Monday, January 30, 2012

Blooper Reel

The editing process forces one to make hard choice. Some poems, though you feel fond of them, just don't fit, transition or sound right within the collection. These are the outtakes from my chapbook of poetry Night Poems. *queue laugh track*

Christmas lights
Alone and distant.
Their screams and yells
Have faded into thoughts.
Snowflake memories
Too dark to see.

Bottles to bottles;
Breasts to more breasts.
Learning to speak,
Regretting your words.
Crawling away,
Forgetting to walk.
Crying for everything,
Crying for something.
Soft food to hard food
And back to soft food.
The cycle’s as ugly as
It’s less than beautiful.

My wallet and my mind
are drained. The weekend’s
hit its end. And so have I.
Sleep is rushing in.
I feel the current
Pulling me.
I can’t resist,
Don’t feel the need.
It’s comfortable and
Beautiful like death.

I’ve left my consciousness in pieces
A little here, a little here,
Stashed in mothballs,
Jammed underneath the bed
Between a floorboard
With my tell-tale heart.
You see cobwebs in the attic,
I see neurons clinging to a surface
That I left behind.

Some of us are dying.
                 Right now.

You might know a few.
You might know more.
You might not care.
It might brush off.
But never stay off.
Feel your pulse.
It’s ticking down.
Your heart’s a clock
With broken hands.

Selective cataracts blur visions
In my memory. Fog sifts, distorts
Refusing to blank out completely
Mistakes that I have made.
I think it almost would be worth forgetting
And repeating just to feel my conscience clear
Itself as if a taped confession recorded
Over with smooth jazz.


  1. I particularly liked the some are dying. I just came back into the room for looking for a way to shoot myself. I have no guns, so I smacked myself with a pillow!

    Regardless, one of the things I've found when I write the MOSTLY unacceptable poetry I have, is that they were formed around a line or two that really WERE good.

    I can see "My consciousness in pieces/Stashed among mothballs." Oh. I misquoted. Interesting. My eye did something there. But I loved that image.

    Trust me when I tell you that my unacceptable drafts and tries scare the sh*t out of me, so I do not look at them any more. Yet I do not throw them out. What's up with that?

    Brave soul. Thank you for sharing. These are better than my bits and pieces. WAY better!

    And I see in all of these some couplet or two that probably inspired you for the rest--they would have for me.

    1. Thank you so much, Jeanette. I'd be careful with the pillow. You could concuss yourself!

      It's a blessing to merely produce one memorable line in itself. But throwing out poetry is something I always regret. It's like murdering a part of you, even if it wasn't very good.

  2. I agree with Jeannette. A stream of consciousness is a great way to get that one line or two that set our poetic world spinning on it's axis.

    1. Oh, yes. Puts me in the mood for some Quiet Commotion ;-)

  3. I have the picture Ben of you with your poems on a reel sitting in a dark room with only one light illuminating your poems from the underside and the grimas on your face as you take your long evil looking sheers to cut out little pieces of your heart and soul.

    1. Too true, Chris. A poem in itself. But I might add the cutting makes a paper decoration out of sheets.

    2. Summer gnomes

      And the dross
      Makes snow for the little
      Summer gnomes scampering
      Around your feet
      Blooper reels make for
      Winter fun
      For summer gnomes
      Too fragile to handle
      The reel thing

    3. Oh but my gnomes are anything but fragile ;-)

    4. Oh but Ben, those are the winter gnomes. They are bad asses, cary guns,this is their motto- To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.-

  4. Very great connections between sleep and death, Ben. Some of these it's too bad you had to leave out. I particularly love the Poe reference in 01:27!

    1. I remember you liking my short play with Poe too :)

  5. My brain is fried lately...A wonderful timeline here...01:27 is me.

  6. The outtakes can form a club...mine, I think, rejected me.

    Much thanks for sharing.


You've found your way inside my head and now there's no way out!