Selections From 11:37: “Something In Common”

For my senior honors thesis at Penn, I wrote two poems a day for six months. It was called Selections from 11:37. Basically, every morning and every evening, at exactly 11:37, I stopped whatever I was doing and gave myself fifteen minutes to write a poem. (You can purchase my collection here or click preview to read more about the project.) Only about 70 poems made it into my final thesis, so I have literally hundreds of poems that have never seen the light of day. Here’s one of them.

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SOMETHING IN COMMON                                   (Morning 4/9/13) 

As the radio rouses me every morning
I wonder how many others are making the same dull
chop to slow waking’s sound return. Ubiquity isn’t
an original thought for a poet—it’s the reason
many of us swim, actually—but you’d think the line between
hook and trembled lip would be at least as thick
as the one guiding it. I never drink in coffee shops
but I like the smell and my mood changes
with the warmth of my skin. I rest in the shadow of cranes
and run barefoot on football fields, a step for every
yard. Taylor says my details run together but all his verse melodies
sound the same to me. Even when he changes key
the steps are evened out, like how the sun would rise
over the Walnut Street bridge exactly twelve seconds later
every summer morning. I’d wait outside the radio
station with my coffee and wonder why I wasn’t given
my own key, casting lines into the parking lot
below for a bite or even just a pull. And I’d cross
the street sometimes to press against the rail
so it would look like nothing held me
from open air, even as the river and the highway
and the football fields promised me that someone else
had been there too and it was only mine for the moment.

————

P.S. Here’s another link to my poetry collection.

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