Poemblot: 8

Poemblot (as in inkblot) is a regular feature where a general reader (i.e. someone who does not have an educational or professional background in writing or literature) is shown a poem and asked to offer an immediate impression. The reader reads the poem no more than twice and is not given any instruction on how to read it or information about the author. One of the purposes of Poemblot is to explore the different perceptions and assumptions readers bring to a text. The readers' full names will not be shared to protect them from rampaging, ego-bruised poets on social media. Instead we'll offer some basic background information and a representational photo provided by each reader as a framework for who they are.


THE READER IMG_20150307_142452

Anna P.

Age: 40

Occupation: University Administrator in a Doctoral Program

Favorite Book: Brideshead Revisited

Favorite Movie: Rushmore

Favorite TV Show: Current: House of Cards  of All time: Arrested Development (I know, so cliché)

Favorite Song: This morning is was M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls”  It works for the commute


The Poem

Persistence Oath

The flowers have grown in their pots despite winter

An animal is stuck in the floorboards, getting quieter

The plant is recovering from that week I forgot to water it

The protozoa as permeable, willful, and intricate as ever

Ticking away in this insightful quiet

The banished feelings

They have space to rise

Antipathy and grim rinse

The whatnot I gave away about myself, my luster

The peaceful neglect I gave his advice

About what traffic not to walk into, or make a decision

But to be fair his request that I lie down on my sofa

or asking me for mints, how was I supposed to know

he wanted to kiss me, these moves

pulled from another cohort’s playbook

I grew up on taking someone’s hand and pulling it closer

Thereby pulling an entire body closer

I grew up on looking straight in the eyes

And saying I want to kiss you and everyone

Then knows: faces much approach

I have no record of desire but the colors of these ronunculus

I have no eon ambergris but the eyes of my not lover


Anna P.’s Immediate Impressions

1. What strikes you most about this poem? Does reading it bring up any thoughts, emotions or sensations? 

It didn’t bring up any cohesive thoughts. Perhaps despair, the blunting of emotion that comes from depression, and uncertainty when it comes to love.

2. What do you like most about this poem?

I like bleak descriptions of quiet homes.

3. What do you like least about this poem?

The practical side of me couldn’t figure out what it was about. I generally do not have confidence when reading poetry and can only describe vague feelings rather than concrete critique.

4. Before reading any poem, do you come to it with certain expectations? If so, does this particular poem meet those expectations? Does your expectations affect your opinion of this poem? 

I do not read a poem with expectations as I am not an avid reader of poetry. Although I will say, it has sparked my interest. I think I miss poetry. 

5. Does this poem make you want to read more poems?

Yes. Believe it or not. It makes me want to spend the whole weekend reading wacky poems, while drinking box wine.

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