Thursday, August 14, 2008

"the art that remains" by Nathan, Julie, and Holly

Love can have a dumpster aesthetic, scrap feelings flying
past the flap. I'm tasting as I search, trying jaundiced liquor in a jar
under the rumble of bridges, next to smiling billboards where
mini-van drivers become mesmerized by sexy ads and the vibration of it all.

That sanitized art they watch sinks my passion so I'm left to look
at broken glass, factories closed, graffiti of lives left in heaps, unspoken.
The head of a baby doll, marked all over with a pen, my jealous face
both carry the same scrawling message: we've been replaced

by shimmers of heat, by the sparkles of lies whispered in back alleys
by a clean-faced doll. But there is still some gum (with bits of dirt and hair in it)
a shared token, a worry stone, a fossil from the lost world pressed in
my palm.

I cannot escape this loss, this puddled sun, this dumpster of time tossed
like a rotten orange, leaving me with nothing but the death-smell of the empty bin.

Those others can afford their sins. I'll walk their streets, watch them look away.
I'll beg for rusty pennies, rustle through their dumpsters for bits of uneaten life.
And when the moon rises, I will see the shine in the broken bits of glass.
Nothing will pass me by. I'll memorize every piercing odor, each vivid stain.
The grease of evening, the skitter of rats, the smiling doll, the bottle half full.

My sins don't go anywhere...they just stick to the bottom of the bin, and
wait to pull me in. I twist and trim, bend each part together. Find us in the
thing I've made. This is my art.

I am very proud to say that I collaborated on this poem with Nathan (from Exhaust Fumes and French Fries) and Julie (from the Buffaloe Pen). We simply wrote a line, and sent it to the next person, until we felt it was finished. Julie thought of the title. I wrote the first line. Nathan wrote the last 2 lines. We enjoyed ourselves so much doing this, and became closer to one another in the process. It was a truly magical experience. Because we want other writers to experience the joy of collaborating, we are starting a blogsite all about collaboration. We'll tell you more when it is ready!
Also, I used a phrase from an Easystreet prompt in the first line.


Julie said...

And what a fun and rewarding experience it was. It's official...I'm not a hermit anymore! Yay!

It was a pleasure to work with two fine poets like you and Nathan. Thank you!

Nathan1313 said...

Yeah, exactly. Thanks so much for this Holly and Julie. You two are the best. (I guess I'm not a hermit but I still hardly ever leave the house)

Jo said...

Really good work guys, it's a strong, interesting poem with wonderful images.