My last Poetry Moment post received positive feedback on social media, so I thought I’d do another one.
This round I’m going to share another of my published poems, “Suburbia”. This was published alongside “The Breakup” in a literary magazine called The Eyrie back in 1996. When I reread it earlier I realized that it may be a bit dated due to the television reference, but I’m not going to try and update it. That’s how it was published and that’s how it’ll remain.
The poem was influenced by a song titled, “Subdivisions”, by the band Rush, along with my then-recent domestication. I had gotten married just a few years before and was in the process of looking for a house and settling down. The poem started as a scene in my head that I was trying to describe. After I wrote the first couple of lines, the rest came out in a flash.
I tried to paint a picture of suburban life at the time, driving the neighborhood streets with my partner, dogs hanging their heads out the back windows, as we looked for For Sale signs and fantasized about what we’d do once we had our own place. I feel it captured the mood I felt at the time. Read into that what you will.
Mild-mannered duplicity where
every meter is measured and weighed for value.
On the fringes of the yellow-hued city
a community of clones lie in wait
within their geometric subdivisions of space.
Carefully walled off behind chain-link and wood
they peek through the cracks, watching
for the misguided mongrel that mistakes
the manicured greenery as something more
(Hunkered down, eyes casting about, ears alert
for the soft pop of the pellet gun, not understanding their mistake).
Carbon-based simplicity with nothing
beyond the norm, variation being frowned
upon and usually scorned. And
as the night wanes they sit in front of their
twenty-one inch color televisions watching
the late-local news and occasionally
glancing out the window to make sure the Jones’
aren’t getting too far ahead.
I know it seems a bit dark, maybe borderline dystopian, but that wasn’t the intent. For what it’s worth, my partner liked it and encouraged me to get it published. So maybe it’s not as dark as I think it is.
Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into another facet of creativity.