Monday, January 21, 2013

The Gift I Never Got - Draper (Prose Poem)

Okay, I'll be straight with you: I'm in a poetry class right now.  I tell you this because I don't want you to be confused if you see a few more poems on here in the future than in the past.  Of course, there's an up side to this: if I review a poem I can just post it right here and you don't have to go anywhere to get it and it doesn't cost any money.  I have no idea the right way to spell "moo-law", or I would have said that instead.  If you don't have a lot of experience with poetry, my guide on how to read it might be of some use to you.

I've read and written poetry before, but not extensively, and so when I ran across the section on "prose" poetry in my textbook it was new to me.  I've never read poetry like this, but I guess it exists because there's some right down there \/.  Prose poetry is basically poetry minus verse; there are no line breaks, it just goes to the end of the page like a regular paragraph.  "Short-short" stories and prose poetry are closely related and can overlap, so don't get hung up on thinking this is actually a short-short and not poetry; it's kind of both.

There's not too much for me to say about the following, as it is pretty self-explanatory, mostly I just want to share it.  ;)

The Gift I Never Got

It was not unusual in my house for the phone to ring once, just once, and then fade into silence.  It was not unusual for my father to suddenly announce after one of these calls that he had some errand to run.  Often it was a trip to the store, or some forgotten task at work.  It was a usual day in my house: the phone had just round once, my father had just left to go to the store, and I was eight years old.  Christmas was near and I was searching the house for presents.  Under my parent's bed is where I found it.  It was a bright red toy car with real rubber tires and plastic pipes that looked like real chrome.  I couldn't control myself and soon I was pushing it along the floor.  I could feel my heart thumping in my head and my hands were slick with perspiration.  Later that night I dreamed about the car: it would be my favorite toy.  On Christmas morning I bypassed the Stretch Armstrong doll, I totally ignored the Dr. J basketball, and went looking for the car.  It was some cruel joke.  "Where is it?" I cried.  I ran into my parent's bedroom, rifled under their bed, but it wasn't there.  My mother had followed me.  "What are you looking for?" she asked.  "The car! The car!" I screamed.  The phone rang once and I heard the door close as my father left to go to the store.  "There is no car," she said.  "Yes there is, yes there is!" I screamed back.  "It's just like when the phone rings you always say it's no one.  Well it wouldn't ring if it wasn't someone."  She didn't speak for a long while after that.  She just looked at me.  Finally she said, "Alright, we'll ask him about the car.  We'll ask him about the phone that only rings once.  We'll ask him about all those trips to the store."

                                                                                      -Vincent Draper

I know, right?  The only note I will add is that it is unwise to assume this story is autobiographical.  Lyricists and poets alike must deal with this issue, whereas novelists and screenwriters don't as much.  Remember, this is art.  It may very well be a true account, perhaps about the author's life, but it could also be pure fiction.

Okay, ttfn.

-MA 1.21.13

1 comment:

  1. That is an amazing poem. Wow. I have no words.