Monday, April 30, 2012

Assumptions - 30/30!

Mission accomplished! With this, another NaPoWriMo comes to a close. I want to thank everyone who has been following me. Thank you for your time and encouragement, and to all the other writers who actually made it through to day 30, massive congratulations! (Not everyone made it here with us, so let's take a moment of silence for those we've lost along the way...)

The final poem of NaPoWriMo I've got for you all today was written at the prompting of NaPoWriMo.
And now, the final prompt. Artist and writer Joe Brainard is probably best remembered for his 1970 poem/memoir I Remember. The book consists of multiple statements beginning with the phrase “I remember,” including:
I remember my first erections. I thought I had some terrible disease or something.
I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie.
I remember when my father would say “Keep your hands out from under the covers” as he said goodnight. But he said it in a nice way.
I remember when I thought that if you did anything bad, policemen would put you in jail.
Today’s prompt asks you to write a poem incorporating at least three “I remember” statements. This invocation of memory seems a fitting way to end our month together.
Good luck, and happy writing!
So, with that motivation, I've got a poem here to leave you all scratching your heads. I pose the question: what do we actually remember?

Assumptions

I remember sunlight’s liquescent ribbons
as a river trickled itself between the reeds
of my fingers. The water still dreaming
of bygone winter, spring calling it to wake.
Tadpoles flirting with the surface,
then shying away from skin and air.
Or did a photograph tell me that?

I remember fields turning a delicious green
before groping legs and waist with their
stalks. The wind, a seasonal calling card
of motors and freshly mown grass.
The burs proving my excursions
that I would pluck from denim and wool,
clinging like lovesick insects.
They always made me laugh.
Didn’t they? Or was that, too,
from a photograph?

The yield of summertime fishing trips,
all scale and wriggle and slime.
My hands, a bundle of wonder and pride;
my face, dimpling innocence,
while shockingly useless gills
pantomime distress to no avail.
That fish, a sun-gilt trophy,
can’t I still feel it slip through my fingers?
The flash of afternoon light as it drips
back into the lake. Is it memory,
or imagination? Of the nine thousand days
scrawled like cave-script throughout my skull –
the flick of a fish, the trickle of a stream –
what did I form from scrapbooked displays,
and what do I actually remember?

* * *

Have a great year, everyone! Don't stop writing! I want to keep reading great stuff. I'll keep posting what I turn out here, so stick around!

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