Explaining Various Poems

The past two posts in this blog make up Nineteen Poems, a set of twenty-one poems I wrote over the course of the past month, numbered and named 1. Hooklet, 2. Escape, 3. Left for Encore, 4. Ninety-Seven Pitches of Silence, 5. Chainsaw, 6. Chartreuse, 7. Pus from a Knuckle, 8. Eraser’s Edge, 9. Dawn, X. The Sanctum of Shredded Souls, 11. Rift, 12. Adrift, 13. Resonance, 14. Radiance, 15. Irradiance, XV. The Mausoleum of Headless Souls, 16. Resilience, 17. Real, 18. Rebirth, 19. Irreal, and XIX. Rex. In this post, I will explain what several of the poems (1, X, 14, and XIX) intend to mean and tell. If you haven’t read the poems yet, you may want to right now to avoid getting spoiled on interpretation. Poems can definitely be interpreted multiple ways; I often write poems intentionally interpretable in many ways and definitely encourage the exploration of alternative interpretations.

1. Hooklet is a poem about looking back at things that were and are now lost. When vim is opened and the poem is typed, The words “This too has passed.” are built on screen and then slowly destroyed back to the blank file that the poem started at. The poem reflects on the second interpretation of the adage “This too shall pass”, that nice things eventually fade as well. Only at the moment that “This too has passed.” is displayed does the screen display something elegant and meaningful, and it quickly decays into rust and eventually the original void. While executing the poem, the entire process of creation and destruction passes by one’s eyes, and on a reflective glance at the indiscernible original text of the poem, one realizes that even when memories are passed on, they still cannot suffice in expressing the feeling of a moment, and deep meaning and feeling at one point may likely decay to the mists of time or be unrelatable to future generations.

In X. The Sanctum of Shredded Souls, the narrator takes a stroll on a bridge and notices a suicide phone, with a placard saying “There is hope.” Taped over the phone is a handwritten sign saying “Out of Order”, suggesting that the phone is no longer operational. The concerned narrator tries to find what’s wrong with the phone, and discovers it to actually be functional, upon which (s)he notices a self-congratulatory note written on the back of the “Out of Order” sign, indicating that it was placed there by someone who finds joy in helping to drive people to suicide.

The three lines of 14. Radiance comprise a sign put up by the owner of the cruelly beaten dog in 11. Rift, not believing that (s)he has ever done anything unjust to the dog, and tragically unaware that the dog may have purposefully escaped its torturous life with the owner, and believing that the obedient dog is just lost and awaiting reunion with its owner, who considers him/herself a source of loving radiance.

The poem XIX. Rex explores how a worldview defines an individual. It comprises what one wishes people think of when they hear their name, and it could build what makes one feel like a beast, achieving convictions outside of the rules of mankind. Sometimes, though, one reflects on them and how incompatible the surrounding world is to them or is unable to fathom them, and leaves one an emotional wreck. Looking back at the title of the poem, one realizes that “Rex” can describe a mighty beast, can be a name, means “king”, and sounds like the plural of “wreck”, while titling a poem that has a structure that is like the structure of the poem numbered “X”, again.

There are twenty-one poems, and yet the set is called Nineteen Poems. Upon this, one might realize that it may be that the collective set of poems really doesn’t want two of the poems to exist. The title of “Nineteen Poems” reflects on how one often finds clear signs within a group that they are unwanted, that there are hints of denial of one’s existence. I actually originally wanted to write a set of 24 poems, and in a sense this is a set of 24, three of which forgotten and two of which unwanted.

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Ten Poems

(a collection of twelve poems)

X. The Sanctum of Shredded Souls

A bridge
A phone
A sign
There is hope

Some tape
Some paper
Some writing
Out of order

A button
A tone
A working phone
Hello

Other side
Of the paper
On the bottom
For the lulz

11. Rift

What happened to you?
You have scars all over you.
Why are you trying to move so fast?
It’s almost as if you’re running from something.
There’s nothing behind you.
Even if there was, do you think you actually could have outran them like this?
Maybe it has symbolic meaning to you.
Could I ask what it is?
When was the last time you ate?
Here, have some meat.
What has someone done to your life such that your first reaction to food is a cringe of distrust?
It feels like someone has stolen your world from you
I wish I could know what made your world
Like your paw
Rifted
But really
I will not
And can not
Hold anything against you
If you find yourself
Unable to share

