Ever since I've switched gears to focus and learn graphic design, my writing has been nearly non-existent, which is unfortunate because I'm trained in and love writing (particularly poetry). Well, I was watching a film and had some inspiration and I wrote a poem. ::Pat on the back::
This poem directly references the movie, but I'm curious how it works for those who haven't seen or don't know what the movie is... Special bonus points to you if you can guess the movie. I have a series of poems that do this, reinterpret visual cues into written words. I'm very interested in the connection between the two mediums-film and language.
But it's obvious how excited I am to be writing again, because I'm being so upfront in sharing a draft, that I undoubtedly will think is junk in three months. But I'd appreciate any critiquing, what you get and what you don't get, what works and what doesn't. A fresh perspective is always helpful, thanks.
::Warning, may include disturbing images--it was a violent movie::
For Lou Ellen and Carla Jean
i. A cowboy kills with precision.
A sheriff kills with a conscious.
The lobo kills.
ii. Have you ever watched
a deputy struggle to death—
kicking up shoe scuffs as if it was a dance?
Have you ever watched a handcuffed man
take away the breath of a peace keeping man,
the chain on the handcuffs
ripping paper cuts
across the flesh of his neck?
Would you talk to death before you die?
Would you put out your life story?
You don’t even know what you’re saying,
the wolf mocks you. You stammer,
who are you, what is that; you
try to blot out his voice—
a voice that throws you to your knees
praying it’s not the last thing you hear on earth—; you
wonder why there is suddenly
a trembling fear in your voice.
Not knowing what hits you
is a courtesy he gives you.
iii. The cowboy escapes his tango
with the wolf, and oozing wounds
make him brave which means foolish
and he turns the tables desperately
and goes on the hunt with a fury in his eyes
and a fire in his heart, but our hero dies too.
The legends of cowboys are just stories.
He sits where the man
who he is hunting sat when watching TV,
The sheriff chasing him
sits where the hunter sat watching his reflection.
The milk jar is sweating, a beaded ring
on the table—are you
hoping to catch him, or glad
you just missed him?
Do you die, veins full
of piss and vinegar, or do you retire
and fill your nights with desert dreams
of your deceased father?
iv. Arriving home in mourning you
set down your keys and you
pause at the open window and you
sigh and you know. You
nudge the bedroom door ajar with your finger tips—
his presence permeates
like poison gas billowing—you already know
he sits in the wicker rocking chair, still,
in the corner, as if he’s been waiting all this time for you
to come to him.