Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fortified by David Vincent Smith

There's a stone wall around this heart.
A moat, a marsh, various misleading traps.
The finest model of modern man
I've become. If you wish to touch me

you'll need the skills to siege a castle,

use the backs of alligators as a bridge
to cross the moat. If you want my love
you'll need to navigate past towers. Do this
and perhaps

I'll let you know my name.

There's a drawbridge to this soul, shut and bolted.
I even check the locks twice a day.

My father gave me a shovel at twelve,
and I've been burying my emotions ever since.
So if you leap over the holes, fill them as fast
as they're made, maybe you and I
could hold hands.

I am man, mute of all emotion.

I'd like to think I've done rather well.

I am emotionless, hoping this stone wall won't erode in this forum of openness. I take the truth and start choking it, coping with the slope that leads to a lone abyss. I'd rather have my throat slit than phone home and be open with my folks and shit. I'm speaking the truth. Every man will start quoting it, and every woman will nod her head because they've all grown with it. These broken lips are a growing cyst reflecting the neglected cancer, constantly provoking it. And you'd best believe that I know that it's

the WHOLE damn reason THIS fucking MOAT EXISTS.
The modern man wears his suit like a protective shield
assassinating emotions 'til he forgets to feel.
And yes, [raise fist] this is a weapon I wield.

Men use it to stop
any relationship from getting real.
If those who know me could actually get to know me
I'd deal with the blows dealt then left to fade slowly.

There's a drawbridge to this soul, shut and bolted.
I even check the locks twice a day.

I am man, mute of all emotion.
I'd like to think I've done rather well.

                 Guest Editor: Janet Jackson

David Vincent Smith, or DVS, is a performance poet, emcee, screenwriter and film director from Perth. David's performance of this poem won him the 2010 WA championship of the Australian Poetry Slam. You can watch a rough video of David's performance here.

David's poem is used with permission. Note stanza 9 'I am emotionless...' is supposed to be one long line, but we're not wide enough for that, so five lines it is. 

Tuesday Poem thanks Australian poet Janet Jackson for being our guest editor this week and bringing a performance poet along with her! Janet says she writes poems, songs and prose, performs poetry and music, teaches poetry and creative writing, coordinates Perth Poetry Club, parents and sometimes sleeps. Her publications include 'Coracle' (2009), ‘q finger’ (PressPress 2011), her website Proximity and poems in Fremantle Press's forthcoming eleven-poet volume 'Performance Poets'. Janet was the editor of David Barnes's collection 'Prayers Waiting for God' (Mulla Mulla Press 2011).  

After you've enjoyed David's poem here at the TP hub - visit the sidebar where up to 30 poets from NZ, Australian, the UK and US post poems by themselves or other poets they admire. 

1 comment:

susan t. landry said...

nicely done. i have seen a lot of slam poetry and i appreciate this young man's control over his material.
and... i'm totally down with the sentiment.

thank you!