Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Highly anticipated poetry debut!

I heard that there had been clamorings for my stuff, and now that Chris has opened the door to posting revisions, I guess I will follow his lead. This is something I am playing with, sort of two poems in one that also uses some prose poem form. Is that too high-concept? I don't know. Keep in mind that it's a draft. Also, technically, all the things in italics plus the stanza that starts "The night manager should be in separate columns on the right side of the page (the blog format will not let me publish it that way).

I pity the girls lying with their boy-fri-
ends in hot motel rooms.
I pity the lampshade, cocked askew,
beating a single-bulb light on their faces
like there was nothing but the truth.

It isn’t the sun that grows the pines straight.

The innocent waves might be lumping
themselves onto the shore below,
or the reeds whistling an empty-mouthed
tune to the sand.

the skin around a knuckle.

And the big motel drained for the winter,
and cars moored in the parking lot, their
fat-lipped tires circumfrenced by in sand.

the salt over the back.

But they stroll boozily along the vomit-
frothed beaches, while the waves beat
each other like wet sheets.

The night manager and the cook in the
diner both believe they have no parallel in history, and entered the world before pain.

Far away, the night drains the streets of
beach houses and lampposts,
or a soggy fence that catches the spill of
the dunes. All these things are fastened
to the ground, but slip away into silence,
not protesting at all at the disappearance.

Or something like that.


Chris S said...

Awesome, Erin. I really like "vomit-frothed beaches." So kind yet so true.

Jeff D said...


A new and exciting voice. I'm impressed, this poem is comlex yet full of well-crafted phrases. I look forward t' reading more soon.

kathryn said...

Oh, Erin, your poems always make me feel. I love this one; it makes me long to read more of you poems. I miss them.

Things I love:
-the entire first stanza
-the word "mooring"--you hardly ever hear that word
-obviously, the beach imagery
-that it is the motel itself, not its pool, that is drained
-the wet sheets.

The motel thing reminds me a little bit of the Crying of Lot 49, which, even though it is a very little book, I cannot finish to save my life.

I just finished on audiobook The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which I think you would like. Have you read it yet?

kathryn said...

re: stanza that starts "the night manager" --break after "parallel"?