The Bin

I was once speaking to a guy about poetry, rap, spoken word — that sort of thing — and he joked that I should come along to one of his open mic events and spit some freestyle shit. Then, of course, he asked me to freestyle there and then, in jest. So I squeezed the following trash out of my head through my mouth:

I love words, and the way they rhyme, and the meaning hidden between each line, and the way you can deliver what you’re living through through what you deliver, how you deliver, line breaks and typographic rivers, graphic slithers of how the readers are gleaning meaning.

And then I stopped ’cause I felt awkward and tone-deaf, because I don’t have an ounce of musical talent in my body. I can’t sing for shit, I haven’t played any instruments since school, and though I can speed along with the quickest raps, there’s no tunefulness there, and my enunciation’s abysmal.

But it’s true: I love words. And there’s seldom a day that goes by when I don’t dump some weird hybrid of poetry and rap from the backstreets of my brain into Notes on my iPhone. Then they just sit there decaying forever, because I’m no musician. But if you’re a musician and want to use any of these words, feel free. Email me and we can work on writing together, if you like.

 

 

Arkansas Airways: A Sestina

Unexpectedly fell in love in the spring,
Unexpectedly fell apart in the fall,
I didn’t have my eyes open,
We didn’t see the end so close,
Four with the first, two with the second,
Halved — I no longer cared to keep watch.

In her car, glance down at my watch,See the dials, the hands, the spring,
Begin to notice every minute and second,
Seeing the time slow made my heart fall,
Began wanting our story to close,
The road ahead once seemed so open.

I recall holding the door slightly open,
5:00pm came around and I’d keep watch,
I didn’t like the bus stop being so close,
Wasted late sun gifted by the spring,
When night fell, you let my hands fall,
Over jeans on the first, under on the second.

Outside your house I didn’t waste a second,
Unbuttoning your shirt, pulling fabric open,
We made it inside, you let your guard fall,
Speeding up, beating heart and ticking watch,
Hot, wet, steamy, a natural spring,
Holding your electric body close.

Her three months here came to a close,
Planes booked to her in a split second,
A brief stint of summer followed our spring,
Before inevitable winter storms began to open,
Conversation froze, all we could do is watch,
As a lack of understanding led to our fall.

In her car, the speedometer begins to fall,
The ‘E’ of the fuel dial is so very close,
A red light by the river, boats to watch,
Changing direction with every passing second,
I want to join them, the blue looks so open,
I feel lethargic, burned by the sun of spring.

It only seemed like a fall, just for a second.
The truth was always close, a friend helped my eyes open.
I threw away my watch — you can’t time unending spring.

My friend Mo, from Arkansas, recently introduced me to the concept of the sestina, while introducing me to more complex forms of poetry. This was my first attempt, so I tapped into some quite generic themes of past loves and all that wishy-washy crap.


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