words I used to say

I just died inside of this page
My pen is alive as the brightest of days
It dances atop my grave
Patting my corpse – “stay – stay”
Whispering words I used to say
Dousing my flesh in ink
Coloring my teeth
Circling swift as the fall’s final leaf

It’s the dynamite that hides inside of the pen
That did me in

– Eric McCarty (12/4/2011)

5 thoughts on “words I used to say

  1. Hey, I love your use of ‘I just died inside of this page’ but I think it could be more powerful if you only use this line once. There is something disturbing about the dying being mentioned amongst the rest of the poem, yet going relatively unnoticed. Then maybe just cut the last bit down to ‘it was the pen that finally did it’ or something. Just in my opinion :)

  2. Lauren,

    I agree with you in using the line once only. I have been trying to figure out how I can incorporate repetition (in my poems) in a useful way. I think – just maybe – death is a onetime thing.! I’m going to think this over some more to see what adjustments I can make.

    Thank you for the advice and for reading.

  3. Love the atmosphere you’re creating here. There’s something about “Circling swift as the fall’s final leaf” that feels ominous and slightly threatening, I’ve no idea why, but that’s what great about poetry, it makes your respond sometimes in ways you don’t expect.
    Re previous comment, I think the “…dynamite that hides inside of the pen” line should be the last one, leaves it hanging, but I still love it just as it is.

  4. “Circling swift as the fall’s final leaf”
    I found this interesting too for a couple reasons as well (I won’t spoil the fun of it though).

    I do see what you see as far as the final line. I made a change (as I had basically repeated the first line to conclude, this was erased with my internet pencil) but my dad read this aloud to me and now I can’t get his voice/rendition out of my head.

    As always, thank you for reading Malcolm. Opinions are always a welcome sight.

  5. This is so original and fresh. I love the huge contrast between the way the first two lines are written to encapsulate the moods of death and then life. Also the contrast between beautifully poetic lines such as ‘Circling swift as the fall’s final leaf’ and everyday language, such as the final line.

    ‘Coloring my teeth’ is a great line too.

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