Poetry Friday: A little bit of “patience” during Throwback Summer

poetryfridaybutton-fulllAs I mentioned back at the beginning of summer, I’m sharing some “choice” tidbits from high school and college – and if you’ve read any of the past posts, you know I use the term “choice” extremely loosely. These poems were found in my parents’ attic while I was cleaning it out, and it’s been a veritable treasure trove of literary mediocrity.

That said, things took a turn for the (marginally) better last Friday, when I shared a poem I wrote in my college Creative Writing class. Now, with only two weeks left of “Throwback Summer,” as I call it, I am down to the best two poems I have from my early writing days.

Matt - 1990 St A
Talk about “Throwback”…who IS this guy? This was taken around the same time this poem was written, circa late-1990. I’ve since lost the glasses AND the hair…dang, I would’ve kept the glasses had I know the hair was part of the deal.

Today’s poem was actually written a little over a year after my college graduation. I was living on my own and was 6 months into my very first full-time job, ever, working for an AM/FM radio station group in St. Albans, VT.

For some reason, this poem was packed away with all my other papers from college, so I figured I’d include it, even though I had already had two poems published before I wrote this. (One of those poems, “Bantam, CT (July 1989),” was featured here this past February, and the other, “The Situation,” I shared last summer)

Like the other Throwback poems I’ve shared with you, there are many things I’d do to revise the following, but overall I don’t think it’s too bad for a 23-year-old guy who never considered writing poetry professionally! (Side note: Patience was the name of the woman I was dating at the time; the poem didn’t really have anything to do with her, but I liked the word and the imagery I came up with using it)


Cold, black dagger sweeps past
separates now from then
so slowly cutting,
A study in constancy –
feel the pain,
each individual, steady slice
more deadly
than the previous, yet –
no blood.
No victim, really,
only harsh victimization;
sharp reality.
Second razor-weapon
follows lead of first –
cold and black, keeping perfect pace;
slower by threescore,
yet nevertheless
Blood-red pick sets beat,
for weapons
and I
to follow;
my weapon (neither
dagger nor pick)
ready –
not to follow,
but to end
It is

– Matt Forrest Esenwine, © 1990

Fellow poetry blogger/writer Heidi Mordhorst is hosting Poetry Friday today at My Juicy Little Universe, so make sure you head over and check out all the poetic offerings! And I hope you’ll join me next week for the final installment of Throwback Summer, and what I consider the “best of the worst”: a poem I wrote in college in 1988 that – while not perfect – is good enough that I should probably revise it and send it out (but I’m way too busy for that)!


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15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: A little bit of “patience” during Throwback Summer

  1. Look at young, handsome Matt! Love his picture. You look happy and ready to take on the world.

    That poem is deep my friend. Must have been an interesting young mind you had then. I see the lovely glimmers of the poet you’ve become today.


  2. dmayr

    Question: did Patience get to read it? Did she run out and have a restraining order issued? Or, did she think of it as a quirky break-up note? Only kidding!


    1. Ha, no, she thought neither…we had been friends since 3rd grade and married the following year, so she knew I was a deep, tortured poetic soul. 😉 (We divorced in ’07, but remained friends – and she ended up catching the bouquet at my second wedding!)


  3. I’m not good with knives and needles and slicing things, so I can’t read this one closely enough to fully appreciate all the imagery. I did laugh at your comment about the glasses – in relation to the hair. 🙂


  4. haitiruth

    I’ve loved your Throwback Summer, as I’ve told you every single week. 🙂 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  5. That hosting slot just didn’t work for me–this is my first clear moment (that I wasn’t too exhausted to think) this week! My apologies for the late comment….

    I finally figured it out. At first I thought razor, for shaving face (influenced by the hair caption, no doubt.) But the threescore was so specific…60…seconds, second hand, minute hand CLOCK. I had to be really patient. (And no, I don’t read every one else’s comments until I’ve written mine.) It is I?


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