Member Rara Avis
No, Ron, I understand. I can be notoriously difficult sometimes. Well, the thing is, I actually have really simple ideas that spark these things ... I just go at the poem with no entry point for the reader. It's sort of self-enclosed bubbles, with a little bit of the outside world leaking in to give color and contrast.
Art to me is almost always a selfish act. A creative one, but a selfish one. It's taking the fundamentally unknowableness (sheesh, I'm fired ) of the world and trying to fashion it into some sort of order -- or last order in this case.
To tell you the truth, this poem was first inspired by my girlfriend's essay Rose Petal Confessions (it's posted in Passions in Prose, this morning). She is a much more truthful and honest writer than myself. Much of my humor, after all, is a way of masking the place where emotions connect, where you'll feel and maybe be angry or sad or afraid or happy.
My poems are a bit of a mask in that regard, too. The reason I'm so stubborn with giving a reader an easy entry point is because, once you get through the "hard" shell, there is nothing but a gooey inside pretending to be flinty, and it's scary to share some of the things I feel and know.
But enough of that. Let me give you the chronology.
The first verse originally started "Throw my ashes off the pier," which I hastily changed. Still, the poem is about the narrator's ashes being thrown. You can tell by the line "No, that's arrogant." Because he aspires that he can "wash away the waves" -- an illusion of immortality -- when in actuality, the waves will simply wash him away.
The second verse is simply the ashes actually being thrown. In the movie Last Orders, a band of friends/family throws an old man's ashes off of Margate. The wind blows a lot of the ashes back in their face, and the rain makes gray puddles of them near the pier's edge.
The third is explicitly linked to Lori's essay. She says in it that she doesn't understand symbolism and metaphor. And I would be a fool to say that I do, either, on anything other than a gut level. But, strangely, when the poem began, suddenly the two dozen roses became 24 roses, which I realized is the hours in a day. A simplistic surface narrative on mortality, in other words. But I like the idea of piles of ash sort of flowering out in the waves as they sink.
The final verse is about whether or not there is an after life. The ashes won't answer, the waves simply die and are reborn again and again, and the narrator holds his tongue from a solution.
So that's the poem. And Parasite, thank you for your congratulations on my use of meter. Truthfully, that is inherent, too. Before you identified what form I was using, I would never have known its name, or its properties. I guess years of music lessons sort of pounded the idea of meter into me, even when it lapses here and there.
Thanks everyone. And those who just read through this entire thing -- wow.