Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

If Connecticut, Then Fiction

jrlewis's picture

I think it was not fit,

but friction, when his limbs brushed

my back, he was already rushing, running, resisting. 


I was writing and he was life, 

a teacher; a man whose shirt was always unbuttoned

one button too low.  He was showing me how,


in fact, I was wanting you.  Now he is not wanting

to know me, now I am growing away from him, now I am

going where I am wanted. 


He was younger than you, yet, there was such richness

in rest or rant or wanting.  There was my writing.


jrlewis's picture

dear reader

I'm curious how you felt about this poem as the end of the Connecticut Series.  Does this poem stand alone?  Does it sucessfully conclude all the poems that came before it?  Do you feel ready to turn away from these characters now?

interloper's picture


It doesn't feel like a conclusion to me, maybe the end of a chapter, because you are saying goodbye to one character but you have introduced a new character that we know almost nothing about. It feels like a transition.

jrlewis's picture

there were only ever three

There were only ever three characters in this series for me.  There was the narrator/poet/woman/protagonist.  There was her older sister, who is never actually present.  There was the man/love interest/sometimes subject/hero.  Anyone else in the poem was a minor detail inserted for flavor or plot reasons.  I was actually hoping that the reader would recognise the "you" in this poem as the sister.  The "you" could also be read as a new character.  I really wanted that ambiguity.  I wanted this poem to be about transition, you are right.  It is either the poet woman telling her sister what happened or telling a future love what happened.  Since most of the series is in the past, it felt very hard to tie it up in a neat ending.  Isn't a transition sort of an ending?

interloper's picture

characters and transition

I think if I read the poems of the series in one sitting, or at least one after the other over time without jumping to other things, I will have a better sense of the characters. I will try to do so when I can. 

Every ending is a transition. One door closes, another opens.

alesnick's picture

Great line:

"I was writing and he was life" -- wow.  I love this -- that one can feel onself to be the representation while the other is the real, and on the other hand, that the I here is active/doing and the other a totality.  Also, the I is writing from experience of "life."