New Years Shuffle (Pantoum)

Happy almost 2013, everyone.

In honor of the year ahead, and my resolution to reacquaint myself with poetry, I’ve opted to post a dusty Pantoum I wrote about old acquaintances; the kind that should be forgot…ten.

Generally, I dislike restrictive, formulaic structures. The words feels clunky, forged together in an antiquated way.  But, if executed successfully, with fluid content, the form can provide a clever framework. Since a Pantoum “shuffles” out and alternates one sentence for the next, almost like an awkward dance–or at least this was my sense–I called my poem “New Years Shuffle.” Enjoy:

New Years Shuffle

There’s a dance we do
When we first meet
We come together, shuffle
Words quick like feet.

When we first meet, again
He’s unsteady, steps all over
My words. I’m quick, my feet
Back away from old acquaintance.

Unsteady all over the steps
Of the apartment couples
Acquaint themselves, old
And young sip cheap champagne.

We’ve been apart a couple
Months now. You look good,
Or maybe it’s the cheap champagne
Making my eyes brim.

“Good months?” Now you look
Away, shuffle toward your date
And I to mine, though my eyes brim and
The room still spins from the dance we do.

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