This post is one that I think my fellow poets will understand with some good-natured self-effacing laughter, because we all have fall-back phrases we don’t realize we’re using at the time. We all have these phrases that we keep throwing into poems and lyrics until we go back and reread a chunk at once and go ‘shit, I say that a lot’.
As I work on finalizing edits for the first of the poetry albums, an album that has a sort of nostalgic bent to it, I’ve realized just how often I use the phrase “for many years”. Often enough that I’m consciously editing it out of a few pieces to prevent the repetition.
I know my fellow poets and I don’t tend to comment much. We’re more the ‘like and run’ sorts, but if any of you feel like laughing along with me, it would be fun to hear what some of your fall-back phrases are. What are those little snippets you use that when you go back make you realize ‘there I go again…’?
Here’s a piece that I originally wrote back in 2004 (and today have edited the hell out of so that it’s barely recognizable) that will appear on the first album, in which I actually DON’T use the phrase ‘for many years’. 🙂
What Little Time Remains
I’ve only got this one real scar to guide me through your love, Love.
That August we were wading down the river.
You hiked your dress up around your knees, filled the sky with laughter.
I shoved my hands in my pockets and said: “it looks like rain.”
You told me that I worry too much,
but the sun sinks so fast that rain clouds
would ruin what little time remained to see you clearly.
The beauty beside us fades. It grows too close to see.
With time, laughter becomes less free,
so you push, and I pull, and we tumble like leaves.
I still tumble around you, just from further away,
so I can see the way the moonlight plays across your face.
And, I can’t help but think:
this scar, your cheeks stained with tears,
I can live without it,
but who would want to after all these years?
(BTW I’m not recording a rough audio version for you now, in spite of my feelings about poems being best when heard, since I’m going to be doing a proper recording of it in the very near future anyway.)