Obliviate

obliviate

(after Gayl Jones)


the guitar speaking your name
she's twanging oblivion
she's twanging oblivion
he's going to kill his girl
I'm a girl
I am calling myself a girl
I say, “I'm a girl”
he sits in the dark
his mouth never moves
she's twanging oblivion
he says something
she's twanging oblivion
“yes, I'm a girl”
I want to know you
I know
I want to know you
I know
he picks up his phone
the guitar is speaking your name
I tell him to
turn on the light
he makes marks
he makes hollow marks
that I can't understand
he is a stranger
sometimes he is a safe stranger
sometimes he is a dangerous stranger
I know
Created with GIMP

When I read Gayl Jones’s poem Deep Song if felt moved to write my own version of it. I loved the way she played with the blues strophe, a style which is very different from anything I’ve written before. I took her poem as a template and transposed an experience of my own onto it as a poetry exercise. I quite like the result.