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Ghost Steps



I wake up
in the middle of a space
chilled chaste, hushed dark

An eerie flush of moonlight streams
across the faucet, gleams a perturbing mock
at my uncertain sputter-stop; yet
the refrigerator hums reassuringly
enough Ė the stoveís clock trips in
ticks as quick as my heartís

No, Iím not hungry or
thirsty; still, this isnít
the wrong room

As I listen
a warm board
pops; I stiffen Ė oh
relax, itís just the wooden
stairs, shifting restless in their
settling, seethe-riffling, sigh then schnock

(I know this
familiar strangeness, the way a
clenched pause haunts)

But Ė what
called me? Hello? Whisper, tell

why would you want me?


------
"All the darkness in the world
cannot put out the light
of one candle"


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Comments

The following comments are for "Ghost Steps"
by hazelfaern

Hazel's House

Very nice job of evoking one of those strange moments in life.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: July 14, 2005 )

Oh Hazel,
You managed to pull me in with the title alone. Then to find this fulfilling poem!! Of course, I knew it before I read it all.

This is a familiar place/time for me. Realistic yet sometimes unbelievable. Fearful and other times comforting.

Nice work Hazel!!


"As I listen
a warm board
pops; I stiffen Ė oh
relax, itís just the wooden
stairs, shifting restless in their
settling, seethe-riffling, sigh then schnock"

My favorite.

You utalized wonderful phrases, capturing imagery so well. I can "feel" it all.

Thank YOU,
Darlene

( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: July 15, 2005 )

hazel - ghost steps
One can already build a story around this poem. Who, or what could have called her (name?) why she woke up. Perhaps an alien from outer space?

I could see her (the speaker) as just a shadow, startled and motionless; only the white of her eyes are what could be seen in the dark. I could also see through her eyes, and I could move not any part of my body except my eyes; and there's all those involuntary movements inside my stomach and chest.

I like the eeriness of this piece, and every horror I could envision while reading. :)

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: July 16, 2005 )

Out of Time; Existential Kitchen Epiphanies
You know this poem came out of a really odd place. My exhusband had just written me this letter about how he was frustrated over a conversation he'd just had with an old, mutual friend of ours. He was saying she used to compliment him all the time, but when he'd talked to her she needed more compliments from him than she seemed willing to give in return.

I wound up feeling really frustrated at his tone and his comments in his letter because he understands the stituation this mutual friend of ours is in, or he should, because, well, in the last decade that I've known him, we've both walked a couple of miles or so in the shoes she's currently wearing.

I wanted to nudge him, remind him of this, gently. So I said, you know, depression and anxiey are both a lot like walking into the kitchen and suddenly realizing you have no idea what you walked in there for. Except, of course, in the smaller, mundane version, at it's worst you simply wind up asking yourself a couple of questions - am I hungry? am I thirsty? -- and maybe you stare into fridge, blankly, for 5 minutes or so. Whereas, in the larger, life crises, I-just-turned-a-corner-and-suddenly- forgot-where-I-was-going version, the questions are a lot more difficult (because they're based on your understanding of the meaning of life) and sometimes you wind up staring into nothing, like it's a movie which could answer the queston you don't know how to ask, for five years or so, if you get really sucked into it.

And I said I don't think our friend necessarily wants or needs compliments, I think she really just wants someome to find her in her existentialist kitchen and declare "Hey, there, lovely, you know, nothing honestly isn't a movie. And wouldn't you be happier hanging out in the living room with the company of a few friends and maybe a beer or two?" Sometimes remembering how to laugh is like tuning a piano string to it's key -- you need someone else to demonstrate the right sound, first.

Still, I wound up getting really into this kitchen metaphor and I wanted to see if I could describe it's supericial qualities without necessarily getting into the underlying philosophical components which birthed it.

I don't know that the above necessarily means anything aside from "this is the backstory" and an impinging, related querry: "does it work?"

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: July 17, 2005 )

Great, great poem. Read it. Now.
This is as good as many things written by one of my heroes, good old Bob Frost. I do not say this lightly. Those of you who read my comments know that I don't heap empty praise. Especially on my good pal Hazelfaern, who is one of them what seeks honest critique, and on whom I heap such, with candor and cod liver oil when necessary.

That being said, this poem is a gem. Very good rhythm and subtle rhyme, all kinds of neat little internal, subtle things going on with the phonetics... and an overall metaphor that isn't completely about what it's about.

Which I love.

"Whisper, tell
why would you want me?"

We all have that moment. When we find ourselves somewhere. In the kitchen? Sure. But is it the kitchen? Or in a job, a relationship. Wherever, whenever. Life. When we don't know how or why we got there. We're not hungry or thirsty. We have the reassurance of our "stuff." The clock -- time -- ticks. Like our heart. The stairs pop. A reminder of our climb to get where we are.

But how -- or why? -- the hell did we get here?

There is some sense in the meter, in the rhyme. It's not free verse, not complete randomness. It's not prose with cute line breaks. There's some rhyme in the reason. But it's not a sonnet, that's for sure. There's loveliness... Quite a bit of that. But no prediction. No march-step of pentameter to suggest a guide or an overt hand, no deus-ex-machina that might provide an overall pattern. Just some hint of behind-the-scenes... playfullness.

And what's the final question?

"Whisper, tell
why would you want me?"

Haunting. To me, anyways. Who is this "you?" The "other?" The sublime "other?" of love? The life-partner? Is it God?

Is it just the kitchen?

I wake up and find myself in the kitchen all the time. Or on the front porch. Listening to the wind. Looking at the fireflies. Trying to make a snack from one slice of bread and not enough jam. It is a moment of sublime and comic inquiry. This poem captures that in all its domestic and eternal goofiness, heart-ache, tragedy, lonliness, loveliness and sleepiness.

I really, really love this poem.

Thanks, Jen.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: July 31, 2005 )

Pretty good
While I don't dig where you break the lines, this is pretty good.

The perturbing gleam part was a bit clunky. Otherwise shaped up pretty well.

( Posted by: xitwound117 [Member] On: August 1, 2005 )

Verguenza
Shame!
I like this poem, and everyone goes through moments of turmoil and such. I think the way to treatment is a long haul and if someone does not help you out, helping yourself out can make that long haul seem impossible.
Furthermore, I think the drifting and shifting, of boards and feet, maintain the balance of sanus.

I remember a time when I stuck my head in the freezer while it was running, because a song, movie, or line I had read from some book I should have not picked up happened. Depression can take many forms. I am ussually a loser or a bibliophile when I am depressed, but never sought the comfort of others in an egotistical or conceited manner. However I realize that there are steps in the path to recovery, and maybe that was one step I took but can not remember, one I missed, or one I chose to hop over.

( Posted by: xinerama [Member] On: August 13, 2005 )

hazelfaern/mused metaphorics
Jennifer-
Indeed.
Microcosmic/personal..at same time transcendent/universal..primo.

We appear to move, at times, in retrograde, looping back on selves, while being carried/transported on this wandering little orb..

Attached here..not by gravity alone..
Ciao,
Robert William

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: December 30, 2008 )





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