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NaPoWriMo 1--8

Author: saartha
ASL Info:    27/F/US
Elite Ratio:    4.01 - 230 /393 /145
Words: 449
Class/Type: Poetry /Misc
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The first eight days of my NaPoWriMo attempts.

April 1st: I currently live six thousand miles away from my family.
April 2nd: Fibonacci sequence.
April 3rd: Jack-of-All. Also, a bit of a lampoon against surrealism.
April 4th: Traveling.
April 5th: On mothers.
April 6th: A teacher was killed by the police during a peaceful protest in Rabat. Moroccans love their country, but there is now a 'but'.
April 7th: Expectations and acceptance.
April 8th: Perspective.

NaPoWriMo 1--8

April 1, 2011

Father's posture told me
be happy, be safe. I love you,
I love you. His face
as a cliff, his hands an ocean.

I boarded the plane, my face
a rock flower, my hands
two trembling islands.

April 2, 2011

in the light.
Dusk dapples all things
with this darkly heavy rainfall.

April 3, 2011

I become a woman who
must become, and so I become
a drifting sea, a valley
filled with duck calls,
the lean-to in
my sister's chest.

When you become everything, can you
become anything
with meaning?

April 4, 2011

The last train south
fetches up against the mountain.
I have never felt so much
like driftwood. Leaning heavily
on the window, the Berber woman's sleeping face
is dotted as though by rain
with green tattoos.

I forget where I am going, have come from,
that there is anything beyond this dim booth
and the pressing night.
Half-asleep, I imagine her tattoos
dripping away; I wonder
how her family will know her.

Dawn breaks open like a raw egg.
She shares an orange slice, I offer
my bread and cheese. Giving
is our only language.

The mountain subdues into an open plain as if
it has always been an open plain.
Shocked, the train
hesitates then surges forward.

It changes me minutely. I wonder--
how will my family know me?

April 5, 2011

Mother, now and again,
shows her teeth. To me, this
is femininity: softness, warmth,
the hidden steel.

April 6, 2011

In Fes, I stumble
across a protest. Min ajl
dustur houri the men cry,
constitution, freedom, don't make us
be Egypt.

A dead teacher bleeds quietly
in each eye. I wonder
at this loyalty, this love
for country, that I
have no part of.

April 7, 2011

I learn to embrace
the screaming rabbit
within me. It is teeth
wild eyes

There is a peculiar comfort in
embracing, the reality that corners
are made to be backed into. Screaming
becomes a state of being.

But it is still screaming, constant
and shrill. There is still trembling, a vicious
giving-up. Later, I learn
to simply shoot the poor thing.

April 8, 2011

The answer is always
build something
and abandon it. Come back after
five years, find the vacuum
of space, which knows only
the meaning of absence.

No matter the question,
that is the answer.

Submitted on 2011-04-09 08:03:01     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  As a general comment on your words and work (and I may have said this before) -- it startles. The imagery startles, the metaphor, the more philosophical, questioning aspects, the answers you provide. The very ideas -- their essence startles.

It always makes for a good read. An interesting read. And it makes me wish that you posted more often, ha.

Your tone, too -- I can never think of the word which could describe it. Something like jaded, maybe, but less sharp than that. Perhaps there often seems to be a dull disappointment -- but that balanced with a natural observation of the things around you, an interest, a love, even. And that also makes for a good read. Your words emote, always. Quietly, just enough to linger.

This collection is no exception. I know you say they feel too forced for you to enjoy them fully, but I think maybe, if you have the desire, you should 'force' pieces more often. Maybe. Because the results seem to be good.

I too enjoy the travelling aspects of this. I, completely accidentally, bought a collection of work written by writers who have been exiled from their homeland. Obviously you are not that, but some quality of dislocation vibrates at a smiliar frequency.

That seems to allow the observations made to feel apart, separate from you -- and how that feels next to your connecting with them is lovely. (blech at syntax) A sort of double thing -- like holding two, quite opposing thoughts in your head at the exact same time.

The attention to detail is also amazing. I'm thinking specifically of the first piece, the cliff/rock flower, sea/island -- the saying so much in such a sparse way.

