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[the apostrophe makes it look messy]

not pretending


im sorry for tensing
when all you wanted
was anything
but my back
for turning over
when all you needed
was my eyes
for watching tv through the night
and sleeping on the sofa
and feeling so alone
for not helping in the garden
and writing without you in birthday cards
for the plans i could never make
the sad songs played on repeat
and that all my words were not poetry
for the person i can not pretend to be
but you never could keep that smile quite long enough

Submitted on 2005-11-25 04:21:31     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  *finger cramp from scrolling down*

This was different. I too agree that the free form of the poem definitely compliments the point that you are getting across.

Disconnected...I guess that in a way the two of you grew disconnected. She wanted a connection in different ways then you did. Even though you see the flaws in which you yourself fell guilty.....there were also other flaws.

I hate it when love is so strong.....and after time it just begins to slowly dwindle away. You start to lose that initial love and longing and connection. It becomes more of a routine rather then a life.

This was written excellently. I think that the whole form, including the loss of comma's and apostrophes....really made the piece more powerful.

This was a great one to read!

Much love,

Li Li
| Posted on 2006-06-29 00:00:00 | by Munchie_1226 | [ Reply to This ]
  I feel brain dead, brain fried I dunno...
But this seems to me about communication or to be more specific, the lack of it in a relationship...
and it all leads to break up in the end.
Somehow this poem and the previous one I cmmented almost makes me want to seek your
advice about love lol.

Somehow also I cannot but relate the 2 poems. It is like you turned your back on the woman in your life because she did not fit the image of your ideal, and maybe you of hers.
Then when it was all over you noticed what happened...

You noticed that you lived "alone" and not actually with her. It is like there is a bitter after taste of all those nights u spent on the couch, being busy with something else. Something else that did not really matter.

To the point where you (not you but anyone)wonder if the love was not right since the beginning or if everyday's life replaced the fantasy and the magic of the 1st moments.
It is somehow that both got drowned in their respective lives that they did not notice that they were drifting apart.
And when they looked again they were too far apart, just strangers hiding behind a polite smile.

2 strangers whose paths have crossed at a middle point, intense maybe and then they moved apart silently, un-noticeably till they found out they were strangers again.

When it comes to love and break-up poems, you have that crazily simple style that conveys strength in love and agony in break up. It is like you are just telling a friend about it pure and simple.

I almost feel like getting a bowl of chocolate icecream sit you down, ask you to tell me all about it and try to comfort you.

| Posted on 2006-03-19 00:00:00 | by babyblue002 | [ Reply to This ]
  I've read a lot of your work on this site, and although you always come off very intellectual and all artistic, this is the FIRST one of yours I've read that seems REAL. Thanks for letting your guard down. Way to go!

| Posted on 2006-06-22 00:00:00 | by annie0888 | [ Reply to This ]
  i like the concept of the poem a lot. To a certain extent I agree with twacky about the run on sentence/breathless effect being good for the theme and style. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a poetry slam, but this theme lends itself well to that genre. Nonetheless, the execution is strong as well. I've noticed that in your poetry moments figure importantly. The revealing events that may or may not be bench marks but still reveal the dynamics of the players lives and relations. It is this that is most effecting to me. Your keen eye for details stands in contrast to the disconnection implied in the poem, and while they may or may not be auto... it is nearly contradictory if we were to assume that they are and all of our gifts were equally employed in life. Ultimately, the poem reveals much more than the flip side of the coin, it also speaks about how we invest or don't invest in others.

I've been thinking about this for a while now and I have a hypothesis, this neglect of details is often a reflection of the level of interest one person has for another. While he or she may be in love or at least love the other person, it is the sense of urgency that we have for our partners that determines the level of attention to them and the details of our lives. From observation, it seems that the greater the disparity in the balance of power the more true this becomes. By this I mean that in every relationship there is one partner with more dominance over the other hence a balance is struck between them. When this balance leans more heavily to one over the other, the dominant partner is negligent of the relationship for want of any urgency where as the other half compensates with an excess of attentiveness for lack of a better word, but for example, one partner will remember all the anniversaries (I know that was a cliché) while the other is wanting. In your poem there are many instances that imply an imbalance of power like the gardening or the tv all night. Eventually, it seems, that the dominant partner exhaust the good will of the lesser partner until it ends in disillusionment and disappointment. Of course it is a gross simplification of the intricate complexities of our relationships and their histories but none the less a pattern seems to reveal itself. Similar patterns emerge in other social animals like chimps and dolphins where animals of a lesser status receive to that degree a smaller proportion of attention and over compensate by being excessively conciliatory such that they create a repeating cycle of degradation. By now you must be bored to tears, but this disconnect may not be as mystical and haphazard as we would like to believe but rather an expression of social dynamics. I say it not to imply that the dominant partner is justified, but rather, responsible to a greater extent for the failure of the relationship. What most people want emotionally out of a relationship is to feel understood and desired in as deep a sense of the words as possible, but the deeper the better.

