The Sound of Settling

Patrick Park – Something Pretty

I found my notebook at the bottom of a musty cardboard box soft with moisture and nestled between books on western philosophy. Even then, I was so afraid of mediocrity. Terrified of an average suburban life. Any relationship that seemed destined for that kind of long term stagnancy was nipped quickly in the bud. Or, so I thought. I am no poet, but I jot a few lines down now and again just to relieve the pressure in my head. They are never titled:

Years later they will say

it was this moment

late at night, between cries

small whimpering sighs

it was the sound of settling

it was the breeze against her cheek

as something better passed her by

she looked too long

and couldn’t bring herself

to leap.

So, she settled down

curbed her wild ways

and rebellious streak

convinced of the contentment

within those arms

but held just out of reach.

Gave birth to some rug rats

she named after his family

then staring down the aisle

of kitchen supplies

willed the part of her killed

that ever longed to be free

from this lifelong commitment

this future monogamy.

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13 thoughts on “The Sound of Settling”

  1. Thanks for the surprise. 🙂

    I have enough people convincing me that marriage and children are scary. Every day at work my children get a little farther away. Horror stories.

    There are several lines that seem to give in to something, a cliche sound, and then the next line redeems it. A very cool technique for a poem like this.

    1. You can still use rhyming in poetry without it becoming ‘cliché’, Eric… 😛

      I loved the flow of the poem, and the rhyming was a nice surprise that snuck up on me after each stanza.

      It helped that I read it out loud with my best Canadian accent too.

      1. Yeah, Eric. lol

        I like the idea of my words sneaking up on you.

        That made me lol all over the place. I’d like to hear that accent attempt.

    2. About time.

      Children aren’t scary. It is the mediocrity that is so frightening. Waking up and finding yourself living a life you never wanted and can’t escape. Compromising yourself to live what others deem “normal”. Blah blah blah.

      Like I said, I’m no poet. I write sometimes, that’s all.

    1. I know right? Patrick Park is my soulmate… unfortunately he seems to have a wedding ring on in that video… clearly he has gotten his wires crossed as he belongs with me. His voice is something else.

  2. Oh, God– we’re all mediocre. Even De Niro’s mediocre. Remember Salieri’s words at the end of “Amadeus,” “Mediocrities everywhere: I absolve you. I absolve you, all.”

    Let’s just be absolved and forgiven and acknowledged, by ourselves, and move on with it.

    To be mediocre is no big thing. To be loved anyway, is an immeasurable and glorious gift.

    1. I’ve never seen Amadeus… based solely on the quote maybe I should.

      I agree. To be loved despite mediocrity is beautiful… however, who remembers the mediocre? How do you learn to love yourself when you fail to live up to your own expectations?

      1. I gave up on caring about who will remember me. There won’t be longish obituaries with quotes from people. There won’t be film montages and clips and public memorials.

        There’ll just be a small, select clique who will be devastated for a while and then they’ll get on with it, and, every now and then, they will bump into each other and recount some funny, obscene story about me, and they’ll laugh till their guts burst.

        And I’m finally pretty okay with that.

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