In The Second Person


In the Second Person

Your brain is mapped into fault lines.
“I” marking each spot typically–
where blame fell or was
assigned, responsibility–until
there arrives, unexpectedly, a point of

There is a reason that “you”
are called the second person.
The gimlet “I” that was charging so assuredly ahead
crumples faster than could have
been guessed, those old demarcations blotted
with smarting
tears, leaving you all that can see
through its covered face.

At first, you only make out corners — that bookshelf
framed in brown, that yellowed grass peripheral to
stuccoed sidewalk, but your rangy heart knows
escape routes, can find even the smallest
interstice slicing the hard here, harsh now.

You take the “I” in hand, but gently–a reassuring
pat not
out of order–
whisper, “come”.

I am posting the above extremely rough draft poem for (dVerse Poets Pub prompt hosted by Victoria C. Slotto on writing in the Second Person.

I’m not sure what the picture has to do with it! But like the picture.

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19 Comments on “In The Second Person”

  1. I love the two points of view having a wee discussion, and yet it could also take on other connotations. I really enjoyed this!

  2. brian miller Says:

    ha i like this…the first person and second meet and well….love the beginning…the i marking each fault line…cool use of demarcations as well….woot great to see you writing k…

  3. Didn’t feel rough draft to me, Karin. I enjoyed the shifts in this…maybe that’s how the picture works…those shifting waters! This is one I would love to hear you read aloud. The sounds work so well.

  4. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    Yes, we are creatures, entities of many parts, many faces, and being poets we allow those diverse POV’s to surface, to have their say, their moment in the light; would love to hear the dialogue between several of the chakras sometime.

  5. Grace Says:

    I like the demarcation lines of “you” and “I” ~ My fav details are in the third stanza ~ Lovely share K ~

  6. As you carried your reader through perspective change and shifts in voice, the piece felt like a shank of hair being woven into a plait, the final result quite lovely and unique.

  7. janehewey Says:

    there is a real existential feel to this, k. wisdom in your words. gimlet as the “I” -burrowing- (right?) is wonderful.

  8. Phantom dislocations here, assigning, demarcating…it’s a constant process, sometimes almost mechanical, to keep you in your place, and I in it too. Or maybe vice versa. I can’t say this doesn’t feel disturbingly familiar. Surrender–grace or merely rationalization, I often wonder. Depends I suppose, like everything, on context. The twisty language and structure really suits the subject, k.

  9. Mary Says:

    What a creative way to do a second person poem…and it also makes me contemplate the difference between the ‘you’ and the “I.” And the ending stanza was perfection!

  10. Laurie Kolp Says:

    I really like this… especially 3rd stanza…

  11. claudia Says:

    the brain mapped into fault lines…love how you start this and it develops like a story with a tension well felt..a constant shifting for sure…ha…love how you make them talk and make the abstract palpable..

  12. very, very wise words! well written one for sure.

  13. kaykuala Says:

    brain is mapped into fault lines.

    And ever ready to react, recoil or even rebuff. Nice way of making differences of first and second person so distinctly. Nicely K


  14. wolfsrosebud Says:

    like the word play here and loved the picture

  15. David King Says:

    Like the way you woven in another voice. It’s all very cleverly done and has a seamless beauty which I much admire.

  16. hypercryptical Says:

    Love this Karin -excellent – and if a very rough draft – the final piece can only be exceptional.

    Anna :o]

  17. beckykilsby Says:

    You have such a wonderful cadence .. telling and natural. Soem outstanding phrases and sounds.. the sharp edgy qualities particularly apt towards the end. Love how you use ‘rangy’ and this really made me pay attention:

    The gimlet “I” that was charging so assuredly ahead
    crumples faster than could have
    been guessed,

    ‘The Gimlet ‘I’ ‘ … so smart!

  18. JazzBumpa Says:

    Where you see roughness
    I see sharp edges
    Magnified in glare
    ranging rhythms
    Tilting points of view
    Making out in corners

    Maybe it’s rough love

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