Two thousand days and nights (Unfinished)

interloper's picture

Final Version:

My armor weighs more than I can still carry,

A cage for my skull,

Five years empty inside. 

Circean shapeshifters sold me this

Sheathing. 

In shadows they flitter, in daylight they hide.

Remember: 

Effortless solstice of winter,

Sleeping, 

Turning, legs and arms twined.

Human cocoon

Of breath, skin, Elysium,

Flawless empyrean, fullness of mind.

Now

Skating the precipice, dragging my baggage,

Punch hard,

Pierce through this carapace shell. 

With unguarded organs 

I squint through the scissure,

Unable to tell if it's heaven

Or hell.

Exoskeletal shedding takes trust,

Though I can't seem to know when it's false or it's real,

But If i touch heat then

I'll maybe be able to

Cry

and then actually, finally

Feel.

Comments

interloper's picture

Two thousand days and nights (Unfinished)

First Version

My armor weighs more than I can still carry,

A cage for my skull, 

Five years empty inside. 

Circean shapeshifters sold me this 

Sheathing.

In shadows they flitter,  

In daylight they hide.

Remember:

Effortless solstice of winter, 

Sleeping, turning, 

Legs and arms twined.

Human cocoon 

Of breath, skin, Elysium,

Flawless empyrean, fullness of mind.

Now

Skating the precipice, 

Dragging my baggage,

Punch hard, 

Pierce through 

This carapace shell. 

With unguarded organs 

I squint through the scissure,

Unable to tell if it's heaven 

Or hell.

Shedding exoskeletal skin takes trust,

Though 

I can't seem to know

when it's false 

Or it's real, but

If i touch heat then

I'll maybe be able 

To cry 

And then actually, 

Finally

Feel.

jrlewis's picture

initial thoughts

First question- why "Two Thousand Days and Nights"?  Is unfinished part of the title or a comment on the work?  I think it works with the title.  However, overall the title mainly makes me think of the "Thousand and One Nights."  Did you intend that reference? 

Second thought- could you put the word cry on a line of its own?  I think it is a very important word in the poem.  I'd actually like to see you turn it into a double entendre.  Cry tears and cry out. 

Third thought- I like the end rhyme of the second version a lot.  However, I think the line breaks work better in the first version, more enjambment and suspense.  I would like to see a third version with all the end rhymes and shorter lines with more enjambment.  I'm curious about the effect of irregular end-rhyme on this poem. 

interloper's picture

thoughts

Two thousand days and nights refers to how long its been since I first put on the armor/cage. Over five years. No reference to any other work is intended. Unfinished is not part of the title, its a comment, hoping for feedback. (Thank you.)

As to the rhyme and structure, I was thinking exactly what you were. Some combination of the two would probably capture the best of both versions. Stay tuned.

interloper's picture

although

Although, maybe (unfinshed) should be part of the title. I kind of like it there, and it's hopefully true.

interloper's picture

Unfinished stays.

Unfinished has worked its way into the title in my mind. I think it stays. It belongs.

jrlewis's picture

Yep

I agree, the unfinished does important work with the poem.  Including unfinished sets up a conflict between the title of the poem and the last line.  The poem ends with the possibility of change.  The word, unfinished, implies a stasis, a lack of change in the narrator's experience.  It is essential evoking the pain of a long unresolved conflict. 

interloper's picture

Two thousand days and nights (unfinished)

Second Version.

My armor weighs more than I can still carry, a cage for my skull, five years empty inside. 

Circean shapeshifters sold me this sheathing. In shadows they flitter, in daylight they hide.

Remember: Effortless solstice of winter, sleeping, turning, legs and arms twined.

Human cocoon of breath, skin, Elysium, flawless empyrean, fullness of mind.

Now skating the precipice, dragging my baggage, punch hard, pierce through this carapace shell. 

With unguarded organs I squint through the scissure, unable to tell if it's heaven or hell.

Shedding exoskeletal skin takes trust, though I can't seem to know when it's false or it's real,

but If i touch heat then I'll maybe be able to cry and then actually, finally feel.

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