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Thread: Dancing in the Basement [a poem]

  1. #1
    A Dude Peeta Mellark's avatar
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    Default Dancing in the Basement [a poem]

    Dancing in the basement silently,
    I wonder if they can hear the echoes
    up above. My feet pounding in beat with their blood
    and the music in my mind of the most sublime beauty.
    If they hear me do they wonder about my identity,
    or do they even know to ask the question?

    And I wonder what sort of question
    they'd ask me if they found me silently
    dancing. Would they care if my identity
    didn't match my face? Would the echoes
    of my presence in this place mar the beauty
    of their day like a handkerchief stained in blood?

    And it all does come back to blood,
    I think to myself as I ask these questions.
    Too distracted by these suggestions to see the beauty
    of myself dancing in the basement silently,
    I can only rage at my own echoes
    because they just add to the mystery of my identity.

    But can something as complex as who I am be identified
    in strands of DNA swimming in my blood?
    Is that the way that echoes
    of our souls are recorded? I have to question
    that things we define in words can be captured silently
    as if they have meaning when one man's ugly is another's beauty.

    And am I still a man if I want to be beautiful,
    or does a swipe of rouge negate an identity
    that is as constructed as a library? Silence
    is my only answer. Is a woman still a woman if she doesn't bleed?
    Does sex matter if you'll never breed? I question
    how these things have meaning when our words are just echoes.

    But Plato was wrong in calling poetry echoes
    of echoes, because the original sound doesn't exist. Beauty
    subsists because we made it. We question
    how we fit into these frameworks of identity
    we've built. My mind is made of words even if blood
    is what made my body. My world begins to tilt silently.

    And so I question the source of these echoes
    if silence came before we knew beauty
    and if my identity is not in my blood.

  2. #2
    Prehistoric Bitchslapper Sarahfeena's avatar
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    Peeta, thank you so much for sharing that. Loved it.

  3. #3
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    I really liked this and the ambiguity of the meaning. Is dancing in the basement a metaphor for human life with what's "above" being spiritual? Is the silent dance in the basement more like being in the closet? What's the identity struggle that's going on? Don't answer those questions, though. I like having something to ponder.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  4. #4
    A Dude Peeta Mellark's avatar
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    Thanks. I actually began mentally composing it while literally working out in the basement of my building and I was able to hear people upstairs, but there was greater meaning to it than that!

  5. #5
    Happy New Year! spitz's avatar
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    Wow, Peeta, really good. I felt like I was in the basement, dancing, worrying about echoes. Freaked me out a bit. Really well written.


    Maybe you'd like the (translated, unless you can speak Greek) writings of Titos Patrikios. His works have a similar effect on me.
    Last edited by spitz; 28 Jan 2011 at 08:29 AM.

  6. #6
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by spitz View post
    I felt like I was in the basement, dancing, worrying about echoes.
    Yeah, I got that, too. The repetition of words in a sestina (silently/echoes/question, etc. being in each stanza) really worked well for the descriptions.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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