Poem a Day Project, Day 4


Everything is in its place on the table,
I sit menacingly at the head.
On either side of me, my arms
Are poised to strangle all of the life
From my past, which lies choked in grey death,
Gasping, rasping in a pool of blood.

I have furiously stumbled through my life,
Hoping to avoid an inevitable death,
Scrubbing in vain hands stained with blood.
At last I raise to the heavens my arms,
Held triumphantly above my head,
Standing rigid on top of the table.

I will rage on in loneliness inside my head,
Or until the last cards are thrown on the table.
And I will labor silently to cheat death,
Crushing that grim, grey Reaper in my arms.
Even though my wounds gush with blood,
I will fight until I drip my last drop of Life!

Note: This poem is not necessarily a true representation of my innermost feelings, but an excercise in form. The form I used is a Sestina, a highly structured poetic form that, quite frankly, I found VERY difficult. But I wanted to give it a try. There is a line from Jack Kerouac's debut novel, "The Town and the City" which ends a chapter that I have always loved: "So I will rage on in loneliness inside my head." I decided to use that line as one of the Sestina lines and then I had to pick the remaining five words that end all the lines ahead of time, so I picked ones that I felt would offer the most dramatic potential. -A.F.

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