The reader might wonder if a poem is actually written to a real person. Well, maybe or maybe not. Nonetheless, a poem is always written with someone in mind. Rich Boucher takes the reader inside his heart and head this morning.
A past member of five national poetry slam teams, Rich has published four chapbooks of poetry and for seven years hosted an open reading and slam in Newark, Delaware. Rich's poetry blends neo-brutalist surrealism with pagan music, sacred nonsense, revisionist history and "truth". Some of his recent work can be found in the Delaware Poetry Review.
Opening line of the poem,
which isn’t too long, or descriptive,
but nonetheless captures attention,
just the way it’s supposed to.
Second line of the poem sprawls a little;
this line expands upon the premise of the first line,
and gives a bit more background for the poem’s idea.
Third line of the poem hints at where the poem is going,
and usually makes some comparison as a clue,
like tears, or a metaphor.
Fourth line, after a pause, is a good line
to start a new stanza with; it brings the subject a little closer.
Fifth line of the poem remembers everything about you,
that shine in your eyes in the light of the fireworks
when we were fifteen, the smell of your skin,
the warmth of your hand in mine,
reading your mind before that first kiss
and knowing that we both were asking God
to let that night go on for days.
But it’s the sixth line that gets me every time,
the line that alludes, with a clever subterfuge,
to a future we tried to write with kisses
and therefore never could have read with objective eyes.
And then line number seven of the poem
makes explicit reference to the way your lips felt on my neck,
to furtive make-out sessions in the woods beyond the yard,
talks about how hard it can be to flesh out a memory spontaneously,
using brand new terms for the same experience,
employs loaded words, such as everlasting and bittersweet,
how unbelievably gray a sky can get with rain.
Comes out of nowhere, does the eighth line of the poem,
and it doesn’t seem at first to square with the rest of the poem.
A fragment, almost, like a non-sequitur: the smell of perfume
is like the smell of fire, or at least it ought to be.
The ninth line of the poem is the perfect place
for a rhetorical device like apostrophe,
where I suddenly address a specific person,
instead of a general audience:
sometimes I think about you,
and I wonder where you are now.
The final line of the poem, which is often
(but not always) the tenth line,
asks a question, as though attempting to sum up
what every line before it was really getting to:
Do you remember me?
-- by Rich Boucher
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