Real Poetry

reviews, tips, and personal/local writing

Archive for the category “My Poetry”

My Poetry – a working draft “Gutter Dam”

This particular draft is very rough, in fact… I already have several ideas on where it’s headed. As an example of how this works, I’m going to post up a later revision of this poem in a week or two to show the progress. I hope you enjoy this for what it is.

Combat Steve

Gutter Dam
by Stephen Recker

When I was younger, and it would rain,
I would go out to the curb,
rain jacket put on with misaligned buttons, and try
to build a dam to stop the water flowing by.
First, the mud would just wash away.
I learned to add sticks and rocks to strengthen it,
but all it would do would be to slow it down
before it rose and went around the side.


My Poetry – a working draft “How it happens”

I’m writing and revising a lot of stuff lately, and since I don’t have anything 100% revised (and really, it’s impossible to have anything that figured out anyway), I thought I’d share a draft of a poem I’ve been working on. This poem is, and I’ll repeat this, a draft. It will be subject to some radical revision. The poem I ultimately wind up with could barely resemble the draft I’m putting up here. Though I do feel it’s heading in a positive direction.

How it happens
by Stephen Recker

Sometimes it’s easy.
Words just pour out like a smooth stream of water from a faucet.

But other times the line is clogged and drips.
You sit in the center of a room with your arms wrapped
around your legs rocking back and forth
just waiting
for something to come, other than the steady
tap, tap
of the dripping faucet, and after hours
when the last ounce of patience is used up
and you can’t take the staccato rhythm,
you walk purposefully towards the faucet,
reach underneath, rip out the plumbing
and write, letting the page soak up
the water bursting from the line.

My Poetry – Order

Apologies for not having this out last night as I had planned.  I hope everyone’s week is going splendidly.

photo of desk

by Stephen Recker

Letters, rough drafts of poetry, and old papers
litter the desktop, with crinkled love letters
from an ex buried within.

My book she sent back in the mail
lies unopened on top of the shelf.
The terse note asking for her book still lays,
perfectly creased on the floor,
where I’ve been careful
not to tread.


My Poetry – When no one knows

With a new semester starting up I’m finding a recurrence of the common malady for classroom discussion: that of the teacher asking a question that prompts dead silence from the class.  In the spirit of that, I decided to share this poem I wrote.

Photo courtesy of Cory Hahn

When no one knows
by Stephen Recker

Mr. Wells glanced up
and asked a question.
Everything stopped.
I’d been counting the number of times
Chad tapped the desk with his pen:
One hundred seventy-three.
One hundred seventy-four.
My pen dug a deep furrow through my paper
lightly tearing the page.
One hundred ninety-six.
Silence as we waited for an answer.

My Poetry – Hermes

Today I’m posting up a poem I wrote for a class I took about a year ago.  The basic idea for my project was to write poems with Greek mythology as a main subject.  This poem, concerned with Hermes, is my favorite of the collection I wrote.  My next review for poetry, as I previously mentioned, will be over Sharon Olds’ book One Secret Thing and should be up by next Tuesday.

by Stephen Recker

The slayer of Argos:
forever remembered
for a murder.

I couldn’t do it,
live with that constant
reminder of killing

Yet for him,
he had no choice.  To live
forever with blood
on his hands,
as a god,
and to be reminded
of his deeds
for ages, through
the oral traditions.

Can being a god
really remove the

or does he
awake in the middle
of each night, sweating
and in tears, make
his way to the sink,
splash soothing water
on his face and
stare in the mirror,
into his own eyes
and ask himself,
“Was it worth it?”

My Poetry – Ingenuity

Another entry from my own poetry.  With the semester starting up I may begin to struggle to keep up with reviews, but I’m going to try and have one up every Tuesday.  I’ll try to keep up with updating a new poem on the blog every Thursday as well.

by Stephen Recker

I saw a girl come to class
with a roll of toilet paper
and for a moment
wondered if the rolls
provided in the bathroom
weren’t good enough
for her.

Then I saw her sneeze.

It reminded me of a time
in winter when the cold grew
and my ears would burn
walking from class
to class.  So I wrapped
a towel around my head
and tied it on with the scarf
my mom knitted me
the previous Christmas.

My ears stopped burning.

My Poetry – Sand Castle

I’m going to try and make a habit of posting up some of my own poetry sporadically within this blog, to help fill the void between book reviews.  This poem “Sand Castle” I think is fairly self explanatory.  Hope you enjoy.

Sand Castle
by Stephen Recker

and suntan lotion
sting my eyes as I look out at
the somber, constant pulse
reaching out to dissolve
my sand castle.

Half the base is gone,
barely holding up the teetering tower.
I want to save it,
but before I can move

Dad picks me up,
carries me out,
and puts me
into the water.
I have to jump to stay above the waves,
glimpsing the tower as it reflects
the greens and browns of the sea glass
windows as the sun

I struggle closer to shore and see,
in a moment, what remains of the tower,
a grim husk,
before I’m slapped down.

My head smacks the sand, my ears ring,
I swallow the brine, choke, and vomit.
When I look up,
between heaves,
the castle is gone.

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