Journal 5

I wake, thinking it is the sun
Until it pulled the heart right out of the boy, until
I was too shy to stop.
I’ll dig with it.
Am I alone? Spies
Haul them off! Hide them!
By noon Brownlee was famous;
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears
In a world without flies. My loneliness exists
An amulet, an enigma. Omit elan. Omit bingo.

[Ai, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Louise Gluck, Richard Wilbur, Paul Muldoon, John Berryman, Marcus Wicker, Paisley Rekdal]

Journal 4

1
The cows stand
under the trees in the wet grass, lifting
their necks to pull leaves down. We slow
down the truck, pull
over to the side of the road to watch
them. How graceful they look,
how unlike themselves. We get out
and lean
on the fence. The cows don’t seem to notice
we are there.

In this version, I broke every line after verbs, giving the poem a sense of constant anticipation, as the reader has to get to the next line before finding out what the effect of the verb is.

2
The cows stand under the trees in the wet grass,
lifting their necks to pull leaves down.
We slow down the truck,
pull over to the side of the road to watch them.
How graceful they look,
how unlike themselves.
We get out and lean on the fence.
The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

In this version, all of the lines are end stopped, making each statement more disconnected from the previous, and adding to the pause between them. This gives it a more sedate and almost peacefully quiet feel, as though its happening during a lazy summer afternoon or something.

3
The cows stand
under the trees
in the wet grass,
lifting their necks
to pull leaves down.
We slow down the truck,
pull over to the side of the road
to watch them.
How graceful they look,
how unlike themselves.
We get out
and lean on the fence.
The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

In this version, I tried to break it to a visual per line, to put more equal emphasis on the visualization of each image or action.

Journal 3: Two

Sharp and shining twisted ribbons
Decorate the frame of the car,
Scattered glittering glass shining
Like dropped flower petals at the feet
Of solemn towering oaks.
Yellow tape encloses the scene,
Shimmering like metal in the sunlight
Around the torn flowers, petals sprinkled
Across the lawn like white glass.
Two witnesses stand by, in shock,
Frozen and stiff as trees.

 

The car sits on the lawn in a heap
Like a crushed and discarded bird cage,
Remnants of shattered windows
Glittering like crushed ice,
Sitting on the grass like morning dew.
Twin towering oaks stand on either side,
Grizzly goal posts for a metal ball.
White flowers are left behind
Like pieces of shredded paper,
Filling the tire tracks like milky rivers.
An audience of two stands nearby,
Silent as night shadows.

Journal 2: Jericho

Beneath the horizon rests Jericho,
Heralded by the rhythmic scraping of a shovel.
This time, I won’t damage the careful, precise units.
Mesopotamia’s roots, cradle of civilization,
Waited, patient as a painting’s meaning,
For someone to uncover its bones.
Who knew the Earth was so secretive?
The ground holds the world’s history.
I want to uncover these secrets,
To hear the stars whisper them,
To see what the thescelosaurus saw,
A history spanning from mammoths to bendy straws,
The taming of fire to our first memes-

David stops to pick a rock out of his shoe.
Jericho screams impatiently for him to dig-
Hasn’t it waited long enough?
A dull shovel capture’s the sunlight,
Bouncing it back into my brother’s face,
Making it scrunch into a raisin.
I can’t stop thinking of the ruins I stand on,
Can’t stop running my fingers over packed sand,
Imagining buildings, people, and the relics they left.
Even Indiana Jones never felt such pride
In forcing a shovel through dirt and rock.
Uncover Jericho once more.

Journal One

Taste: seawater, licorice, copper, smoke, kiwi, milk, sourdough, lemon, sugar, raspberry, seaweed, water, oranges peel, cocoa, vanilla

Touch: (cut) grass, suede, pages, pine, chalk, spiderweb, fur, oak leaf, metal sheets, rust, wax, thermal blanket, wood grain, balloon, clay

Smell: chlorine, fire, library, leather, paint, ink, ozone, Sharpie, acrylic paint, resin, nail polish, roast, tire, rope, metal

Hearing: organ, concert, snow, chain, flag, keys, thunder, writing, siren,  camera shutter, zipper, brush, charcoal, wicker, soda

Sight: oil, ice, glass, gemstone, shadow, brushstroke, scales, window, red clay, spray, gloss, blur, plastic wrap,  crowd

Action/Motion: cat, flame, (water) current, drift, slam, jerk, shuffle, circle, flight, sway

Abstractions: pride, certainty, loyalty

Anything else: Franz Marc, Georgia, Colonial Williamsburg, Sunday, music, Rothfuss, beach

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