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Taking up matociquala's challenge to post our "awfullest, grottiest, ancientest piece of juvenilia." Since finding my handwritten high school papers would take an archeological excavation of my office, you'll have to make do with college strata. Which means strictly poetry. You have been warned.

oh gods this stuff is awful. Fortunately, I can simply simply declare that I'll post the poem with the oldest date, saving me the pain* of consciously picking this:


There is a certain satisfaction
From knowing that the someone else,
In turn, wishes to be where you are.
But not at dawn.

I wake at the turning of the twilight,
The ebb-tide of the long flow of day,
To a room as dark as I. The clock says
That I must wait one hour before I light
And face the world. I groan, and roll over,
And look for someone who is still not here.
Yet again I clutch my pillow, but still
Foam is a poor excuse for human.
Especially when I'm at my weakest.
Especially at dawn.

Written a few weeks before I turned 20. There's a couple older ones, but they were all revised later, so this counts as the ancientest. Over the next month, something clicked, and I wrote over a dozen poems nearly as ancient I thought good, or at least good enough to save. This is the awfullest & grottiest:

Remember Me?

There are only so many ways that features
    Can make up a face; there will be repetitions.
I know this, but that does not prevent a glance,
    The corner of an eye, a quick blur
        From showing a person who I see as her.
    Why, when a spray of blonde flashed quickly by
        The corner of a building today, did I
Follow in a hope against all knowledge and reason?

Once upon a sleepless night my father told me
    That love can be a thing apart, an emotion
With only rhyme, and lacking reason. If so, then
    I should not be surprised when mind and heart
        Do not tell each other what they know, rather part
    Ways, leaving me in startled confusion.
        If this is true, then I could lose this self-derision,
And learn to face a world that's filled with yellow hair.

I'll stop now. Really.

* It also saves you the pain of reading the 150-line opening of my first attempt at a verse novel. Dear people, it was space opera -- in blank octosyllablics.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
Dear people, it was space opera -- in blank octosyllablics.

See, this is only going to make us curious and leave us WANTING to read it.
Feb. 25th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe I should phrase that as taking 150 lines to get nowhere -- in blank octosyllablics.

Feb. 25th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
There there.

It's over now.
Feb. 25th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thing was, it was the best I could write at the time, and at the time I thought it was pretty good. Or at least, better than anything I'd written before. The two concepts are not the same.

Feb. 25th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
Exactly. That horrible thing I posted was a real step forward, when I wrote it.
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
And there's a couple phrases that catch my voice, for close to the first time, the voice I write with now. Sorta, almost. Amid the kerfluffle.

Feb. 25th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
"Dawn" is better than, and "Remember Me?" is as good as, 99% of published modern poetry, IMO. You can interpret this however you like. ;)
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
Um, no. Really. "Dawn" is on par with about 50%, at best.

Feb. 25th, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC)

If it makes you feel any better, I have a whole folder full of poetry like that. I think it is a product of being 20.

And I must say, the thought of space operas--in blank octosyllablics-- well, I just can't stop laughing. *g*
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
And well you should laugh. The space opera is sub-Piper and the verse is sub-Tolkien. And I mean those subs. Oh, and there's Keatsian influences in there.

Feb. 25th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
Hey, I remember those poems, and the guy who wrote them, both pretty fondly. :-)
Feb. 26th, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
Fondness does not impart quality.

More's the pity.

Feb. 25th, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, I like Dawn, right up until the end. :}

Also, blank verse space opera?!
Feb. 26th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
Yes. It's not actively bad. But gods, it sure ain't good.

Feb. 25th, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)
Oddly, I can remember several of my oldest poems. From age 6 or 7:

When my little brother does slobber,
Him I do clobber."

From 6th grade:

"Yes, he was dead
His blood was red
His face was ashen grey.

Oh, what a thing
To be happening
At home, on Christmas Day!

His wife was glad
She wasn't sad
She needed no assurance.

She wasn't blue
Because she knew
She still had his insurance."

Of course, I'd change a word or two if I wrote that now. Must stop now. Remembering more. Some of it not so bad.
Feb. 26th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Feb. 26th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
Moving! Really now.

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )