Lush Night (Erasure Poem for dVerse Poets)

 

Lush Night

That delicious
middle
of the gravel road.
Safe sun coming up.
The first time
pleasures
of a night owl—
finding time
everyone else was wasting
on dreams.

An aficionado of night
ever since.
Poems written
in the dark
while cities slept.

Time for yourself
with magic happening.
Ever afterwards,
you have survived
on as little sleep as possible.

Party years,
dancing and drinking until three,
then breakfast with the single crowd
and driving straight to school at six.
Invulnerable.

Even married,
sneaking out of bed
to your basement studio
all night long,
back to bed before he awakened,
feeling that little terror,
like a vampire caught by light.

At 54, with no more husband,
above ground,
no longer hidden,
watching light go out
as you sat piecing art—
until suddenly,
impossibly,
light after light went on again
so you were going to bed
as your neighbor was arising
to start his day.

Romance at 62
entered your midnight afterworld.
Serenaded by a night-addicted lover bard,
Skype your love letters
and your trysting spot.
Night that intimate invisible union
through the magic
which now joins you
in that single space
within you
you keep separate
from the world.

At night,
you know exactly
what it is you want
and live it
with no world
to lead you elsewhere.

This poem was written to a prompt by dVerse Poets. The idea is to take a found poem and to erase parts to create a new poem.  I used my own poem, Lush Night. This is what it looked like before the erasures:

Lush Night

Remember that delicious
walking, arms linked,
down the middle
of the gravel road
in your pajamas
at five in the morning
when you were twelve?
That first slumber party
in your safe small town
when you all stayed up all night
for the first time in your lives?
That eerie first sight
of the sun coming up
when your head had never hit a pillow
since it went down?

And then you knew for the first time
the pleasures
of being a night owl—
of finding time
that everyone else was wasting
through dreams.

And you have been
an aficionado of night
ever since.
All of your term papers
and exams studied for
at the last minute,
all night long.
Books written, poems written
mostly in the dark
while towns and cities around you slept.
That power of having all of your time for yourself
with not a chance of phones ringing.
Some magic happening
once you had the world to yourself
so ever afterwards
you have survived
on as little sleep as possible.

During your party years,
dancing and drinking till three,
then going for breakfast with the single crowd
and driving straight to school at six.
You were invulnerable.

Even married,
sneaking out of bed once he’d fallen asleep
and working in your basement studio all night long,
sometimes sneaking back to bed before he awakened,
at other times caught.
“It’s nine in the morning! Have you been up all night again?”
Feeling that little terror, like a vampire caught by light.

Then at 54, with no more husband,
no more job necessary,
with a new country and a new studio
above ground,
guilty pleasures no longer needed to be hidden—
watching light after light go out
as you sat piecing art together
in your studio—until suddenly,
impossibly,
light after light went on again
so you were going to bed
as your neighbor was arising
to start his day.

Then, improbably, at 62, internet romance
entered your midnight-and-after world.
Every night serenaded to sleep
from 1500 miles away
by an equally night-addicted lover bard
at two or three or four a.m.—
or whenever pillow talk led to it.

Skype became your love letters
and your trysting spot
now and then all day long;
but still, night better swaddled
that intimate invisible union
through the dark air
that has always been magic for you,
but which now joins instead of
sending you into the single space
where you unite with that within you
which you keep separate from the world.

At night, united or alone,
you know exactly what it is you want
and live it,
with no world
to lead you elsewhere.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Lush Night (Erasure Poem for dVerse Poets)

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Bev. I keep wanting to go back and cut more. By the time I end, perhaps I’ll have an erasure more reasonable in length. This was an interesting exercise. I’d done it before with Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” that went on for fifty-two pages. Now that was an exercise!!! (His poem went on for 52 pages, not mine.)

      Like

      Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      I’m using all the excuses I can to go back and edit old poems, Frank. Most people haven’t followed my blog long enough to see these golden oldies, and I’m editing anyway for a chapbook, so all of these ends are intertwined.

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s