L/N: May 25-30, 2020


Explanation

May 25, 2020・Free Verse

It is easy to explain away certain aspects of our society as natural, normal, eternal, inherent. “This is just how it is,” “everything is just fine,” “it will always be this way,” “this is normal”. When we are faced with things like environmental degradation and climate change and school shootings and poverty and war, there is a voice inside that tries to tell us that everything is alright, “that everything was somehow just meant to be”. That same voice tells us to not care, to turn our gaze away and not think about these things. If that doesn’t work, then the voice tells us to be angry and hateful, to be aggressive and destructive and violent. The narrator of this poem says, “you call me from within but I won’t listen,” “I won’t fight you,” “we can’t take it anymore”. I think there is very little more we can take. For some people, it is already too much.

In the end, the narrator decides that “there is no meaning except my choice, my choice/to face you and not fight another day,/my choice to suffer and live and love”. That is the main message behind this verse. In the face of societal suffering and man-made tragedies, how will we react? For how much longer will we give in to this internal voice? Will we fight it – and is fighting it the answer? How will we go on living?


breaking days

May 26, 2020・Tanka

“Breaking” as a verb is ambitransitive. So are the days breaking, or is somebody or something breaking them? Why are we going into the darkness at the break of day? We think that night and day, light and dark, are opposites, but sometimes that isn’t the case.


Chasing Life With You (Chapter 17)

May 27, 2020・Serial Prose

Here, we’re in the endgame. It’s getting harder and harder to write at this point – I think because now that the end is actually here, I don’t exactly know where I’m going. There will probably only be one or two more chapters after this. I’d like to finish this story before summer really gets going, but I’ll need to think about it.

The main focus here, as in the chapter before, was reactions to grief – how we meet the unknown, how we meet pain and suffering. What do you do when someone you love suddenly falls into a coma? What do you do when the people you look to for answers don’t have them? Different people will answer these questions differently – and that’s perfectly fine.


rebirth

May 28, 2020・Tanka

Falling stars as spirits, dying and being reborn… nothing lasts. Everything is in motion. We don’t call static, common things beautiful because we get used to them, and we get tired of things easily. Isn’t it good to sometimes take a step back and think about that?


because we will meet again

May 29, 2020・Free VerseCompiled in 『because we will meet again』

One key point of this piece is the use of italics. Another key point is the topic of fear and being afraid, which comes up multiple times.

Some of the most interesting and ambiguous lines, I think, come out of the last part of the second stanza: “we knew our lives were a mockery, a chase played out in reverse/so we broke it like a mirror and made our own game out of glass/even the shattered fragments driven deep into our skin came alive/we did our best to live, that time.” The overall story is pretty clearly about parting from someone you love – through death, or at least separation – but these lines don’t fit so simply into that narrative. I think it’s a great exercise in interpretation.


synesthesia

May 30, 2020・TankaCompiled in 『Best Tanka Collection ~Season of Change』

The day I wrote this poem, one of my friends sent me a piece of music he’d created. As I listened, I imagined various scenes, such as a person wandering alone in the rain. The rain stops and they approach an outlook where they gaze out at the beautiful sky, then they lay back in the grass and look at the clouds. Images such as these were brought to life by his music.


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