Better Late Than Never

Cliché is generally frowned upon by writers with any degree of skill and self-respect, amateur and professional alike, but from time to time certain occasions arise in which it is desirable and even preferable to utilize such a literary device (if it can be termed thus). As I attempt to write this post for (at least) the third time, I am willing to do whatever it takes to convince myself to follow through and actually publish it, and if I can use cliché as a tool to get the ball rolling, then so be it. Quite obviously, the cliché I refer to is the title of this post, which is a rather blunt acknowledgement of the nearly 11 months that have elapsed without a single entry in my humble, languishing blog.

It is highly tempting for me to offer excuses (valid or otherwise) for why I have not written anything here in so long, but I will (at least temporarily) refrain from doing so for a couple of reasons: first, I am still struggling to compose a convincing mental narrative (a prerequisite of any autobiographical writing exercise, as far as I'm concerned), and second, I want to return to blogging with a flourish, not a whimper. To this end, I am finally posting the Valentine's Day poem that I promised back in January, rather than waiting another couple of months for the relevant occasion to arise again.
Adrift on the endless sea, subjected to the whims of the cruel wind,
Lost in the vast, tumultuous expanse yet not quite wanting to be found,
Overwhelmed by the suffocating solitude yet strangely calm, I grinned.
No longer deferring to violent and mercurial emotions, I was unbound.

Enchanting as they may be, the sirens of the sea are a dangerous lot,
Offering their victim false companionship with their poisonous tune,
Nefariously indulging his wildest dreams to lure him to their hidden spot,
Voraciously devouring him and then swiftly resuming their evil croon.

Approaching the sirens' lair, I quickly searched my ship for beeswax,
Liquefying it with a strong flame and hastily jamming it into my ears,
Eliminating the witches' auditory threat and allowing myself to relax.
Nearby, I imagined them cursing my escape and succumbing to tears.

Though the end of my journey seemed distant, even many years away,
I rejoiced in the knowledge that my mind was free and my heart content,
Not weighed down with longing but rather savoring the present day,
Eagerly awaiting the next grand adventure, no matter where I went.

Someday you will find this message in a bottle, and I will be long gone,
Dead and decaying in a quiet grave, a lone corpse forgotten and alone.
All I ask is this: be not the duckling that desperately wishes to be a swan.
You are worthy in your own way, so seize this day and make it your own.
I would likely succumb (once more) to arrogance if I seriously entertained the idea that this poem is complex enough to warrant a lengthy and scholarly explanation, and moreover, even if I were a poet of such caliber, it would take away from the poem's mystery if I were to pull back the curtain and expose the process by which I composed it. Suffice it to say that I wrote it to make myself feel better during a (both literally and figuratively) dark and cold winter season and that the optimistic imagery in the latter half of the poem did at least partially accomplish that goal. Any further interpretation is left as an exercise for the reader.



Valentine's Day Prelude: A Trilogy

In anticipation of the rapidly-approaching annual celebration of Valentine's Day, I thought it might be appropriate to share a recent trilogy of poems dedicated to a special someone, even though my attempts at courtship ultimately floundered. I have since escaped the clutches of the negative emotions accompanying the rejection (in fact, I'm still good friends with this person), and I figured that, instead of keeping my artistic expression under lock and key, I should expose it to the light and take some pride in the time and effort I expended to produce it. The first poem in the series was written shortly before my previous post on Greek mythology, and the latter two were written just after the beginning of the new year. Like the poems in my previous post, the poems in this trilogy (and likely all of my future poetic creations) follow my new convention of embedding a vertical message using the first letter of each line. The entire 50-line trilogy follows below.
[ I ]

Spirit me away, o autumn zephyr,
Caress me in your gentle arms
As my tired hands pen this letter.
Let not my adoration bring me harm,
Disfiguring my countenance with a frown,
Intoxicating me with a dizzying potion
Not of this world, a concoction sent down
Gently from the azure celestial ocean:
Liquid death in a dazzling crystal glass
On a silver platter, an overdose of emotion
Violently growing into a cancerous mass,
Engulfing and rending me into a lifeless quotient.
Take me instead on your airy wings,
Ascending towards astral planes,
Realms of thoughts and hazy things,
As I drift to sleep in the company of the rain.

[ II ]

Forsaken in the frozen depths of the ninth circle of hell,
Reposed in idyllic icy immobility, bound by bitter frostbite,
I serve my eternal sentence, having no soul left to sell.
Endless is my suffering in this place deprived of light,
Numbed by the cold but set ablaze anew by cruel hope.
Denial and rejection are the wardens of my gloomy gaol,
Zealots of romantic indifference and masters of my scope,
Oppressing lonely hearts and wickedly watching love fail.
Nuptial melodies echo faintly in the cavernous expanse,
Excruciating reminders of a happy world of song and dance.

Though my melancholy prison resides entirely in my mind,
Hidden away amid bushy forests of axons and dendrites
Entwined in ironic intimate embraces purposefully aligned,
No escape can be engineered, nor can the sleepless nights
I endure be convinced to cease their dreaded recursion.
Nefarious nocturnal musings provide unwelcome diversion,
Trapping me in idle fantasy and spellbinding immersion,
Helpless in the throes of imagination's slumber subversion.

Condemned by the court of your heart to exile in the arid waste
Innocently designated "the friendzone", I soon collapse of thirst,
Rising briefly only to fall once more, sweating and red-faced,
Casualty of an unrequited infatuation, cast out and cursed.
Looking out at the sandy desert, facing no particular direction,
Exhaling heavily as the sun sets, I mourn the death of affection.

Once again my delirium abates and I find myself in your room,
Friend but not lover, in close proximity and yet worlds away,
Harboring heavy emotion in my heart, buried deep in a tomb.
Excitedly engaging in irreverence as night succumbs to day,
Laughing happily with you at the absurdity of the world, still I
Long for more, but the thought fades and I let out a silent sigh.

[ III ]

Tormented is the lengthy verse flowing from my sharp, lonely quill,
Lovingly crafted but written with an illicit, mind-altering black ink,
Delivered but then returned to sender. I now watch the words spill,
Ripened by the flame, onto my broken skin until I cease to think.
I have already written a follow-up poem, but I'm saving it for Valentine's Day proper. Stay tuned for a 20-line epic that will return to the Greek theme of my previous post but also mix things up by using the mythological setting as a metaphor for my internal mental and emotional processes.