Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I need some input!

Hi friends, family and (possibly) fans. I'm not a poet, really. I have no formal training beyond my love of Whitman, Cummings, Frost, Blake and Shakespeare. But I keep trying.

And now I want to enter a contest. I've written a poem, revised and edited it for quite some time, and now it's time to submit it. But first, I want to post it here and see if you all would give me some tips. 

Don't worry about copyright. It's protected just fine. 

Here it is:

Ice Cream

Trickles of light
in a hall of books toys clothes and cat food
eddy and squirm around me
casting my shadow
on hardwood
resting on four forms. They
settle gently, breathing softly, one snuffling in sleep
and others- lips parted stomachs sighing- sing.

My lovelies sing a harmony
of whispering breathing and sleep creeping close.
I imagine that dreams
begin to glimmer
behind their closed lids.
both blue and green- an inheritance from she and me- see
nothing. But imaginations begin to fire and I turn
from the room.

My heart
is heavythick with memory of
climbing trees, houses bursting with strangers,
long lectures from non-parents
always moving.
Playing monopoly risk chess checkers cops and robbers
with roommates not family.
Who is my father?
Where is my mother?
Who are all these people?
Was this family- all jumbled confused and angry?

Was this life?
Filled with boredom, rigid rules
candles incense rituals oil
empty of motherhugs and fathertalks.
Was this disorderly, off-key, strain-to-fit
melody my song?

Her voice echoes
off glimmering hardwood
pictures framed and couches stained.
She spins
tales of crafts legos books tears and hugs.
This is the harmony I love
the song I sought.
Her hand, chapped from vented heat
touches my arm.
Her fingers
entwine with mine
her smile
filled with wifelove, mothersweetness
draws me back to light
to life- present, real, sweet like ice cream- and family.

So tell me what you think please. I will be submitting this on Friday morning. 

And as for Servant of the King, when this week of getting submissions ready for contests is over, I'm going after it big time. I intend to get this book done within a couple of months, then revised and sent out and all of that by June. 

I will be a successful writer. Why? Because it turns out I can write and I am pretty lucky. Plus-- as the emperor in Return of the Jedi would say, "It is my dessssstiny." 

So even if my dad has to cut off my hand. Or even if I have to shrink, turn green and grow big, rotten apricot ears. Or even if I have to kick an ewok-- I'll be successful. 


Mary Campbell said...

This is the poem you had me read in a crowded noisy room at LTUE. I thought the beginning part was about your childhood, but now that I read it again, I realize someone is looking at their sleeping children and looking back on their rough childhood and comparing it to the happiness and contentment of now. I would assume that your describing you own life.
I really like the way you describe the sleeping lovelies. I'm very intrigued by the middle section. The childhood with no parent love and roommates instead of family with incense ritual oils. Love the line - Her voice echoes off glimmering hardwood pictures framed and couches stained.
Good luck with your contest.

JaredNGarrett said...

Hi Mary
Thanks for your thoughts. I actually did some pretty major revision after LTUE, and you got precisely what I was hoping my audience would get out of it.
Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

OK Jared,
I have nothing helpful to say but I do love this poem. My favorite line is "My lovelies sing a harmony of whispering breathing and sleep creeping close." Love it! From Lale

JaredNGarrett said...

Wow! Hi Lale. What a wonderful surprise to see you here. Thanks for the boost- it's actually very helpful for a needy writer like me.

Stop by again!

Chris Garvin said...

I'm not much of a poet myself, but I really enjoyed it. Great imagery, and lots of different emotions. I hope you do well in the contest! But either way, I feel like this poem is an achievement.

Chris Garvin said...

One other thing. There was one phrase I didn't understand, but maybe it's just me..."steam wrinkled hands" left me wondering. Probably too late now, but thought I'd at least share.

Kristi Stevens said...

Yes Jared, you are a writer. And you have the right attitude to match. Keep it up. I'm cheering you on.

JaredNGarrett said...

Thanks Kristi!