Sunroom

reading light

I can remember how it felt but I can’t remember the feeling itself.

I was living at the time between quotation marks, a perilous existence. People who lived in their cars looked down on me.

I remember running my hands over and over her bare scalp — the scandal of it.

The woods aren’t even there anymore. Someone’s sunroom occupies that very spot.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

19 Comments


  1. Very evocative, Dave. Not real comfortable, like the image. Yellow is supposed to be such a happy color. Nicely done.

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  2. Effective. Quite a contrast from your earlier Incandescent. Is there a light theme in the works?

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  3. Silly question perhaps. Is there ever a way to not have a light theme?

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    1. Actually, it’s not a silly question for me. Several years ago I started questioning my impulse to reach for a light-related image every time I wanted to suggest a higher or deeper dimension to something. It’s unavoidable in a world that runs on sunlight, of course, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also become a cliché — which is tragic.

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  4. The image drew me in and each line stitched me in place.

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    1. Really? Thanks. This is one of those things I wrote in about ten minutes, just to have a post.

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    1. No, that’s actually the windows (a pair of six-over-six) looking out toward the porch. Bookshelves are ourt of view to the right and left.

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  5. Light is far from anodyne. It messes me up.

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  6. This may be totally wrong (to say) but:

    I’d cross out the first line, the intellectual contemplation (quotation marks) and the second sentence in the second stanza, so that the sunroom, her scalp, your perilous existence then get all the focus. For me, the rest is taking off the glow, the light that comes next.

    So for me, the poem is great if you leave it in the purest most beautiful elements. The rest sounds to me intellectual, lovingless, the light, that warmth and that danger:

    “I was living at the time a perilous existence.

    I remember running my hands over and over her bare scalp — the scandal of it.

    The woods aren’t even there anymore. Someone’s sunroom occupies that very spot”

    (And… Curiosity killed the cat: . I don’t know why you are shy to leave the emotional stand on its own. Oh please, I’m just saying this in case it’s true. Not because I want it to be true. It may all be totally wrong!)

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    1. Interesting suggestions. Thanks for engaging with the poem. I might agree about eliminating the first line, but better probably would be to subtitute something that spoke a bit more directly to the emotional reality of the situation. I’m not saying I’ll do it, but maybe I’ll think about it. Indirection and tact do have their place, too.

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  7. You’re probably right! Perhaps we should know who you were,where you were coming from but… But for me that kills the light! It introduces some grey and dark (the car wheels, the rubber, the intelectual assessment or not liking where one is, the I there, where there should just be the other?) :P having us busy on something which is not what you wanted to capture… downplay? the intensity of the light. You mix an intellectual assessment,something more abstract,with a strong sensorial sensation connected to mysteries, and I think it harms that.
    In case the idea came from my words: I would not add more about the kind of feeling. (Pops I don’t understand why you say “tact and indirection”). I think the poem doesn’t allow us to know what kind of relationship that is, which is perfectly fine, but we know what its impact was at least in some moment. I was saying all that because of your investigation on light, but as I said, I’m an explorer and explorers risk being totally wrong! :D

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  8. Hey, I just realized why you mention “tact and sth” — I couldn’t understand why, so I’ve been mulling over it! I think you might have interpreted that when I said “shy” I meant you should’ve said more about the relationship with that person, but no, no, it wasn’t that! Shy people, when they manage to say something they feel is more intimate, put stuff around so as to kind of hide it. Well, that’s what I think, at least. Find it’s too exposing just to say that which makes them feel whatever. So I didn’t mean you should say more about the rel. But that you should cross out stuff. That’s what I meant by the shy bit!

    In Spain, people are really sociable, but terribly shy! :)

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    1. I would probably get along well in Spain, then.

      Thanks for clearing up what you meant by that. It all makes sense now.

      I suspect that if and when I come back and look at this in a couple months, the solution for the perfect first line will come to me. I know the poem can’t begin with the second line — it would throw off my rhythm. I let rhythm determine what and how much to write more than anything else.

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  9. Hahah, sure!
    I see. It’s true i didn’t pay much attention to the music! Just the visual and what distracted me from the visual. Blushed face!
    Time is the best way, true. If one loves apoem after years of having written it, then it’s likely it’s a good one! Pity so many people publish books so fast. That’s the trouble with people who earn a living with writing. They never get a chance to select what with time they’d consider their best work.

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