Anyhow, your poem got me thinking about crystallizing my thoughts on this issue and I suppose this is a rough sketch of that idea.


| Posted on 2006-02-25 00:00:00 | by Car va g o | [ Reply to This ]
  I hear ya' on the apostrophe thing. Its mostly extraneous.
I'd categorize this as 'short-form'. No seperate strophe...just a last line that packs a punch, and that the rest of the poem hinges on.
Not a lot of room to wiggle in short-form, that's why its especially poignant and impactful when you can pull it off.
I especially like the way the first 7 lines run that first 'for' (L5) slides right by...slips seamlessly into the next line.
Don't know if you're invested in reworking this one, but if i were to insert my own sensiblities into it, and make a suggestion for improvement. I might try to make the whole thing a little more "run on sentence"(like those first 7 lines).
Other wise...its just fine the way it is. I especially like the juxtaposition of those last two lines:
"for the person i can not pretend to be"
"but you never could keep that smile quite long enough" faking a smile

(you pulled it off)

| Posted on 2005-12-12 00:00:00 | by twacky | [ Reply to This ]
  It's the little moments. The little disconnected moments that really make the difference in relationships. Relationships with your mom, dad, brothers, sisters, friends, lovers. It's those little moments - sad songs playing on repeat, writing without you in birthday cards, watching tv through the night - that make life and break life.
This piece was simple, beautiful, captivating, and very heart wrenching.
I loved every bit of it and I have to share this piece with others. Definitely a favorite.

Take care.

| Posted on 2005-11-28 00:00:00 | by borderlinetears | [ Reply to This ]
  I'm sorry I cannot tell if you are sorry. Sorry for being who you are, that would be sad, or sorry that your friend couldn't take you as you were. Well, I can tell you are sorry, but it's like looking at a flower and only seeing the bit above the ground, but knowing that the greatest part is out of sight. I'm not sure where the greatest sorrow lies. Still, it's too bad for both of you.
Take care,
| Posted on 2005-11-26 00:00:00 | by Sandburg | [ Reply to This ]
  Seems a very personal write, mentioning specific instances that you have had time to reflect on. Regret expressed until the last line. Sounds like you felt that this person expected too much of you. Expectations you couldn't possibly live up to. She couldn't find or maintain her own happiness so she became dependant on getting it through you and/or the relationship. She wanted you to live up to an ideal rather than accept you are you are. Neverless you feel like you should have been more involved and/or open to intimacy.
| Posted on 2005-11-26 00:00:00 | by fo | [ Reply to This ]
  Very good choice of title,and like other work of yours eloquently written to give a sense of not only sadness but also of regrets that you cant be the person they want you to be.As has already been said this happens a lot in relationships,some get through it to find common ground.I enjoyed reading this poem and cant really add to what other people have said ,i just wanted to say how much i liked it.I went through a brief relationship something similar to this not so long ago.I knew from the start that i didnt think we were right for each other as it felt forced and strained sometimes.You have to feel you can be yourself in a relationship.Very thought provoking write i enjoyed it thank you for sharing
| Posted on 2005-11-25 00:00:00 | by gd66uk | [ Reply to This ]
  This is a very good and heartfelt write. Very sad and, to me, speaks of sincere apologies for not being the person that was wanted of you. Relationships are so hard, and sometimes no matter how hard we try, the connection just isnt there. I felt that this was more of an apology rather than a regret and that is signified to me in the second to last line "for the person I cannot pretend to be". Had this been a regret I think I would have sensed some sort of longing or desire to try again, but there was none. This read more like a realization of the fact that no matter how strong the feelings were, something was missing and you just couldnt be what was wanted and needed. I only have one suggestion with this. In the line "when all you needed was my eyes" I think it should read "when all you needed were my eyes" to signify the plural here. Otherwise this is a very emotional and beautifully written piece. Full of sincerity and acknowledgement of the others' feelings. Almost as if a commitment was wanted and expected but you just couldnt provide the level that was needed. An excellent write. Take care.

| Posted on 2005-11-25 00:00:00 | by lmz | [ Reply to This ]
  taking for granted,is one of the easiest inactions.longing to be more connected i felt easiely.with the knowledge in hand of being dissconnected=does this help u to be more?
even though i have the knowledge,this does not help me to be more.if u gave this piece to that person,understanding i hope u both achieved.
ur motivation was deep,it shows in the words

| Posted on 2005-11-25 00:00:00 | by toyysruss | [ Reply to This ]
  I think this is a very sad poem. The persona in this poem seems alienated even from their partner. The situation seems lonely for both of them. Initially, one gains the impression of physical separation but with the introduction of the birthday cards there seems a mental/emotional and even social distancing. Again, you do not use the capital for the first person pronoun – for me this definitely suggests humility even a lack of confidence. Albeit, the tv also lacks capitals and I guess this is purely for the aesthetics.

I can’t quite grasp whether the distance is caused by the persona failing to live up to the other’s expectations or if there are other reasons. Initially I thought the last line was overly long but realised that this was deliberate to convey the sense of the words – ‘you never could keep that smile quite long enough’ - the other’s awareness that there is no solidity to this relationship. They are as the title denotes disconnected.

The simplicity of the voice created through the use of single syllable is lovely. The repetition on the connectives to commence the lines also enhances the simplicity and the verbs really propel the poem. This is such a neatly crafted poem that it is definitely a fav.
Please stay in touch - love and peace
| Posted on 2005-11-25 00:00:00 | by comradenessie | [ Reply to This ]
  Your title ‘Disconnected’ sums up this poem and feeling of self-enforced isolation and the guilt that stems from that, beautifully. I love the way the simple lines flow so directly, capturing moments that seem graphic and real, as in:

im sorry for tensing
when all you wanted
was anything
but my back
for turning over

and how the lines become longer so that they can depict someone who seems about to explode because they can’t be who they want to be. Sometimes relationships seem to place too much of a burden upon people because they can’t live up to other peoples expectations and this beautifully captured in the lines:

for the plans i could never make
the sad songs played on repeat
and that all my words were not poetry

This is simple but perfect, as with all you work so far, I will add this to my favourites list.
| Posted on 2005-11-25 00:00:00 | by Speacenik | [ Reply to This ]

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