Picture that inspired me to write about my grandfather. I am the baby on the left, and my older brothers on the right.
I had an instructor who said it was good to imitate other poets’ work, and suggested I try. I was a little apprehensive at first, but I tried it anyway. The challenge of this style of poetry is maintaining the essence of the poet’s work, while making it your own. For my poem, I wrote to Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing it,” a piece about a veteran’s experience at the Vietnam Veterans’ memorial. ”Facing it” is one of my favorite poems by Komunyakaa. Everyone should read his work, especially his poetry book Dien Cai Dau, which is a book of poems about the soldiers experience in the Vietnam War. It upsets me to see so many Veterans not getting the care or recognition they deserve for their services to our country. Dien Cai Dau puts war in a perspective that no history book can ever depict. Next time you see a veteran thank them for their services.
My version of “Facing It” deals with my experience with death at a cemetery. I was inspired to write this poem when I saw an old photo of my Grandfather. I know very little about this man, and when I think of him, I have one distinct memory of a floral print recliner next to a nightstand with a glass of amber colored liquid (which I later found out was scotch because that was his drink of choice). It is interesting to note that the style in which I read this poem is also similar to the way Komunyakaa reads his poem. I laughed afterwards because I don’t normally talk like this. So in a nutshell, this is me imitating Komunyakaa reading my poem as well. haha hope you enjoy
The moral of this post is; don’t try to cook food after coming home drunk from the bar. I came home from my show last night and tried to cook some turkey dogs. It only takes 10 minutes at the most to boil hot dogs, but ten minutes is apparently enough time for a drunk man to pass out. Luckily my fire alarm woke me. I turned off the stove and opened all the windows to air my house out. My house smells like a forest fire, damn it!
“A night on the town with the old road dog.” 5:37am- As the sun peeked through the slits of the blinds, the room became increasingly foriegn. My eyes scanned the surfaces of the off white walls searching for something familiar. With each beat of my heart, I felt a pulsating pain as my blood filled brain pounded at the walls of my skull. I stuck my tongue out and could taste the dried saliva and alcohol on my chapped lips. Where am I, how did I get here? Last night was a blur of sake bombs, metro males, and bleached blondes in cocktail dresses. It was always like this when we hit the town, but I didn’t mind. Nights out with my old roomate always meant taking things to the extreme. As an ex football player, he is friends with the wealthy students who want bragging rights from hanging out with college athletes. His friends allow me to see what life is like for the offspring of America’s aristocrats. Lando’s friends were always cordial, but they all exuded a certain confidence in their demeanor that I assume comes from old money. His friends don’t have to stress about money, hell they don’t have to worry about jobs. Do I want a life like this? Does the rich tycoon and the pencil pushing desk prisoner hold the same value for the same lunch? There is no guaranteed success in writing. I need to find out how important money is to me?
Step inside the box. This is my place of employment, a 5x5 cage in the middle of a crowded mall. It’s been four years in this cell, my patience is wearing thin. Every day is the same; stand there, act excited about what you’re selling, pretend to care about the latest company gossip. I search for new ways to escape the mundane aspects of my nine to five. Come on Justin let’s be positive about our situation here, we only have a year and a half left of this monotony, and then we can move on. This job pays well, and there has to be something good about it. I enjoy talking to the children and elderly while at work, unlike most, they have personalities. At some point between our childhood and “golden years” we learn to mask our personalities behind a public persona. I gravitate towards people who I think are real, but when I meet someone I question how much of that person I am truly meeting?