This part --

I become a woman who
must become, and so I become
a drifting sea, a valley
filled with duck calls,
the lean-to in
my sister's chest.

-- is a perfect example of ideas which startle, though the whole piece is littered with
them. The transitions between the separate images are unusual, unexpected; as are the images themselves. That lean-to is more than sublime.

Anyway, I could do this working from top to bottom, but I expect you'll get bored of it, so yes. Just praise praise praise.

Excellent work.
| Posted on 2011-04-16 00:00:00 | by AlyRose | [ Reply to This ]
I, too, love how this comes together as a whole. Apart, each poem stands alone and provokes different reactions and thoughts, but together, it is more than subtle continuation -- it's spellbinding. I loved its succinctness, the imagery entwined in its succinctness, how each line didn't linger longer than it should.

And, as a travel journal (the feel of it at least), it hit home.

Each image is so fitting. I especially love how carefully chosen, delicate, yet strong they feel, without ever sounding forced. Everything sounds so natural. There are moments of wisdom, surprise, sadness, strength and weakness, family and independence, growing and stunting, being . . .

It's really good work. And I'm so damn picky.

I'm really sorry for not offering anything constructive. I promise this is not a cop-out. I did come across something small on first reading:

becomes a state of being.

But it is still screaming, constant

At first, I didn't like "Screaming becomes . . . / But it is still screaming . . ." because "But" seemed slightly off, especially since there's so much emphasis on screaming/the rabbit . . . however, I understand its implications, and have no real qualms with it.

Excellent writing.

| Posted on 2011-04-11 00:00:00 | by O | [ Reply to This ]
I really love how this comes together as a whole, even as each "day" works wonderfully as it's own thought/poem too. You keep coming back to this ocean & water motif, but it is only a backdrop for sentiments that vary throughout, but are all very strong & aware.

I think that's what grabbed me most, the awareness of the poem.

& then, of course, there are certain lines that really stick out & make what's all ready grabbing me friggin' sink its nails in:

"I become a woman who
must become, and so I become"

The way this phrase falls off, but also into so many things is excellent. Becoming is work, is frustrating & rewarding, but then there's that underlying question of all this but what for?

"the lean-to in
my sister's chest" is also fantastic.

I love the idea of the train fetching up against the mountain. "Fetch" is such a unique word here, & it challenges my mind to create the image.

is our only language."

I think everyone at some point should experience this. I love this line. It's a whole poem. & your reflections for this "day" are excellent in how they observe & then take those observations in.

I could keep going like this, in this way, but that seems silly to me now. There are so many layers to this, both outward looking & inward looking, giving it layers in perspective alone, but there is the familial notes, the political, cultural, social, personal, all with a sense of emotion. What is best is that there are all these elements, but what you have written incorporates them naturally, without agenda.

Just great.
| Posted on 2011-04-09 00:00:00 | by Santi | [ Reply to This ]
  i am so blown away by the wording, the imagery in this..

to be a stranger, then to become part of something and then to leave it...and to come back to it later feeling there is a vacuum...and wondering how i could have been so involved in the first place.

first of all i love the first part..the leaving...the ocean part which later comes into play as the speaker becomes the sea...she is not only becoming a part of where she is..but more a part of herself...she finds her own reason for existence...the silent protests, the screams within herself...the expectations, then to shoot them...maybe a giving up or a giving in.

yes, we build then abandon...our attentions spans are such...we tend to get involved then move on sooner than later..i had an ex like that...her tendency with all things ...

knowing only the meaning of absence---so good

we understand something, we appreciate something when it is gone..

you miss your family and they miss you when you are find something new to grab onto with the movement where you are...but then let that go too and finally miss that after you have shot the screams.

i am so taken by this are masterful with your wording, the repetition in places is absolutely perfect for the poem's meaning, at least as i see the piece..

i like the break up of this into sections/time periods/ events...

thanks for this read..if i had a favorites..this would slip immediately into slipping into the ocean's waters.

| Posted on 2011-04-09 00:00:00 | by jacoberin | [ Reply to This ]

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