Poetry 1999

Shawna at rosemary mint is hosting dVerse Poetics and is offering an interesting prompt, a mix of memory and/or views on personal poetic language.  I settled for a mix of both, I think.  My biggest problem is that I can’t remember many of my personal details from that year (probably better for all of you).  Instead I created a poem with emotions from that year (I know how I felt, even if I don’t remember all the events) layered on actual global events from 1999.  Be sure and visit the dVerse link above and click on Mr. Linky to get access to all the other responses to her clever prompt.

Unsettled in Suburbia

new Euro irrelevant
since Pluto inched further
from the sun than Neptune
one six
the other three
both close enough to be
my neighbor Kevorkian
is guiltily unavailable

no matter
will columbines grow here
a phantom menace to consider
each and every
year now
one Republican in
this house is enough
not another Bush term

Bonfire Recovery, November 18, 1999

another Kennedy
is lost to the future
as he and I
fly deeper into
the tenth year
of an angry haze
perhaps if I was
Serbian I could
demand his resignation
no…just a Dreamcast

blessed fall silence
hunting happy widow
I miss Payne Stewart
Wilt Chamberlain more
marriage sturdy like
an Aggie bonfire
where more than pleasant
memories die
still teaching
at 36
I’d gladly
take back the Panama Canal
give up ten years of pain
even looking
him right in
the eye
Year 2000


About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Free Verse, Interesting Blogs, Poetry, Prompts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Poetry 1999

  1. Bodhirose says:

    You brought up a lot of memories from that year…more than my own personal experiences…a strange ending for Payne Stewart…one of my favorite golfers. And Columbine…will never forget that….very well done.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      It was interesting looking back at that year after so much time. I’m really thinking about years in review becoming something I do in writing periodically. I have a few I’ve lived through now, lol. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  2. vivinfrance says:

    This is so personal to you that it feels almost intrusive to look in to your depths, yet at the same time the whole is coloured by events outside you.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Perhaps it has too much me in it. I suppose I was trying to compensate for not remembering personal events from the time by framing the whole list of world events in what little I did recall, all too much negative emotion. Thank you for reading, commenting and allowing me to share it with you.

  3. Grace says:

    Very nice summation and weaving of the events here….I can’t imagine how you survive through the hard years but I am happy to see you writing and sharing our journey ~

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I really feel odd complaining about my life. My pain is real, but there are so many more people who have suffered so much more than me. I often feel I haven’t the right. Still suffering is suffering. Pain is pain. My poetry, my writing is one of the best ways I survive what there is to survive. I’m glad I could share the poem with you.

  4. Ruth says:

    wow, this is great – like watching one of those quick-image-flick sort of newsreels…

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I’m beginning to think we should all go investigate a year past. I learned so much and recalled things pushed aside. Glad I could share it with you. Enjoyed your comment very much.

  5. hiroshimem says:

    “another Kennedy / is lost to the future”

    That’s brilliant. I like the way you entwined various events of different natures into one poem… mirror of our confusion at the news and the way things are going?

    • Yousei Hime says:

      A mirror of life’s confusion…great way to look at it. Unfortunately it is more likely a mirror of my own confused mind and hesitation in how to deal with the prompt. Still, I’ll take it. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Thank you for the visit and insightful comment.

  6. Brendan says:

    Those details of the outside world are so familiar, putting me back into the stream of ’99, not a good year for me or my marriage either, though important, even defining. You hold the glass of self and watch time stream though it in a single year’s pour and find the opacity of the container somehow less so for the sands you observe — not happy events, nor, apparently, a happy year. How we forget pain — a survival instinct perhaps — yet how much we can find panning in its flow. Good job. – Brendan

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you for the read and comment. When I finished reading through your comment, I thought, “Dang, I like that better than my poem.” I read your piece to the prompt, and if I didn’t comment at your place, let me tell you it was one of your very best (and I love so many of them). I appreciate it, your comment here, and the encouragement they both give me.

  7. Claudia says:

    ha nice..love the political and musical references you wove in… the euro not yet relevant…true…that was a big thing over here..so you had me with the first line…nice..

