Poetry Slam Fail

September 9, 2009 § 10 Comments

quarry lakeYesterday, someone asked me if I had ever considered entering Poetry Slam. I said no, my poems were too short. But I considered this a challenge of sorts (although it was not intended to be) and today I sat down to write one.

I did and had my daughter read it. Gently, she shook her head. She was right.

Here’s the non-slam version.


The Quarry

I’m watching the waves, butt frowning under the weight of my belly,
rocks pinching muscle less cheeks, the day long gone.
The wind is whipping fierce on the quarry lake
with its green water and the pup is swimming yelping high and strong.
And he plays the waves, swimming against the current with no fear
as I watch from the shore. Live in the moment, live in the moment,
I tell myself as I breathe the heavy drops of peace and wet the storm clouds bring.

At work we swim upstream in corridors long swollen damp;
we push past each other, our silent prayers crowding the halls
so we can hardly pass. Don’t let it be me, don’t let it be me, don’t let it be me.
It’s the same prayer we’re praying, it’s the same shame, the same wish, and work slows as screensavers take up the lament, screaming neon font
Don’t Let It Be Me Don’t Let It Be Me and then keyboards melt under the shame
dripping off the walls as we wonder who will be left.


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