> Grey Matter Oeuvre - Poetry & Paintings: Reserved Seating<META name="keywords" content="poetry, poems, poet, art, literature, writing, publishing, publish">


Reserved Seating

The chair, the chair…
So barren, there.
Mocking, haunting,
It blankly stares.

It blames me, I know,
That it is so bare.
Its impassive expression,
that indictment, is fair.
It's aching empty
Is too heavy to bear.
It’s nakedness howls.
It’s lifelessness glares.

My friend, I can handle
Your absence, I swear.
But I can’t say the same
For your vacant chair.


Blogger TwistedNoggin said...

Why the chair:

Sometimes the truest reflections of ourselves require a mirror. I used to instruct the girls to whom I taught drawing to check their drawings in the mirror occasionally. Seeing your work (or feelings) from a different angle lets you see it for what it is, free of what you’d project on it or what things you blind yourself of. In this way, what we see in our reflections in the inanimate often reveals a truer representation than if we tried to be more direct.

The guy who was once the art director at IUS did a series of paintings of chairs. As I recall, he felt that a painting of a chair said a lot because the presence of the chair emphasized what was NOT present... because a chair is pointless without someone to sit in it, and thus the sight of an empty chair in a room emphasized that someone was clearly missing, and that their absence left a hole, so to speak.

Perhaps that’s more MY interpretation of what the chair meant in his paintings. It’s hard to say. It was too long ago that he explained the series.

Anyway… I was writing about someone long gone and everything I came up with was corny. Then, a voice in my head said “the chair, the chair… so vacant there!”, and then I remembered the paintings, and then I wrote the poem.

Instead of writing of the person I missed, or all my feelings directly, I let the chair express my feelings toward myself, the anger towards myself I felt at loosing a friend, and the emptiness and waste of the hole left in my life that only that friend could fill. After all, each friend has a special place and role in our lives, their reserved seats, and they teach us something different. No friend can replace another. Once a seat is vacated, it remains so until when (if ever) that friend returns.

2:31 PM  
Blogger fatochre said...

hey that was very good.
I must admit that it seemed sort of simple at the start, but the last four lines revealed the entire depth all at once. Sorta like when your walking in the shallow end of a pool, enjoying the coolness of the water, then suddenly you hit the slope to the deep end and you get pulled under.
Very good job.
Thanks for this.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Jones, Jr said...

I like this... much stronger than a metaphor. A chair full of longing and emptiness.

8:04 PM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

That's a brilliantly original thought.

6:43 AM  
Blogger ForteLink said...

I don't even know what to say about this. It's truly a wonderful piece, and I can only count myself blessed that I've managed to keep my chairs filled, though I did have a close call recently.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

I love the unpredictablity of your poem and how it moves along so nicely. The sentimentality and care for that which gives us comfort is truly given the proper praise. Good writing, indeed.

P.S. - I am starting my new story and cannot do it without your 'words' Four or five max would do. Please.


5:16 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Potent. Lovely.


11:28 AM  
Blogger Rabby said...

Wut I like is how you let the chair personi, person, per -- how the chair is more than a chair. I like this poem.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Bobby said...

Wow. Deceptively simple.

You have a great blog here!

7:42 AM  
Blogger TwistedNoggin said...

Thank you. The simplest truths hold the largest meanings, generally. My shortest poems often say the most too, though people often skip over the short ones and don't quite get them, it seems.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Poet said...

I think this particular experiment with rhyme is quite remarkable.

The repeated "air" sounds give this piece a mantra-like quality. I like the alternating rhyme scheme in the lines. It gives you enough room to move and play with the language while still giving the piece a musical feel.

The thing that I like most about this piece is that it draws me right in -- I can see the chair right in front of me. The chair has an anthropomorphic quality to it. I can see it staring at me, mocking me, and haunting me. (And, frankly, it's a bit creepy, to tell the truth).

In short, A+!!! I look forward to more experiments with rhyme (as well as some of your more traditional dark and cutting pieces, too). : )

6:05 PM  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Brilliant post! lovely rhyme scheme and very expressive! U project exactly how you feel! Nicee :)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

i was going to write at length about how clever it was of you to use the chair as a metaphor but then i read your intro which makes my unuttered words redundant even before i have typed them.
still an intelligent piece though

3:36 PM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Yes, I hate the empty chairs!!

5:15 PM  
Blogger AnOminous Mistake said...

Never thought of it in those terms, truly original use of the theme of emptiness.
Rhythm and rhyme hooked me completely, just rolls off the tongue. Really impressive.

11:52 AM  

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