    • Yousei Hime says:

      So glad you enjoyed it. I hadn’t realized how new the Euro is. I’m sure it was and is a big deal over there. It’s relevance is being felt here now, at least it is finally by thick-headed rabbits. Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

  8. slpmartin says:

    Your poem engendered some interesting thoughts about “degrees of freedom” we have in our democracy…just thinking about the response that has been given to the OWS movement…enjoyed the poem.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      OWS is one of the few political subjects I’ve any real interest in. I’m glad you saw that tie, though it was not intended. Degrees of freedom, yes that’s certainly in there. Thank you for commenting. You’ve given me more to think about. 🙂

  9. Sheila says:

    wow, so many historical references, the aggie bonfire and columbine shootings – I haven’t thought about those in years, which is sad. It is nice to give rememberance to such horrible tragedies. Thank you.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. It was good to look over the events of that year. Doing something like that is a good idea, I think. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  10. brian miller says:

    ooo se this is like that elton john song, we didnt start the fire, so many references…and of course including a star wars refence always is a boost for me…smiles. even among the hard bits here you bring some great humor to it as well…

    and you know a bad memory can def come in handy at times…smiles.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Well, it came in handy this time. Without a pathetic memory and the internet, I wouldn’t have been researching all this stuff just to write a poem. 😉 Wasn’t that Billy Joel? Elton did some of the same stuff though, I know he did. Very flattering comparison, thank you very much. Not nearly their level though. Could not resist Star Wars (so glad you caught that). Did you have a Sega Dreamcast? No one’s mentioned that one. I didn’t have one (not brave enough to risk spousal disapproval).

  11. Shawna says:

    Oh gosh, you would talk politics and genuine history … to the wrong girl. 😉 I love that you’ve used such nasty topics interspersed with familial turmoil, an appropriate weaving I think. This is great, Yousei. Here are some of my favorites:

    “my neighbor Kevorkian
    is guiltily unavailable”

    “as he and I
    fly deeper into
    the tenth year
    of an angry haze”

    “demand his resignation” … Ha! And the ending is great. 🙂 Thanks so much for playing along.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I really had a great time, despite my lack of confidence in writing something ’99 enough…at least personally ’99 enough. Girl, I am with you on that political boat. I hate politics, and usually avoid them at all costs. I’m surprised I didn’t mention Clinton though…well, not really. After that “that’s not really sex” scandal, I couldn’t even stand to hear the man’s voice. Yeah, I liked that flying into haze reference too. I think that’s what they said cause JFK Jr’s accident. When I read about the Serbian’s demands, I knew just the despot to reference there, lol. Thanks for the personal invite… makes it much harder to resist.

  12. zongrik says:

    you seem really bitter and angry about the last part of the last century.

    do you think things are worse now?

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Around the world, around the country…no, at least no worse than any other decade. Well, maybe the economy. No all that bitterness and anger comes from personal events and emotions of the time, which are symbolized by the historical references. At that time I’d been married for ten mostly unhappy years, had two very young boys (6 and 3), was teaching, and was being treated for depression. Things were always very emotionally turbulent at home. Those are my strongest memories of that time. Kind of hard to see anything else, especially when I can’t remember any good things from then. Thanks for reading through the whining poem and leaving your perceptive comment. I enjoyed your writing as well and left you a comment there.

  13. hedgewitch says:

    I, too, could only remember a general blur, but I think you’ve reconstructed your mood, and the mood of the times as well. The theme of ten years is played out well at the end amid the bonfires and the politics. Even to be 13 years younger not sure I would go back.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you for the visit and especially for the comment. I like the writing a bit more now that I’m “done” with it. As I read over many of the key events of that year, I thought, “Things just keep staying the same.” As to going back, my response is the same as yours, but a little more frankly worded…”Hell, no!”

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Mama Zen,
      Thank you very much for visiting and commenting. I really loved your brief poem at your site, and lovingly left you a comment there. I’m very happy you came by. I’ll be watching for you with hope.

  14. Mary says:

    Ah, I remember Payne Stewart. Your poem triggers memories. So many of these 1999 poems do. So that was the year John John died? I remember, but not the year. I always liked Camelot, but alas it was not to be…..nor perhaps ever was, except in our minds and hopes and dreams. And Kevorkian, does he still live? He seemed bigger than life for a while, but now he is just one more man with some kind of offbeat idea. I enjoyed your poem and the reflections it gave me. I hope you will visit mine and feel the same.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I can tell you liked the timeline treasure hunt. My father played golf, I was born the day JFK was assassinated…so those two references were natural choices. Kevorkian, I believe, died just last year. In ’99 he was found guilty of second degree murder for assisting in a suicide. I’m glad you had fun thinking your way through this. I’ll definitely be over to read. 🙂

  15. ManicDdaily says:

    Ten years of pain indeed. A lot here, thanks for the journey back. K.

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