Thursday, August 24, 2006

Day 6: Journal Entry

I will
I will not
I will not kill
I will not kill my
I will not kill my self
I will not kill my self any



BLUE said...

as i read this one, i go immediately to my favorite component of the Suzan-Lori Parks aesthetic -- rep & rev (repetition and revision) ... though this is not quite rep&rev.

it is a progression: lines breaks with a pattern of advance in stanza 1, a single word as stanza 2.

looking at this also leads me to think about what word progressions tend to guide me to:

--feelings of tension




--concrete shapes on the page

--a hard look at the characters that make up words

--(depending on the position of words) an overriding emotion: here the overriding emotion is restraint for me.

i am toying with the notion that a person who has been diagnosed ... or who hasn't been diagnosed but knows he's sick might not be so controlled under pressure in a journal.

like if we wanted to show he was afraid and erratic, the text might come across like this:



or if we wanted to play with meaning and emotion, we might try this:

I will I
will not I will
not kill I will not
kill my I will not kill
my self I will not kill my
self any



what is the words just went berserk all over the page to reflect the journal entry writer's state of mind???

i wonder about the word more being the exit line for this poem.

i also wonder about the words any and more being the end words.

i don't have any suggestions for other words, but the poem needs an end word that really plants a supposition or a *story* (imagined) in the mind of the reader.

an ending in a poem like this should resonate more hauntingly or give an opening for further speculation or raise an inescapable question. (my own greedy desire, not the gospel)

if you use a word like "today" it anchors the sparseness of the poem a lot better. so the reader in me wants a stronger word or phrase as an ending.

want to make a note, too, that if there are only four poems in the sequence, a curious mind like mine wants to know what's happening in the days that have been left out?

and what is significant about the day you start with or the day you end with or the days you decide to include?

obviously, there is a reason why certain days deserve our attention, right?

BLUE said...


also find it very interesting that you use the construction "my self" as two separate words.

it suggests the speaker's separation from his body.

and by this:

a hard look at the characters that make up words

i mean both alphabet and people when i say "characters."

Collin said...

I have to echo Blue on this a seems too controlled for a journal entry, unless the point is that the speaker is trying to gain control by doing this rigid exercise. The progressive descent of the stanza is interesting, especially when we get to the word "more", which almost seems like the speaker caught himself before falling any further.

I also questioned why "my self" was two separate words, but it does continue the feel of detachment that has manifested in all three of the poems so far.

As for ending on the "more"...I have mixed emotions. It could be read that the speaker is asking for "more" life or time. More is a strong word, but it seems lessened here doesn't hold up under the weight of what comes above it.

I'm curious about why you chose to write the poem this way.

alan sugar said...

My interpretation is personal.
First of all, I believe "my self" suggests just that, the self that belongs to me-- such as "my soul" or "my heart".
I know what is it like to feel rejected or to feel like an outsider. I have killed "my self" many times. I also do this when I feel I have failed and there is no going back.
In one of Stephen Sondheim's songs he says, "... dying day after day after day til the days go by". I know what it is like to kill my self day after day after day. I also know the feeling of belonging, something so oftern present at Java Monkey on Sunday evenings.
Finally, it's a Christmas tree. I may be Jewish, but I do love Christmas. The tree is a symbol of birth.

Anonymous said...

All technical analysis aside, i completely understand the spirit behind this entry. It IS to suggest a mantra and/or affirmation of the writer desperately attempting to control something which may in fact not be in his/her control. Hence, it's apparent rigidity. My opinion of course. Only the writer knows. I know the writer well. My guess is educated.