Friday, February 14, 2014

First poem in 15 years


This is the first poem I’ve written in more than 15 years. I wrote it for a poetry workshop I’m taking at UNLV, as a graduate assistant in the MFA creative writing program. (My concentration is fiction, but we have to take some poetry classes, too.) The theme of the workshop is the “immediately accessible sublime” or, as I simply interpret it, that which is near and dear.

This is the second draft. The teacher Donald Revell and my remarkably talented classmates provided plenty of feedback, a lot of which I incorporated into the poem.

Breaking and Entering

Standing on the sidewalk
Screaming
Half English, half Farsi

Her refuge
Shattered
Interior lights on
Porch light off
The door splintered and ajar
Faceplate and screws
Sprawled across the floor

The scene is secured
Doors and drawers dusted
She enters
Past a palm print black on white

In the squad car
The officer asks questions
Despondent she responds
He pecks an antiquated computer
While reading aloud
“The victim stated that the jewelry
Was given to her
By her grandmother in Iran”

They leave us alone
Noticing a painting
She no longer likes
She observes
They never take what you want them to

With ink-stained hands
We push the suddenly mobile
Media center
Against the door
Drag the mattress into the living room
Everyone’s a suspect
The neighbor, the FedEx guy, the security guard
Finally a kiss good night
Then with all the lights on
We lie down and act like we’re asleep

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man I hope that isnt a first hand personal account. Safe journeys / life.

Aloha - Hawaiianmark

Matthew said...

actually, mark, it is based on a real experience. but everything is ok now. thanks for your concern and for checking in. hope you're well!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear all is maika'i (Right) now. Best to you as well. Great work as always with your writing/outreach work. Tripping to LV in a few days. Mahalo!

Aloha - Hawaiianmark

Matthew said...

thanks! best of luck in las vegas!