Dwelling on Yourself

My poem is a response to each line of Cesar Vallejo’s poem. A reinterpretation, remake, using a model and making it my own, originally written for Mrs. Reder’s English class.

Dwelling on Yourself

By Tyler Mobley  

Well on the day I was born,

God paused for a sneeze. 

Half alive, half yet to be known 

A recoiled pause, before unleashing 

Me, desperate from eternity, into wrought hands 

Well, the day I wade into the world, 

God lay waiting. 

Somewhere there is place 

we once left, and must return 

heard from inner silence, 

spoke as fire breathes. 

On the day I was born, 

God stubbed a toe. 

You there listen, listen some more. 

Hey, you alright? I’m not leaving. 

You may find me in December,

Then be gone by January. 

On the day I was born, 

God had a bug. 

Half alive, half yet to be known

Chew on today, so as to not choke

Why when words drop out of minds, they do not break,

But rest in shallow graves as treasure lost.

Those minds who gaze upon the sphinx wondering,

If it’s too late to bury their heads in the sand. 

If one leg is in, and the other is out,

Those young grow old,

And the old become young again.

It’s the mystery in between that joins it all together  

A light from under the door 

Cast a melody of ebony keys, 

On the one who tells of life’s transformation.

On the day I was born, 

God faked being ill. 

Have You Anything to Say in Your Defense?

By Cesar Vallejo 

Well, on the day I was born,

God was sick.

They all know that I’m alive,

That I’m vicious; and they don’t know 

the December that follows from that January. 

Well, on the day I was born,

God was sick.

There is an empty place 

in my metaphysical shape

that no one can reach:

a cloister of silence

that spoke with the fire of its voice muffled.

On the day I was born,

God was sick.

Brother, listen to me, Listen . . .

Oh, all right.  Don’t worry, I won’t leave

without taking my Decembers along,

without leaving my Januaries behind.

Well, on the day I was born,

God was sick.

They all know that I’m alive,

that I chew my food . . . and they don’t know

why harsh winds whistle in my poems,

the narrow uneasiness of a coffin,

winds untangled from the Sphinx

who holds the desert for routine questioning.

Yes, they all know . . . Well, they don’t know

that the light gets skinny

and the darkness gets bloated . . .

and they don’t know that the Mystery joins things together . . .

that he is the hunchback

musical and sad who stands a little way off and foretells

the dazzling progression from the limits to the Limits.

On the day I was born,

God was sick,

gravely.

T.R. James Wright   (pg.572)

Forche, Carolyn. Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry of Witness. New York: W.w. norton, 2009. Print.

Author: mobleysurfer

Change is the only constant.

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