While I was in college, I took a few poetry classes. I created what I consider my best work ever (which amounts to three poems) and ever since, have not been able to complete a poem I am as proud of. I think my problem is I learned too much about writing poetry intended for other poets. I used to be able to write poems and short stories with such ease--and now I over-think, over-analyze and focus too much on creating intellectual syntax and deeper meaning. So fast-forward to a week or so ago... I was on day two of my three-day cross-country train ride back to L.A. when I finally was able to write and complete two poems. Here they are:
Need vs. Desire
The American Dream was left for dead
cleverly disguised as a weathered Cadillac
next to a stack of used tires
between two terracotta towns
(Someone told you you wanted it)
(Someone told you you needed them)
Signs point toward towns too small to map
as tractor trailers & pickups speed past
backyards full of scrap metal & dry riverbeds
en route to destinations unseen
(Someone told you you bought it)
(Someone told you you owned them)
All Dreams will end the same--
sunbleached by time,
abandoned by technology,
until we differentiate need vs. desire.
You & I
between dry watering holes
& dead telephone poles
It's here we question:
how they can afford so many miles of fence
how the cattle are fed and watered
where the dirt road leads
where the nearest general store is located
Is there more to life?
we wonder, alone
unable to wander
far from home.
Tah dah, lemme know what you think. Would love to know your interpretations...