Below is the poem entitled Exposure: Part I which was written by poet
Aechtner. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.
Read Poems by
Chris D. Aechtner
Today I conceived myself as a poet for the first time,
and not because of employable meter, rhyme, and flow -
I will leave such devices for the wordsmiths and Masters.
And not because I can write poetry....what I do,
should be labelled as something else entirely -
not as poetry.
I am an organic recorder, filing away bits and pieces of zeitgeist,
without rhyme or reason,
almost as if ghosts are guiding my hand across the paper,
and I really don't have much say in the matter.
I am a stranger in a crowded world,
a stranger amongst people I have known for years,
not quite fitting in anywhere, but being in all places at once.
I write the words down, they in turn speak to me.
A clear, mutual agreement -
the smell and feel of new paper,
the liquid, brashness of ink as it penetrates the virgin whiteness
of so many possible observations, opinions and stories.
The words know me intimately.
We aren't strangers.
The reality of vowels and consonants is where I truly fit.
I was moving through a crowd of familiar faces -
a familiar feeling of strangeness and alienation,
when I came across a Persian face I had never seen before.
A real stranger.
Not one I have known for years.
She mentioned not being into sex,
how she only wanted to talk about things she couldn't mention to friends -
her mind felt as if it was floating by the moon
and she wasn't sure how to reel it back into her skull again.
I told her not to worry, sex isn't the only thing on my brain.
She said that sex was the only thing on her brain;
but in a different way.
She explained how she had been kidnapped in Iran,
imprisoned as a sex-slave,
repeatedly raped by rich business men who wore wedding bands.
I asked if she was filled with hate.
She wasn't quite sure.
"What does hate feel like?"
"Well, it shouldn't be mistaken for rage, anger or frustration.
Those emotions are red hot to the touch.
Hate is a cold thing.
Like a Raven perched on the railing of a bridge,
sleet bouncing off its feathers,
not caring to fly away even though cars are barrelling past,
flinging up dirty, February slush.
There is nowhere left to fly to.
The trees are all cut down,
dumpsters have tight lids,
for some reason the fish are all belly-up in the river below,
dead from some mysterious reason.
Its stomach aching from hunger,
the Raven smells the reason for all of this death
emanate from the strange looking beasts walking and driving past.
It is all their fault -
they are the poison behind it all.
This is hate."