All Along

interloper's picture


In the swirling midst of your twisting confusion,
Emerging discrepancies kill the delusion,
Swiftly inducing that first cold conclusion.

You wanted, you hoped, you were achingly wrong.  

So shake off the shock of the fables and fiction,
Arrive then again at this next bleak conviction
Concerning your mental distress and affliction.

Deceit stings but truth brings the hurt that's so strong.

Rearrange your illusions, adjust your mythology, 
Examine the evidence, dissect the chronology,
Ultimately owing yourself an apology. 

It was hope that had caused all your pain, all along.

Hope after all...all your pain...all along.

Comments

interloper's picture

All Along (Original version)


In the swirling midst of your twisting confusion,
Emerging discrepancies kill the delusion.
Swiftly inducing your first cold conclusion.

It's not going to be what you hoped.

So you shake off the shock of fabrication and fiction,
And then you arrive at your next hard conviction
Concerning your emotional pain and affliction.

The deceit does sting, but the truth is what aches. 

Rearrange your illusions, adjust your mythology, 
Examine the evidence, dissect the chronology,
Ultimately owing yourself an apology. 

Because
It wasn't the lies.
It wasn't the truth.
Actually 

It was the hope that hurt all along.

After all
Anyway. 

interloper's picture

second version


In the swirling midst of your twisting confusion,
Emerging discrepancies kill the delusion,
Swiftly inducing that first cold conclusion.

You wanted, you hoped, you were achingly wrong.  

So shake off the shock of the fables and fiction,
Arrive then again at this next bleak conviction
Concerning your mental distress and affliction.

Deceit stings but truth brings the hurt that's so strong.

Rearrange your illusions, adjust your mythology, 
Examine the evidence, dissect the chronology,
Ultimately owing yourself an apology. 

It was hope that had caused all your pain, all along.

All along. After all. Hope...

...anyway. 


alesnick's picture

response

I like "your first cold conclusion" and the tension between first and all along.  There is something going on here about action - when/how long.  Also something about cold and hard, vs. soft.

interloper's picture

Thank you.

Thanks for your comment, alesnick, and hello.

I agree with you about the tension between "first" and "all along". I guess that is a part of what I was after here. There is a progression of logic, and it is not emotionally easy to accept.

As to "cold and hard", these words definitely describe what was felt and I wanted to convey (I've since changed "hard" to "bleak", but this is similar), but I'm curious where you find the softness. I'm not saying there isn't any, and maybe that is part of the point of the poem, that from the point of view of myself, the writer, only the cold, hard, and bleak can still be felt, at least at the time of writing, in spite of the revelation that the pain was ultimately self inflicted. There is a resolution in logic, but not yet in emotion.

Does this make sense? Would anyone agree with this?

alesnick's picture

Hello, back, and I find the

Hello, back, and I find the softness in "swirling," "aching," "hope," "all" -- their sound as well as their sense.

interloper's picture

therapy

You are right, I guess there is a softness in those words. Especially swirling. I am realizing that when I write I am often communicating things that I am not even aware of at the time of writing. Writing is exponentially better than therapy. It (the process and experience of writing) is all still new to me and it is fascinating and amazing.

jrlewis's picture

Freudian Slips

I think you are suggesting that writing performs the same function in your life as therapy.  Perhaps more sucessfully.  The best argument I have heard for therapy is that the conscious mind can not or chooses not to acknowledge certain parts of the cognitive unconscious.  A good therapist can observe these elements of the cognitive unconscious and bring them to the attention of the patient's conscious mind.  In the case of writing, it is the reader who is recognizing elements of the writer's cognitive unconscious.  So the reader equals the therapist?

interloper's picture

Therapy has never done a

Therapy has never done a damned thing for me. Not even once. I have tried repeatedly. I will never even give it another shot. But it seems as though every time I write a poem I am learning something about myself, answering questions about my life, my happiness or lack thereof, figuring out what I want or need. It largely happens in the writing, though sometimes it happens after I have finished and I read it. Sometimes the reader points something out I wasn't aware of at all. Maybe the poem itself is the therapist.

jrlewis's picture

Form and Reforming

This poem has a powerfully felt tone and meaning for the first half.  The tone softens noticibly after the 3rd stanza and with the loss of a regular form.  I suspect that it's weakness lies in its form or lack thereof.  The end-rhyme and interjection form is a very effective way of showing conflict.  This poem is full of unresolved conflict.  If you could sustain this form throughout the poem.  Or perhaps riff on end-rhyme-interjection form for a conclusion? 

Another option might be re-writing the poem as sonnet.  An Italian sonnet contains and argument and its resolution, not unlike your own poem. 

interloper's picture

suggestions

Thanks for the suggestions. I really did not like this poem as I first posted it. I have since spent many hours reworking it, and I truly was just about to give up on it. I wanted badly to just take it down and pretend it had never been written.

In the end I think I found a simple solution that works, and works with the message. I changed the meter of the interjections (or should I say gave them a more consistent meter) and created a rhyme scheme for them. I left the loss of form at the end, but I shortened it. I wanted to leave a bit of unresolved emotional conflict even as the logical progression finds a tidy resolution. With a hint of a mixed message thrown in at the very end because there is always just a bit of uncertainty. To me it works.

Do you agree?

jrlewis's picture

I think the new rhyme scheme

I think the new rhyme scheme works much better.  The sounds pull the reader from one line, even one stanza to the next.  The simplicity of a technique like end rhyme pairs really well with the complexity of your syntax and meaning in this poem.  My only concern with this draft is what happened to the rhyme scheme at the end?  The disappearance of sound structure felt very disconcerting to me.  It amplified the ambigious ending of the poem.  Would you consider giving the reader a little more rhyme structure?  Maybe continuing one of the earlier rhyme schemes in the last or second to last lines?

interloper's picture

the end

I think you are right. I am still not satisfied with the ending. I'll see if I can do something better with it. 

interloper's picture

I think maybe

Maybe this is the way it ends.

interloper's picture

not quite right

I'm really not sure how I feel about this one. It's not quite right but I got tired of rewriting it and looking at it so I posted it as is. I am tempted to hide it, but I think instead I will leave it and try to post a revision down the road. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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