Poem: Opening Presents

18 Feb

(My commentary posted to comments below.)



What is this? A tie tack? Did you buy me a tie tack for Christmas?
It’s fine.
It’s just. This is not at all in my style or my taste. And,
further, doesn’t our relationship amount to more than this, a tie tack,
bought where at Sears?

But even if it’s a fancy tie tack,
what does it say about us? Look at what I got you, open it now, just
tear the paper. Look,
Look at the care I put into this gift.
Look at the many layers of meaning and personal resonance.
I thought about this. I wanted to get something for you that would be cherished for years to come. Time immemorial, if I could pull it off.

And you got me a tie tack.

Shit. This makes me want to question the strength of our relationship
the rapport and kismet I thought we have together
if you felt it appropriate to get me a piece of tie


Well, yes, it’s practical. But your gift is MEANINGFUL.
What do you mean, what is it?
It’s an ode to our relationship. To us! Don’t you see,
these shells represent that first time we kissed at the beach.
The figurines there are us, I admit, a bit fanciful, but you used to almost look like that, and I thought it would be romantic.
And those pictures of our faces, I’ve used for the heads, from your father’s wedding, because we were so happy then. Drunk as skunks, and happy. You see, it took time and thought and it’s not a stupid tie tack.

I’m sorry,
I’m sorry. You know
how critical I get during the holiday. And
being around your mother makes me tetchy.
I know,
I’m sorry, baby. Please, stay here. Please hold me.
I am afraid to be alone.


One Response to “Poem: Opening Presents”

  1. cxw February 18, 2010 at 19:47 #

    This monologue popped out spontaneously amidst a series of timed-writings. I immediately liked it and could have posted it as it was: loose, long-sentenced, and in three paragraphs.

    But I became interested in how formatting it might affect the rhythm and spent a good 45 minutes rewriting it. It was a different experience than rewriting a poem as I wasn’t clarifying and concentrating the meaning and imagery of each line. Obviously, the speaker says what’s on their mind.

    I wound up retyping it and trying to get a sense of the rhythm of it and where I might break a line for effect. As it stands, the finished piece sits somewhere between a poem and performance monologue.

    Interested in any thoughts especially who you envision the speaker of this poem to be? How do they dress? What do they look like?

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