April 10, 2011


When restless thoughts refuse to find repose
And futile ruminations meet with those
Who beg for mercy from the voiceless muse
And losing all, have nothing left to lose
When shipwrecked on creation’s desolate shore
Where dead-end inspiration’s nothing more
Than sand before the blast - so quickly gone
To sink within the rising of the dawn
When sickened, fleshless lumps of animation
Are all that stir the poet’s contemplation
You won’t forget, no matter how you tried
The day that your imagination died


lyndsey said...

Under "Reading List" on your dashboard page, hit the "add" or "remove" buttons. You can plug my address into the "add" and remove your own. YAY!

Smoore said...

You're a really good poet! I wish I could write like that.

Anonymous said...

This one is good, but it seems a little sad. I don't like when anything dies...especially imagination! :) Nevertheless, you never cease to intrigue me and you talent never ceases to impress me. :) Wonderful!

Seth Cunningham said...

It is always sad when imagination dies, particularly because it is usually death by neglect.

Constructive Criticism: I doubt very much if “creation's shore” is a desolate place. “Creation's shore” is in all likely hood a very happening place, teeming with inspiration and vibrant life. I, along with everybody else, understand what you mean by the line but you fall short, I think, of actually saying what you mean in this instance. “Desolation's shore” or any other number of meet replacements might do but I think “creation's shore” ought not be sullied with words such as “desolate”.

Always a pleasure to read. Keep it up, Chuck.

Seth A. Cunningham

Mark Zellner said...

Lyndsey, thanks for the tip!

Thanks Seth, glad you like it! Feel free to check out my other poems too! ;)

Thank you Kate. I just wasn't feeling it today, writing wise, and this is the result of feeling abandoned by my muse.

I see your point Cunningham. I wrestled with that phrase for a while. In the end I decided to go with it, precisely for the reason it doesn't work: it's a paradox. Finding zero inspiration in a place that is brimming with life shows the depth of the problem, I think. Thanks for your con-crit!

HeatherU said...

Nice. Really, really nice. I like your way with words :)


Wesgrey said...

You've done much better work than this, Mark.

To change from future tense to "future past tense" with "tried" that rhymes with "died" breaks tense to force a rhyme. Better perhaps to slur rhyme with "try" in the same future tense.

No punctuation is like speaking in tongues because listeners must guess what you mean. Better to speak clearly through punctuation and avoid misinterpretation.

Think of punctuation as indicators of breathing: a comma or semi-colon pauses for intake, a period relaxes at teh end of a thought before taking in another. No punctuation means we read breathlessly, then at some point suspend thought to go over and over trying to figure out why we have no place to breath and in such panic we flail like before drowning in a quicksand of words.

IF the intent is to suffocate the reader in a sand soup of alpha bits then warn us to refrain.

Speaking of "sand" & "blast" in the same line, do you mean that like desert sand blasting up your sinuses around Sinai OR may we imagine a California sand blasting beach party with the Beach Boys doing the twist as they dig themselves into a black sand hole where both music & sunset light are sucked into sand?

TRY THIS! if you will.
Rewrite this in the present tense from first person. See what it sounds like then?

Mark Zellner said...

Thank you Heather! Glad you liked it!

Wes, I appreciate your interaction with this poem, and I always take constructive criticism seriously.
As far as the use of "tried" goes, I think its meaning may be misread here. I do not use it in the sense of "tried to forget" but in reference to the effort which the rest of the poem references. "Tried" as in "Tried to write something", speaks in the same past tense as the following line, referencing the same day and moment of imagination's death. In essence the whole poem reads, "When this happens, You won't forget." That help any?

Certainly I'll plan on putting in punctuation, I see your point there! Thanks again, Wes. :)