Missing and Gone

It seems a dream now,
Everything the same
Yet different somehow, inside,
Where I still feel the pain
Longing and wronged by fate.
I could shake my fist but
It would be a waste
And whatever cathartic release
That brought would be replaced
By the empty hollow you left,
Because you’re missing and gone.

I can hardly remember your touch
But I’m missing it every day
In some way I can’t define.
Your things remain and, though it’s not much,
You remain in my mind always
Young, still here, still mine.

I’m growing to accept it
The stillness of these rooms
In the midst of your absence,
Though letting go of the grief?
It’s too soon, too soon
Too near your departure.
It makes no sense.
My heart hurts more now,
As the numbness recedes
The realization is fresh
That you’re missing and gone.

I can hardly remember your touch
But I’m missing it every day
In some way I can’t define.
Your things remain and, though it’s not much,
You remain in my mind always
Young, still here, still mine.

You’re here, in my mind,
Where you’ll always be mine,
Mine, though you’re missing and gone.

My inspiration for this came from an unusual combination of influences. I was listening to the Van Morrison station on Google Play Music, and a Bruce Springsteen song came on. I don’t usually listen to The Boss, but this song struck me deep down. It’s lyrical, beautiful, heart wrenching. Love and loss, and life goes on somehow. The song is “You’re Missing” from the album The Rising, which makes it fairly new Springsteen. I’d highly recommend a listen. I also have a friend and fellow writer who frequently takes inspiration from songs. Music informs his poetry, and it’s a huge part of his life. A lot of his poems have a song like quality, with verses and refrains. He seems at times to be in dialogue with the original material, at times taking only a cue from it, thoughts coming together at a single point and parting again. However you view this style I enjoyed giving it a try. Here’s the result. At it’s heart it’s part poem, part song. You get to choose the tune.

Advertisements

Doubt and Revision

I just came to the conclusion, while reading over some chapters in my current writing project, that I will have to completely trash two whole chapters. Not simply rewrite–I must start over. There may be one or two salvageable scenes in there, but mostly it doesn’t work. I pushed against this growing awareness for a while. I loved those chapters dearly; they’re some of the first I worked on when I conceived the idea for my story,  but they never matured with the rest of the plot. Now I’m coming to terms with it, and I’ll tell you how.
I love my book, the overall story and flow, more dearly than any one chapter or scene. If a scene threatens to ruin the effect I’m aiming to achieve with the whole, I excise it, ruthlessly and without regret. It serves no purpose but vanity.  It took me a period of mourning to come to terms with my decision, but I’m free of my nagging suspicion of those passages’ inadequacies.
I’m not deleting them. Don’t mistake me on that point. They’re still my creative darlings, offspring of my imagination, so I don’t go so far as to kill them. I cut them out and save them in a “homeless scenes” folder on my computer.
There may be an emotion or landscape or dialogue useful to me in later stories.  So I save them on the off chance that my darlings will get a second life.
My confession is that I wanted elves and trolls and magic, but my story sure as heck didn’t. It would’ve been derivative and untrue to the narrative anyway, so why leave a tangential scene in there? I could have. I liked how it was written, the characters were interesting, and it solved a thorny problem of bringing a person into the group. But it didn’t fit. All the positives would have been lost to the feeling of inconsistency.
I have finished grieving. I have cut my lovely chapters. I have a stronger story for having done so. And I’ve learned a lot about my process.