Am I doing? How?

How do you do, you asked
You couldn’t have confused me more
Am I doing? How?

So I prepared some answers
just in case
we meet again

I feel like a fish
swimming in water that has been boiled for too long
the temperature is down again
but there’s something missing
I can breathe
but I’m hungry
something is not right
You know what I mean?

In case of embarrassed silence
I have a second answer ready

I am a Lego brick stuck in a Playmobil basket
a make up doll in a garage
I am dice in a card game
a knitting needle in a carpenter’s hand
Same old, same old
You know what I mean?

In case you then move away from me
I have prepared to grab your hand

I’m only joking
I’m doing fine and okay
I’m safe and secure
I’m healthy and whole
I’m up to snuff
Everything is perfect – you know me!

Would you then try to pry your hand away
I’d be lost for words
but I’d have
my knitting needle
a Lego brick
and dice
so in my garage
I’d find out how you’re doing

You know what I mean?

The prompt today was “to write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks. That could be a poem with very long lines, or very short lines. Or a poem that blends the two.”  When I looked at this poem, I realised the line breaks didn’t make me that uncomfortable. I tend to take liberties with those anyway. So I tried other ways to stretch my comfort zone. It’s an uncomfortable poem, and it deserves an extra bit of awkwardness. So I centralised the text. That worked, and even looked good. Not the effect I wanted. So I made my next move… It looks very uncomfortable to me now. I consider my comfort zone stretched. And the form illustrative. But ouch, it hurts!

Yesterday’s prompt turned out many interesting poems. I’d like to highlight A big bang, by rivrvlogr. He choose a poem by Runa Svetlikova, in Dutch. His ‘mistranslation’ catches the magic of the original, without being the same. I can’t explain it, you’d better read it yourself 🙂

If you read Dutch, it’s really interesting to experience the difference between the Dutch version and the translation, as provided at Poetry International Web. Ken included it in his post, so it’s easy to take all of them in in one go and wonder. Or marvel.

5 thoughts on “Am I doing? How?

  1. Dawn D

    I like the rhythm you gave through the unusual line breaks. I particularly loved the image of the Lego brick stuck in the Playmobil basket! Can you tell I’ve had a few such experiences? 😀

    Reply
  2. rivrvlogr

    Your line breaks give a nice emphasis to the situation.
    Masking our troubles and giving the outward appearance that everything is fine is something we all do at some time. And, you’ve characterized that feeling of inner turmoil very well.

    Thank you for sharing my poem.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 6 – “A Star In A Fiery Ocean” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  4. huyork

    The move to the right margin has a great effect! Before I knew that you were using that to get out of your comfort zone, I thought, I need to try that. Interesting to think about the effect of layout.

    Reply

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