I think of the day you were born.
So small, you quivered in this cold new world.
I remember those first couple of years,
as you struggled to come to terms with
this land of giants with high-pitched voices and
I’ve heard your gibberish chatter
form foreign words and phrases.
I wonder if your language of ga-ga’s and goo-goo’s
held more meaning than any language I know now.
What secrets from the womb and the world before
were you trying so desperately to convey?
No one understands.
Maybe it is beyond our comprehension.
It has become everyone’s dead language,
and now it has already become one for you too.
I’ve seen your innocence,
and the moments that gave a glimpse
into the inevitable loss of it:
Oh why do you cry so, when your mother must attend to your brother?
And stick out your tongue and make that nasty face,
when all I try to do is nourish your body?
But the purity of your smile,
and your heart-filled laugh,
make all amends for me.
Who says you need perfect teeth to have the perfect smile?
You seemed to be able to pull it off just fine without a single pearly white.
No doubt, a picture of you (placed in the right magazines and ads, of course)
can render all orthodontists unemployed.
Soon enough, your day will come.
After these current obstacles of monkey bars and swings,
after school, friends, jobs, maybe a bit of rebellion, and more jobs,
someone else will come into your world,
speaking a language vaguely familiar but foreign,
smiling a beautiful smile that,
if pasted onto your own “grown-up” face, would be ugly.
And you’ll wonder as I do today,
“Was I really once just like you?”
Sigur Ros – “Hoppipolla” (follow link)
I hate when people immediately assume that whatever you write (especially when you write fiction) is directly about you, the writer/author. We’re in the freakin’ 21st century people. What with all this post-modernist/modernist writing floating around for damn near a hundred years, with all its quirky meta-fictional tricks and inverted/reversed/weird narrative voices and styles, you would think that people would be past that rather out-dated, elementary assumption. No, I’m not really mad…I’m just trying to sound cool and cynical, like all the cool, arty, liberal (oh yes, liberal, you gotta be liberal to be cool these days…j/k you political wackos…that goes for you conservative political wackos who may be laughing right now too. Or the way-too-apathetic political wackos as well…like me) writer-folk that hang around my English classes.
Anywho, the above poem was actually an assignment where I had to take someone’s poem and revise it any way I want and turn it in by the next class. I think it was worth a gi-normous TEN points. I did it over a year ago and I just got it back from my prof. today, along with the rest of my work from that class which she told me she had recycled, but magically found again last week.
Well I hope Geoffrey Mote doesn’t mind me putting his poem up on my blog. Maybe he’s one of those extremely weird nerds who google their names all the time (yes, I’m talking about you) and he’ll end up at this blog to tell me to take it down. (Update: I just googled his name and the first sentence of this paragraph is the first entry. Damn my blog is the cool place to be. I will be taking requests for people who want shout-outs now.) Until then, here is his poem which I mangled, marred, and cut up to make into my poem:
To My Aging Nephew:
by Geoffrey Mote
It’s funny to think of the day you were born,
So small you quivered with the cold new world.
I’ve watched you grow,
Over the past five years.
Approaching your sixth
With so many laughs and even some tears
I’ve heard your gibberish chatter;
Form words and phrases.
I’ve seen your innocence and mischief,
Through all kinds of phases.
The purity of your smile,
And your heart-filled laugh.
Makes me wonder will the future
Be as good as the past
The first time you said my name
Is something I’ll never forget.
I wondered if you knew who I was
Then found out you did!
I can’t wait to see the trouble you’ll start
It’ll be as if I was living inside your shaping heart
Soon enough your day will come
You’ll watch someone grow too.
Just remember you were once them
And they will soon be you.
I think maybe Geoffrey was supposed to revise my revision and then it would come back to me and so on and so forth until I finish the final draft (since he did the first draft). But I think we were over it.
Some more songs I think are the bomb-diggity right now (follow links):
Kanye West ft. Chris Martin – “Homecoming”
Thom Yorke – “Analyse”
Guns ‘n’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
Mae – “Brink of Disaster”
Common ft. Lily Allen – “Drivin’ Me Wild”
Aretha Franklin – “I Say a Little Prayer for You”
Satchel Page – “The Moment I Wake Up
Okkervil River – “Unless It’s Kicks”
Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”
Spoon – “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”
Ben Folds Five – “Army”
Feist – “1234”