This is one of the poems I’ve written over the years. I’ve set many of them to music, or wrote the music first and then the words. But some of them, like this one, have stood alone (so far).

This particular poem was conceived as an exercise is using all four perspectives (I, You, We, and They) that are central to the Dramatica theory of narrative structure that I developed with Chris Huntley.

Yet, from this rather pedestrian motivation, a rather fascinating poem emerged, I think.


By Melanie Anne Phillips

My emotions are dead 
and lack any resistance 
to the onslaught of logic’s 
relentless persistence. 

I’m malleable, movable, 
flexible, still. 
I succumb with aplomb, 
as I alter my will 

to conform to the pressures 
that weigh on my soul 
without motive, or method, 
opinion, or goal. 

They reach for the stars, 
as they stand on our hearts, 
and they sell us off piecemeal, 
parcels and parts. 

They slice us to mincemeat 
and padlock the door, 
while our blood runs quite freely 
through holes in the floor. 

But nothing is wasted, 
tho’ everything’s lost. 
So our blood is recycled 
to offset the cost. 

We huddle in darkness 
yet shy from the fire 
to howl at the moon 
with the rest of the choir.

And when the glow wanes, 
we stoke it with dreams 
in hopes that the crackle 
will drown out our screams. 

You sleep in your bed 
and you doze in your chair. 
Your cushions are comfy 
and so is your air. 

But your heartache grows heavy, 
as well as your head, 
‘til you nod away, nod away, 
nod away, dead.