What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

ThreeOdysseyNine – Objectacular


I’ve been talking with the kiddos about poetry these past couple of weeks and here’s my attempt at the assignment: Write a poem about an everyday object that makes it into something new, something not so “everyday” at all. I don’t usually use enjambment and line breaks, but here goes…


You have been through
the best and worst
of this Ukrainian year,
from the most festive bursts
of energy and inspiration
to the loneliness and fear
of isolation. This nation has
roughened your edges
even while softening your skin.
Often you waited in dark places
for fate or something closer to the ground
to lay down its firebrand
and bring you back into strong but wringing hands.
You keep singing
whether offered the chance
or not. You patiently prepare,
so saintly, to receive
both genius and thoughts unsound.

Unafraid to come unglued
when the true pressure pounded,
you knew you were bound
to be battered by these forgotten
months untouched. Such is due for
those like you, those whose
use is merely moving others
to act, to choose to have a voice
where there once was only silence.

And though of late, all seems
to be coming down from some quiet climax,
you can still find out how to stay open
to the very end. Remember
when you first arrived, how alive
and fresh you were, almost
blank even, and so thankful.
Pulled here, away so long,
from the space
where you were made,
by random songs of love
and purpose, nervous
but nevertheless hopeful of finally
searching out the words to work out
how and why you are
who you are, where you are.

Now that you have been both here
and there, having found your purpose
in those very words you sought, I’ve
just one more thought to get you through:
though you’ll leave with some work
still unfinished,
as the pages turn more swiftly
toward the end, be sure to spend every
moment as if it were a gift, because
if ever the dawn comes when you are
done and gone, shut up there
on the shelf and almost forgotten,
the stories written
at the very core of you
will still live longer and matter more
than any momentary pain. Brave
the rain now and take your spots and tears,
and not only will you be no worse for wear,
your work will spark
the best and most beautiful
future flames.
If there’s a sonnet, that makes you feel wanted, Sugar, I’m on it, Sugar, I’m on it…


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What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com





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