Sunday, March 11, 2007

Approaching Thirty-Seven

After leaving my ex-lover sleeping in his bed,
I think about turning thirty-seven in ten days,
and about being alone the next thirty-seven years.

There are some advantages. Give myself to poetry
giant-heartedly, undiminished by love's demands.
Give myself to the unchanging arms of casual sex.

Back home, watching my all-time favorite porn flick,
the blond college freshman tied to the hammock
begging for the fist, I take all of ten minutes.

What to do with the other minutes after that?
My dog-eared books turn their backs to me. I scrub
the common bathroom that has not been cleaned for weeks,

but the toilet bowl grins like a loser's trophy.
I'm craving dully for the next hit, the bang of sex
or the wham of sounds transposing to a clear image.

In the interval between spunk and poetry lies death.
The freshman intuits that. Which is why he begs
for the gloved fist to enter him again and again.


Anonymous said...

Fisting, eh?

I really don't "get" almost half of this poem. It's a question of whether you are writing poetry or a diary (or something worse).

Altogether, S1 and S2 come off as "Dear Diary, I'm not over my ex-lover [Who says "lover" anymore anyway?], I can't find fuck buddies, and I finally cleaned my bathroom tonight because I have roommates who are slobs." I don't understand why you would want this stuff in the poem.

To me, this poem would have much, much more universal appeal (and certainly less Dear Diary) without S1 and S2 and sort of reoriented S3-S6 so that they can stand alone.

What do you think?

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi Anon,
thanks for the comment and suggestion. I certainly see your point. Cutting S1 and 2 will make the poem tighter and more "universal," and I may do so in the final edit. Right now, I like the occasional and ruminative start to the poem, the wending into that fisting image.

Jee Leong

Anonymous said...

Really, S2 doesn't wend into S3 at all. Starting off "occasional and ruminative" could work well, but this particular content doesn't work. Perhaps you could make it work, but the speaker's self-pity doesn't really connect in with the remaining 4 stanzas thematically. Nor does the time, setting, or mode of S1 and S2 prepare S3-S6.

I question: is Jee the poet being held back by Jee the blogger?

Anonymous said...

P.S. Good luck Friday... With I could hear you say your poems, but there's this little thing called the Atlantic Ocean in the way.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi Anon,
it would be nice to know the names of one's friends. Is my blogging affecting my writing? Dunno. I know I am writing more than I would have otherwise. More dross, more practice, or more gems, is an open question. As for Friday, I will wipe dry the pond, so you can walk over and have a drink with me.

Jee Leong

ram4hire said...

S1 and S2 go very well together! They speak of existential anxiety - the part about turning 37, and the anxiety to make meaning of the current (even if it means isolation). I love it!

The themes have got to be existential anxiety and isolation.

And yes I know, this was written more than a year ago.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks for reading, Lenz. The anxiety does not go away, even after a year...