Monday, April 15, 2024

Spring Poetry Project 2024

I didn't expect this year's spring poetry assignment was going to happen, but it happened and here are the results.

I was just trying to delete a bunch of older online accounts because who needs that shit lying around, y'know? Mundane stuff. I logged in to my old Evernote account to change things up, and while I was there, I found lots of old notes to myself. We're talking the off-the-cuff, "ubiquitous capture" kinds of notes, everything that was happening around me, except the important stuff like pictures of people. Some notes were nicer to myself than others, fewer part-time jobs and more wondering. A note from around this time 11 years ago wanted to capture a scan of a poem I must have written close to a decade before that. The poem is a bit more like prose without paragraphs, and its sayings are just encouragements I'd heard from other people. But what else do we have when we're freshmen in high school?

I admire that a younger instance of me wanted to express something, probably in coping with palpitations from unrequited love. It makes me happy that I've been trying to express myself through words for recovery and equanimity for the past two decades.

What I didn't admire was the capture of the poem by that slightly younger version of me (2013). A gruesome fluorescent white from phone camera technology that did not meet its marketing hype. A "ubiquitous capture" system that failed by leveling a desire to feel through the written word with stupid fucking shit like receipts and bad photos of food. Totally inept response, slightly younger me.

So this year for spring as I get all weepy like I always do, I'm responding to the younger, younger me with a new poem. This new poem has a style that a younger, younger me would have never thought to use, but he did always wonder why acrostic poems would indent their second line per stanza. I'm happy to be writing back to the past with an answer.

Presented below is the trite but earnest poem from 2004(?) with a poem from 2024 in response. Enjoy!

A continent doesn’t cry as it crawls
    adrift a boiling red sea
A rift yawns in its wake
Lava is such a passionate wound,
    the blood of the earth spilling over,
            but still made of stuff
                we somehow call mundane

Our mother does not even notice
    our tiny blips of life
She just wishes we were better

The earth also doesn’t know
    she’s going to die until too late
That’ll be long after we’re gone, oh well

So what will you do with this speck of existence?

The best times in the books
    are when new things happen
Good or bad,
    at least there was a story to tell