poetry by stella nesanovich
Most of my poems are short lyrics, triggered by memory of a past incident or personal experience. While these poems often include vivid imagery, they have little narrative structure. However, in recent years I find my poems have expanded and become more narrative. What triggered this change? Aging, for one thing, more reading and study of poetry, and time, post retirement, to remember events I hadn’t been able to consider in detail earlier in my life.
The two poems in this edition of Trigger evolved from actual experiences that struck me as anomalous. “Above the Piped Music at Office Depot” recounts a recent event in the local store and the impression I had that no one but I, and the cashier who told me of the woman’s weekly appearances, seemed to notice her loud sobbing. Buying toner for a printer, standing amid neatly packaged office supplies, all arranged to attract the buyer and to offer a promise of order, I was struck by the incongruity of the situation. Here was someone clearly in pain. The contrast of disorder with this neatly arranged world of packaged goods was the theme that drew me into writing the poem.
“I Almost Made It to Woodstock” also evolved from an actual time and experience, but one far in my past. Once my memory of being in New York with a friend and thinking of attending Woodstock was jogged by rehearing a song from that momentous concert, I began jotting down details to use in a poem, recalling many I would not include in a shorter lyric. I set out writing the poem as something of a spoof, yet, like the other poem Trigger has chosen for publication, this one too suggests chaos and disorder, here specifically of the Vietnam and Woodstock era, which I vividly recalled.