06 January 2006

Art by El-Branden Brazil, Carrion Delights

            The Dead Poems

            You printed them out and
            read them aloud to test them.
            But you knew already that
            they were not strong enough.
            Still you tried. You crafted them
            further and did your best
            to make them breathe.
            You offered them to friends
            and editors, fellow poets,
            but they frowned and shook
            their heads, apologetic.
            So you came home and the
            poems suffocated into
            liitle paper balls. You threw
            them into the waste basket.
            In Microsoft Windows,
            you pressed “Delete” and
            like a coffin, the Recycle Bin
            opened to claim them.
            Their ranks swelled over time
            and they grew numerous
            like names forgotten in an
            old graveyard.
            It was you who killed them -
            you and your bumbling
            lack of inspiration.
            You could sense their silent
            reproach, their mute accusations
            of your failings.
            More than once, you were tempted
            to click “Empty Recycle Bin”
            and erase their memory
            for good. But guilt stopped you,
            and so you left them there,
            in the cemetery of your
            hard disk. A final resting place.
            There they lay, the dissatisfied
            dead, the complaining corpses
            of your poetic misadventures.
posted by Gilbert at Friday, January 06, 2006


Blogger MB said...

Huh. I can so relate. What do you do with dead poems? I keep them sometimes, when they've got beautiful limbs or eyes, or some other portion. Sometimes those fragments of fine functional beauty - which are sometimes located in the sparky part that gave the poem life in the first place - get donated, transplanted into bodies of living poems. There, they take on new life in another form, or allow for continued life of another form. Then the disfunctional remainder is buried. I may have carried this analogy too far. ;-)

January 06, 2006  
Blogger Orso Dorato said...

Dead and buried they remain forever until the day you decide to play frankenstein and ressurect them. Never delete them completely who knows you might be able to bring back the dead. If a mediocre poet such as myself can do it im sure any of you can.

January 06, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

To tell you the truth, I had long considered "The Dead Poems" to be one of my dead poems. To my surprise, a rather decent literary journal in Hong Kong recently accepted it for publication. I guess the poem wasn't so dead, after all.

Or maybe the journal made a misjudgment. What do you guys think? :P

January 06, 2006  
Blogger Mr Jherek said...

May I be blunt?

I will anyway, it's not as good as Construction or You Had A Nightmare.

This is going to sound like Joseph II to Mozart but there are to many words. it needs to be sparer. But that's only my opinion and i'm usually wrong.

January 06, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Mr Jherek:
Oh, you can be blunt. No problem. :) Whole idea of posting my poems on this blog is to get feedback.

January 06, 2006  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

heh, sounds familiar.
some of my stuff are incinerated, some are kept in the morgue of the hard disc and yellowed journals. can never know, one day may pull out one and try to revive it :)

btw, your "you had a nightmare" was great. so sparse, yet so vivid images.

January 06, 2006  
Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

Yeah, that's me, I never throw anything away. Unfinished drafts, hopeless unfixables, etc, all of them get routeinly archived and archived into CDs no less. I guess I hope one day I might be able to get it out. Some seeds never germinate, some do. At this point, I certainly have a whole lot more yucks, then hopefuls-that-need-touchups.

>> Or maybe the journal made a misjudgment. What do you guys think? :P

Something they see that you don't.

To be honest, this situation isn't new to those of us who write, poetry or novel or short story. Other might have written about this in one form or another -- it feels familar. Perhaps that's why you didn't think this poem is anything special. I think it rambles on a little, it's not as tight some of your other poems. Still, the end result is that it is amusing and writers can relate to. :)

January 06, 2006  
Blogger the cloned corpse of marcus tal said...


January 07, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

I think it's a ... cute poem. It's amusing and entertaining for a quick first read. But it offers nothing more on a 2nd or 3rd read. Hence I don't really like it. It's not "deep".

January 07, 2006  
Blogger mrdes said...

I got to be honest..the meaning of this one is pretty straight forward...but i like the way you said they are "like names forgotten in old graveyard..."...all writers have their fair share of "corpses", i think..but this still read pretty good.

January 07, 2006  
Blogger the cloned corpse of marcus tal said...

Yes, Gilbert.

But if something doesn't have a hook first time round will anyone look at it a second time.

A superb little trifle or lollipop all in all

January 08, 2006  
Blogger jack milo said...

simple poems that rhyme are good enough for me.

January 10, 2006  
Blogger TwistedNoggin said...

Wow. So different, alive, emotional...

I hardly know what to say about this one, except I love it.

January 10, 2006  

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