So… for a quiz the other day in Contemporary Poetry class we were supposed to write a poem (in class), choosing from a list of topic/option/experiments based on ideas from C.D. Wright and Rae Armantrout. It felt a little frantic…trying to compose something sitting in a stiff desk, in a mediocre classroom setting, surrounded by peers, in an hour… but also it was really interesting and kind of fun. Definitely not the best thing I have ever written, but it was way more than I thought I would be able to pull from one random event. The experiment option that I chose was to take a sentence and basically transform it over and over again to create a poetic…poem… So, here it is:
Walking to class, we made eye contact twice.
I connected with a stranger on the sidewalk,
unintentionally at first,
but then intentionally.
random gaze met, dropped, met again – no longer random.
stranger interactions have happened
than this commonplace double-take this morning.
under the stormy sky I found a friend, unknown to me,
smiling with thoughts of rain.
surprise turned to warmth when the distance was closed
through being seen and seeing.
(was this cheating on my husband,
to brush a random guy on the street with my gaze
and allow him to reciprocate?)
grey sky, usual banter,
I was so absorbed in my thoughts
that when I accidentally met the eye of a dark-haired boy
I was shaken – looking down
in a socially appropriate amount of time – but then
when I glanced back up,
I found that he had too.