me with the cat and
    some of them get eaten,
    others disappear in cracks between the timber floor,
    the rest lies bleeding on my lap–

  22. I have tons of unposted. I do keep them hoping they might work someday or maybe a lightbulb will go on in my head and I suddenly know how to ‘fix” them. I guess some drafts are just words in the head, one stepping stone to lead to others. I don’t know. :)

  23. Love it and so true – I can’t imagine how many megabytes of unused extremely average (at best) ‘material’ I have. Thanks for encapsulating it!

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