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David Hines [userpic]

APED: "passive-aggressive"

February 8th, 2009 (10:59 am)

She doesn't dare to call them. Her voice would show her tears.
So she writes her lonely verses late at night,
For people left unseen she hasn't contacted for years.
But missed so sorely -- water blurs her sight.

Do people think about the friends they've lost along the way?
She thinks perhaps she does it more than most.
They're with her in the verses now, the things she daren't say.
Grandmother told her: never speak to ghosts.

But ghosts still whisper in her ear, as night turns into dawn.
She gets up every day. It's still a fight.
The voices that she hasn't heard in years still echo on,
the smiles she hasn't seen still shine so bright.

So she writes her lyrics, sends them out into the world.
They're set to music, then they're passed along.
Like the father that she never knew, back when she was a girl --
she wonders if he spoke to her in song.

The money they bring in is good. Pays for the home, the pills.
Her life's not bad, just lonely, all in all.
She knows this in her heart of hearts. And yet she's hoping still --
Maybe one will look their song up, see her name and call.

I'm sorry, and I love you, and I miss you.
Your friendship is the reason I'm not dead.
It was my fault. I still think about you.
I wish that I could wake up in your bed.
I wish that I had paid you back that money.
I wish like hell I'd told you that I cared.
I wish Mom had loved me best. It isn't funny --
I'm trying not to show how much I'm scared.
Call me. Anytime. Please don't forget me.
I wish I hadn't run so from your pain.
You'd have been much better off if you'd not met me.
I know that's true, but I can't say the same --
You'll never know, for I can't say, how much you meant to me.
I'd call you, but I know it's been too long.
So listen to this stranger sing my song.

Another sleepless night. Another song comes to a head.
That's good. Another mortgage payment nears.
Clock radio goes off at dawn -- she drags herself from bed,
and a stranger sings a little phrase she hasn't heard in years.

She knew he was in music, long ago. Is he out here?
She looks the song up quickly. And she's right.
It's strange to feel that surge of joy -- and then a sudden fear.
Because he'd said those very words, to her one long-past night.

She takes the phone in hand -- and then she isn't sure.
She's knows it's what she hoped her ghosts would do.
But was the ghost's song written for a stranger, meant for her?
And, if not her, who was he writing to?

I'm sorry, and I love you, and I miss you.
Your friendship is the reason I'm not dead.
It was my fault. I still think about you.
I wish that I could wake up in your bed.
I wish that I had paid you back that money.
I wish like hell I'd told you that I cared.
I wish Mom had loved me best. It isn't funny --
I'm trying not to show how much I'm scared.
Call me. Anytime. Please don't forget me.
I wish I hadn't run so from your pain.
You'd have been much better off if you'd not met me.
I know that's true, but I can't say the same --
You'll never know, for I can't say, how much you meant to me.
I'd call you, but I know it's been too long.
So listen to this stranger sing my song.

Comments

Posted by: Cerlian (cerlian)
Posted at: February 10th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
sorrow

For some reason -- okay, screw that -- I really really want to set this to music.

...I know the reason.

It's gorgeous.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 10th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)

Thanks. I think you're the only one who liked it. :) I hear the tune for this one in my head, a bit, so in all honesty it really is more of a song than a poem.

I was trying to write a funny poem about poetry being really passive-aggressive when you think about it -- if you read a lot of immature poetry (such as, oh, maybe eighty percent of some online poetry forums), you see that a lot of them are clearly addressed *to one specific person who will probably never happen across the thing,* and I thought there could be sport made in poking fun at that. Then I realized, no, it isn't funny; it's really very sad and unfortunate. Which led me to think about what it might be like for somebody who could *only* try to connect to people that way. Also, about what it's like on the other end: even if it's somebody you wouldn't mind talking to again, there's the inclination to think, "Is this meant for me?" and "What does this mean?" and "Would I cause more harm than good?"

...the irony, I realized after posting this, is that this one could readily be seen as *me* being passive-aggressive, with that chorus. Not my intention -- I think that's tacky and awkward at best -- but the potential recursion is, I think, darkly amusing.

Posted by: Cerlian (cerlian)
Posted at: February 10th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
thou art god

...Although now you've planted an idea in my head. What if...all thems people who wrote those poems wrote them at one particular person in many guises.

Sorry, that was an odd digression. On the other hand, I do agree with you. Most poetry are very passive-aggressive -- so are lyrics directed at any particular person or person type. (Slow love ballads come to mind.)

Would you mind if I tried writing the music to it? It probably won't be the same tune as the one you have in your mind, of course, but...

...Although one of the problems with setting this particular poem to music is the first four verses, which are a rather slow introduction. Barring that, though, with interspersing the only repeating ver-- I'm sorry, I tend to ramble on when it comes to songwriting. I hope you weren't too bored. :)

To be quite honest though, most of your poems are incredibly easy to set to music; there's simply something about the meter in all of them that allows for it. So, anyway, collecting all the disparate thanks and praise from the separate comments I've left, thanks for writing these. Honestly. They brighten my day. Or night.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: February 11th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)

Sure, give it a shot! Be interested to see how it comes out.

And thanks for reading.

Posted by: Elleria (elleria)
Posted at: February 12th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)

Wow...this is really good. See, I like it too...I just haven't been on-line in oh...about five days.

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