Teenage Dream

Teenage Dream

“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”
Michael Stipes’ voice blares from the black stereo on my sister’s dresser.
Calculus homework and burning incense.
My chin propped on my hands in front of a spiral notebook.

I can almost feel the flannel of my shirt,
Once my father’s,
Encircling my wrists, worn but not frayed,

Pencil scratches paper and
My finger rubs the indent as I wipe away the
Remnants of a re-thought equation
And turn the page.

I have memorized the placement of each piece of furniture
A perfect map to follow:
Beds here, dresser there, shelves, closet, windows.
Each magazine-ripped page that was sticky-tacked
Above the bed still there in my mind’s eye.

Although that me is stretched so perfectly
On the floor of that so-familiar room,
The place I grew,
I can’t remember the rug.

21 responses

  1. Beautiful memory and meditation on how and what we remember. The details of sight, sound, touch, smell make this strong and poignant.

    • I just could not work that line out! I wanted something commenting on it not being totally real, just in memory, but couldn’t get it. The deadline was coming up so I posted it anyway and thought maybe I’d get some good criticism.

  2. This one’s all about how a song can take you back to a specific memory. Really well done. REM always takes me to hanging out in my friend’s basement in high school. Good memories!

  3. “encircling my wrists, worn but not frayed” took me right back to my high school years, when I was also listening to this song. 🙂 For me, the last stanza was great. I understood it. (since you mentioned feedback, if I was going to change anything it would be to remove “the place I grew”, but I like it the way it is.)

  4. Hmm just to muddy the waters slightly regarding feedback – I must say that the last stanza is actually my favourite (sorry to be awkward!). For me, it gives the sense of the past slipping away, bit by bit, even in memories that are so familiar and comforting, which adds poignancy to the foregoing descriptions. So, I like the note the poem ends on 🙂

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