16 Jan

It was quiet-

a vacant silence,

the room cluttered but empty.

Just her and me in

a void of absence.

Yearning was in me

trying to get out.

In the distance young voices

giggling, enjoying life

but not here.

I heard a page turn

as the assistant tried

to draw me in.

Time hung,


a weighted sign


We waited,

in the agony

of nothingness

for the welcome end

and lunch.

– Maresa


4 Responses to “Alone”

  1. Panya January 21, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Hi Maresa
    I think this is coming together nicely. These are just my thoughts on getting a more in-depth piece…challenging yourself…
    I think the first stanza begins to set the scene, is there anything else you could tell us about the room so that it gives us some clues as to who the piece is about, what is there in the room that could tell us about the person in the poem, who she is, what her life is like
    what is the yearning, how does it feel, taste, smell
    Who is the assistant, what help does she provide, what kind of person is she

    just my thoughts,,,

  2. mouthypoets January 21, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Hi Maresa, Anne here. I know I gave you feedback before on email, but now I’ll give it a go here again. You know that I think there is real power in the simplicity of your poems, but I’ll crack on with what jars as I read this. That phrase ‘yearning was in me trying to get out’ seems clumsy, yearning is a fairly over used word, but it is the right word for what you are describing. Maybe it is the ‘trying to get out’ bit? Because the phrasing is so stark, I wonder if you could re-order some of it, swap voices and young around, so it is more like you are drawing out separate thoughts? I’m not sure I need ‘assistant’ I quite like the anonymity of ‘she’.
    I love time hanging like a weighted sign, but has time disappeared? Every time I read it I read it a different way and this might jar people during a performance?
    Is the first line strong enough? I’m wondering about what Panya has said about what the room is like, maybe a physical detail would be stronger than the abstract one of silence, or make the abstract more abstract, by saying ‘quiet’?
    This poem works as is, but I think you can go further with it and really make us feel that isolation for ourselves.

  3. Chris January 21, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Hey Maresa,
    Just to expand on what Panya and Anne are saying, this poem is good at the minute but I know you can push yourself further and achieve that phoar factor.

    Erm just a couple of thoughts that immediately sprang to mind, I think this would be interesting if you experimented by trying this method. The lines such as “a vacant silence”, “a void of absence” and “We waited/in the agony/of nothingness” while they all make sense literally I think you could be more poetic and flip your angle. For instance “a vacant silence” could be perhaps an easy way of seeing silence. Maybe you could try and go for the approach which is more akin to “the silence is deafening” that something I’ve always felt I agreed with as I hate silence and it can feel more than just empty, than in itself is sometimes the agony and silence can feel as if it’s squashing you, so just as an experiment perhaps you could change those words and see what the effect is. I think it might actually enhance message of your piece.

    Also as Panya and Anne are saying at the intro perhaps you could describe silence as a room, giving an abstract a physical concrete setting might be intriguing.

    I’m also pondering on whether what Anne was talking about with the ‘trying to get out bit’, yes it’s a tad clumsy but that could actually play to pieces advantage when we think about performance techniques. How are you thinking of performing this?

    Also I could be wrong, but am I right in assuming that this piece is about a time when you were a child listening to other children playing in the playground? If so then you could give some more clues to that through your description.

    Overall the piece is shaping up to be another McKeith special but there’s just some food for thought on developing it


  4. mouthypoets January 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi Maresa,

    Anne’s i write – you do spaced, simple, sparce poetry beautifully e.g. ‘Yearning was in me

    trying to get out.’ lovely personification and ‘for the welcome end and lunch.’ intensifying the mundane which is really what I see as pure beauty in peotry. But you being so good at this is why Panya is write to push your specificity. Lets get you doing something I have seen less from you – specificity and engaging with the sences!

    Because I could go on about how I love the sparceness and ambiguity but instead I am going to push you in a new direction.

    Here are some direct challenged:

    -Remove tautology, there are times were you have used two words that mean the same thing; ‘quiet-a vacant silence’ and ‘void of absence’. I challenge you to put specific images, or insidents in their places (just try it, it doesn’t have to end up being in your final poem). An image that represents a vacant silence to you in this context e.g. ‘the sound of a boyfriend and girlfriend side by side at a resuraunt table, texting.’ or ‘the space where a limb used to be’ …give me a specific image, they don’t need to completely uncover the story, just set a stronge tone and engage with my senses more.

    Give it a go – would be great to see how it looks.


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