Night Light

Night Light.jpg

Night Light

I’ve seen your window,
wondered at its depth while questioning intent.
Timing is difficult enough when two bodies are side by side.
Factoring in the deception of distance, minus the variable of patience,
leaves a formula for disaster.

Of course it’s inviting.
I’ve always been drawn to the beauty of the unattainable,
knowing the lights will be out when I arrive,
but it’s safer here in the dark,
disillusion a matter of practicality.

The prompt for Day 6 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month is to use lines that are long and/or short in “a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks.” The examples included (Lorine Niedecker, Stanley Kunitz, and Amiri Baraka) are excellent.

A craft resource is offered – Alberto Ríos’s thoughts on the poetic line, which suggest using long lines (sometimes to an extreme) rather than breaking them. I’ve done that here, and I am not happy with it. I disagree with the argument presented by Rios, that breaking a line means it may as well be prose, requiring the reader to proceed down the page to follow a plot. Writing in a manner that gives those long lines makes me feel like I’m writing prose, and that is not my aim. I use line breaks and enjambment for a purpose – to open the possibility that the reader will focus for a moment on a particular word, or see an association that might not otherwise be made.

Below is the poem as originally written
(inspired by today’s photo at Astronomy Picture of the Day):

Night Light

I’ve seen your window,
wondered
at its depth,
while questioning intent.

Timing is difficult enough
when two bodies are side by side.
Factoring in the deception of distance,
minus the variable of patience,
leaves a formula for disaster.

Of course,
it’s inviting. I’ve always been
drawn to the beauty of the unattainable,
knowing the lights will be out
when I arrive,

but it’s safer here
in the dark,
disillusion
a matter of practicality.

NaPoWriMo 2018

 

16 thoughts on “Night Light

  1. I read the first poem and really liked it, but then I read your original–and I do like it more.
    I think long lines can work, but not if they’re written artificially as a “should.” I mean, there’s a certain rhythm and way you want a poem read, right?
    I love your space photos. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 6 – “A Star In A Fiery Ocean” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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