18 April 2012

It's Not What You Think

abe_lincoln_top_hat
Image from Calico Jack McGurk (though I don't know where it is originally from)


I look like my own man.
In new shoes and a silk tie.
Pressed pants and flat collars.
What I speak sounds
Just like my mind might,
If it were mine.

But I’ve got a secret,
You see.
I’m not quite as honest as Abe.
I’ve got something under my stovepipe hat
My beard is taped on.

I’ve  kept it tucked away.
My secret. My dependence.
Rumpled in thousand dollar trouser pockets
It shapes me like a wood carver.
Whittles to the bone.
When it cuts that deep
You’d all be submissive
To whatever it is.
Even if it’s not what you think.

Based on the Three Word Wednesday prompt of kept, dependence, and rumple. After I wrote it, I began to like the Abe Lincoln reference more, thinking about some information I recently learned about him and the Emancipation Proclamation.

5 comments:

  1. M.A.S., first, I just replied to a comment of yours about the homeless guy with a reference to Lincoln's comment about our "better angels." Would love to chat about your mention of info on Emancipation Proc., since I'm reading "Lies My Teacher Told Me." Email me if you want, sharplittlepencil (AT) gmail. (avoiding robots)

    As for this piece, it's enigmatic as hell. The idea of what's underneath the stovepipe hat? With Abe, it was mostly common sense and thoughts about his old roommate, but this guy? Who knows?

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    1. Thanks, Amy. I sent you an email. I'd love to discuss the things we mislearned in school!

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  2. I really enjoyed this poem. The secret side to the well put together person is always so intriguing. It my personal game at church, watching everyone in their Sunday best and wondering what they hide beneath the surface. I especially like the last four lines:

    When it cuts that deep
    You’d all be submissive
    To whatever it is.
    Even if it’s not what you think.

    The twist of the last line keeps me on the edge, wanting more. But at the same time I love the mystery of not knowing. Lovely poem.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tracy! Secrets are great. And you can always imagine that they're much more horrible than they really are.

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  3. Everyone hides a little piece of themselves.lovely imagery in this poem.

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