Poem: First Lines of an Unfinished Confession

Hi there! This is a poem I wrote a while ago and have since performed twice, at both of my first two open mic nights! I wrote it to be a spoken word poem, and I’m considering recording myself performing, but I’m not sure, and I don’t have a good camera or microphone, so we’ll have to see.

You’re not getting an original poem tonight because I have two deadlines in the next two days and I need to prioritize those! I didn’t want to leave you without a blog post though.

The poem starts with ‘so’ as I think it’s a word that captures attention, announces its presence as the beginning of something. I was inspired by Seamus Heaney’s translation of the Old English word ‘hwæt’ at the beginning of Beowulf. ‘hwæt’ announces the start of the poem, grabs he audience’s attention, and lets them know it is time to be listening, as does ‘so’.

So I hope you enjoy, maybe try reading it out loud to get a sense of the aural and tonal qualities of the poem, which I think are they key part. If you like it, please give it a like and let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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So.
I sigh; hurried breeze on baited breath,
release;

pause;

a tumbling of words waits at the back of my throat,
excited, bubbling, rising out
of a concealed chamber, straining
at their barred windows, please –
don’t judge me too harshly for the things I say,
they’ve been waiting for such a long time in the back of my mind,
stale;

pause.

It takes a great deal of courage to speak the truth in such a way;
and I have always been a coward,
oh I would deny it if it were not so,
an idol of bravery in my own mind you know,
I would have done so many other things, I know
I could have.
I wanted to.

So here we are; just my voice and a microphone
and so many words unsaid between us,
this was always about us,
no;
this was always about me, and the things I mean
when I talk to you in riddles,
because it’s easier to pretend
that you would never understand me;
I think you would know me all too well.

Pause.

I think I know me all too well.


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