Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Final drafts: 3 and 4

I didn't expect to get more than a couple of these poems to final draft stage - the whole thing was an exercise in learning how to write some half-decent love poems. If I can get a couple of the remaining 8 poems into a shape I'm happy with (and I've got good hopes for 2 in particular), then I may be able to fit them together into a single longer poem.

Anyways, less of the daydreaming ...

Love Poem #3
You promise me treasure, offer
your body as the map that leads
to riches. I search for symbols
in the folds of your skin; intercept
clues on tasks to perform morsed
by white eyeflags, semaphored by curls
and angles at the edge of your mouth.

Your hands challenge translations -
they fly to sift through the world.
I have to vector them, pin each digit
with a symbol: here be dragon lairs,
unicorn trails, wells of gold coin.

My finger sketches your face's edges,
the cream henge of pegs cradled within lips.
"The map is not the thing", your tongue
hints. But I know this - I dismiss
the adipose spoils midriffing you,
mere landscaping that can't disguise
the designs etched in your marrow.

I could finish exploring this map,
but instead I let you fold me tight
inside your elbows, watch you build
a map of me in the pits of your eyes.

Love Poem #4
My friends ask me: how much does that special smile
of yours cost? I'll warn you now it's pricey:

not a trinket stacked on shelves in giftshops
trading junk. You cannot wipe my palms

with cash and watch it strut its muscly tricks
across my face, nor will goods-in-kind bag you

that smile. For a drink you'll get a grin, and for food
I'll pack a smirk into your greycoil memory. But

my smile - my honest sweat-on-face with blushing grace
stretch of lips and crowfeet lines towards my ears -

deserves a price that only you can pay, my love, when
you look at me with lids half-drawn across your eyes.

#3 needed extensive redrafting, but #4 came out pretty much as I wanted it on the first attempt. Ho hum ...

1 comment:

  1. Love Poem #3: that's a huge jump forward in all respects from the previous draft (not that it was awful in any way, it just got way closer to awesome now). I'm glad if some of my crit advice helped trigger the improvement.