12. Adrift

Walking along
In the realm
Of the society of a thousand lies
That operates heartlessly
On the whims of the selected majorities
I conclude
In all practicality
Logic makes a machine
Emotion makes a person
Ethics make a bigot

13. Resonance

Somewhere floating
Forlorn droplet
Cosmic echo
Once a hope
Crying aqua
Pointing towards
Hasty letters
On a sign
“Home this was once
Ours this was once
But here we tore
And here we bled”
Somewhere floating

14. Radiance

Missing
An obedient dog
Loves its loving owner

15. Irradiance

There is a warmth
That one can actually conjure

Once one has truly
Measured the depth of the abyss

And can sincerely know
That the bottom is in sight

There is a warmth
That lets one know that
XV. The Mausoleum of Headless Souls
It will probably get better
But the flames have quite the
16. Resilience

To go on
And burn more
To have more fuel
For brighter flames
To fight back
Against the hope
To become more
Consuming and smiling
To find
All in their path  to no longer have but
To have had

17. Real

Hoot hoot hoot hoot hoot hoot hoot hoot
Chunk Chunk Clank Chunk Chunk Clank
Hveeeeeeeeroffffffffff
Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik
Angk Jik Jik Jik angk Jik Jik Jik Jik angk Angk
Kuk kuk kuk kuk
Chunk Chunk Clank Chunk Chunk Chunk Clank
Vweeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrroooooonnnnnkk
Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik Jik
Hronnnnnnnnn
Drip

18. Rebirth

silence
silence
whisper
silence
whisper
shadow
incredulous
silence
whisper
rhythm
smear
heartstring
color
whisper
aster
silence
Divergence
bend
whisper
strength
whisper
thunder
heartbeat
pause
reflection
angle
dusk
connected
Fixed
Found
Unreal

19. Irreal

Unlost

Finding ways through
Heavy air
Underground
Souls still here
In concord with dissonance
Shining emotion
Embracing

Flying

XIX. Rex

A thought
A world
A will
A beast

A thought
A world
A will
A name

A thought
A world
A will
A king

A thought
A world
A will
A wreck

Nine Poems

1. Hooklet

anf f
^cy0llpv”tyxbic
^c0IGuvfgbbu
^c”tP3h”tPArq.
^cGg?$:s.s..g↵O
^cje2dw5r/kdj
:q!↵

2. Escape

OUUILL
UULUUL
LLORUU
RRRIUI

3. Left for Encore

Ezalba luos renni na dethgil ti ecnis
Syhaw riepht ewoa sevtren ehit tip ote
Nointomea rosfa wecirep cenht
Oyapt tashum tenot tahrat
Ezielaerh ote emach ecnot dnimo at

4. Ninety-Seven Pitches of Silence

We gather today
To mourn the death of a member of our community
And to talk about all the ways they were a great person
Which we didn’t tell them while they were alive
Because then they would have felt good

We remind everyone
That it is never hopeless
Because there are so many resources one can use
That know what’s going on and help find hope
We don’t know why people avoid them

As long as we remember
That we have these gatherings upon a loss
We can pat ourselves on the back for our empathy
Just remember to do the same thing
Next time

5. Chainsaw

I beheld
A sparkling unicorn
Riding a rainbow
Into a cloud
Made of happiness itself

6. Chartreuse

Once we were friends
Back then we took walks
And knew a strange being
Of light greens it talked
But a frozen smile came
Sheathing taste buds forsaken
Cheering sky into grayscale
And the light greens forgotten
The air bled of lungs
And all then in sight
Was a terrific mass
Of blinding deep white
The beast is still there
But once we were friends

7. Pus from a Knuckle

Spilling
Spilling
Spilling
Spill
Spilled
Drip

8. Eraser’s Edge

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9. Dawn

Whisper
Shattered
Spite
Smile
Darkness
Blinding
Broken
Colorful
Barbed
Nevermore
Dark
Beautiful
Broken
Angle
YOU KILLED IT YOU FUCKING KILLED IT YOU FUCKER
Split
Breath
Broken
Lighten
Cold
Torn
Broken
Bloody
Void
Broken
Dismal
Broken
Broken
Protected
Hopeless
Once we were friends
Once
hopeless
once
protected
deaf