Friday, June 11, 2010

Pantoum 1

I forgot to tell you the gun was loaded.
We crossed the street. The corner store
that hummed a fluorescent tune
greeted us as friends.

We crossed the street to the corner store,
pushed forward by desperation
greeting us as friends,
and shook the change in our pockets.

Pushed forward by desperation,
past impatient, nervous,
we shook the change in our pockets
like windchimes in some August

past. Impatient, nervous,
my memory fading on little cat feet,
like windchimes in some August,
we walked into the corner store.

Memory fading on little cat feet,
humming a fluorescent tune,
we walked into the corner store.
I forgot to tell you the gun was loaded.

*"on little cat feet" is a line taken from Carl Sandburg's "Fog"

Join the circus:


Derrick said...

Maybe the pantoum isn't about anger but it certainly sounds dangerous!

Tumblewords: said...

Strong and full of emotion. Nice.

Cynthia Short said...

I get the feeling this fellow wrote about this from his jail cell! Very imaginative...

Anonymous said...

that first line makes one tense for waz to come... great poem enhanced by the pantoum form...that is a great carl sandberg poem as well.. stirred up

Linda said...

Hey Nathan -- wow -- that first line set me up breathlessly, and then I realized how subtle your poem was and how clever you were to begin with that line so you could end with it, too. Great!

nan said...

I like where this leaves the imagination hanging. Great momentum in this pantoum. The repetition builds the suspense, and yet the reader knows where it is going all along.

Deb said...

Glad you brought it for us to read, Nathan. Shows how well the form can work -- and how effective reusing the last line can be. As first or last. Powerful stuff.

rallentanda said...

Yep, you've mastered this form with ease. Well done

Anonymous said...


Mr. Walker said...

Well done. Is "Pantoum 2" told from the other person's perspective? I imagine they would be angry.