Sometimes I Can’t Remember

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Poetry, The Copper Conundrum
Tags: ,

Out of context: The Copper Conundrum is performing at the Venacular Spectacular show at the Ottawa Storytelling festival on Friday. St. Brigid’s at 10pm. The show is hosted by Ivan E. Coyote and also features some cool local storytellers.

CONTEXT: September, 2010

Memory is a funny thing. I have always had problems with memory, whether it is memorizing my poems or other, more important things. EVERYTHING in this poem is something I have faced or wondered about or agonized about.

Recently something came up which made me think about it more and this poem came out.

    Sometimes I Can’t Remember

Sometimes I can’t remember my poetry.
Words whipping away like
Leaves in an Autumn breeze
Upgraded to a cyclone.
Ideas imprinted on my mind
Yet dancing past the
Tip of my tongue
Leaving me grasping for words
That are as important to me
As a whisper
But are as ephemeral
As a whisper
Flitting past my ear
When my attention is taken.
So I grip my paper
And hope that the words
Don’t slide off and leave me
With a page as blank as
My memory – looking to remind
Myself that I have something to say.
Even as the drip-drop water spout
Drowns out any thoughts
Except survival
As I try to stay afloat
And remember the words
That will remind me
Why I am alive.

Sometimes I can’t remember
My dreams.
Not the nighttime images that
Give us our fantasy stories
And secret adventures –
I never remember those.
I mean the dreams of a life
The man I never was, standing
Astride the world, leaving a
Mark that would never be
Washed clean
By the drip-drop flood
Of time and entropy.
Who did I want to be?
Did that person exist at all
In some parallel world that
I could only glimpse in my
Dreams? And I never remember those.
I think of my grandfather
Whose memory became fluid
Like the reverse memories
We have when looking to the future.
I never knew if he knew me
Or how much of me was the
Me that he knew
And now I know that the me
He knew may be no less the me
Than the me that I think I know.
Did I know who I wanted to be?
Whoever it was
I’m sure it isn’t me.
If only I could remember
Each daydream and musing
And far-reaching fantasy.
Did I dream of poetry?
Would I be proud of what I’d see
If that old me could see
What he would eventually be?

I remember being called genius
As I watched the worlds
Flow from the page
As I reached to hold onto
The simplest trivia.
A genius with a mind
Like a fishing net where
The holes outnumber the fish.

I remember staring at the phone
With no idea of my number.
Sweat pouring down my cheeks
As I grasped for any clue of
The digits I’d punched daily
For years.
I lose my way, I lose dates,
I lose names and faces
Hurting feelings of poets I had
Heard five times before.
The drip-drop of a rushing river
Of time, leaving me behind
In a wake of brine
Looking for my anchor.

Sometimes I can’t remember
Why you love me
And I desperately hope that
You can and I have not just
Become a habit that begs
To be broken.
What was it that drew you to me?
There must have been something
That I couldn’t see –
Or if I could it has been lost
To my drifting memory.
Can you remember?
And if so, can you tell me
Because I need to know
Who the person was that
Turned into me.

So I write poetry
Getting my thoughts down
In a way that shows more truth
Than simple statements ever can.
A record of my brain
Ready for translation.
But how can I remember me
When sometimes I can’t even
Remember my poetry?


Next is a fun version of a love poem.

  1. […] Dekker did Sometimes I Can’t Remember, a piece that we can both relate […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s