Monday, September 12, 2011

I had this feeling I was being watched...

 ***

Being seen

taking leave from a book
looking out the window

golden rays of dusk
wash over
a graffitied pavement

ripples of heat rise
from the road baked all afternoon

a stranger on his way home
jaywalker
        el matador of traffic

crows hunching
in twos and threes
on a telephone wire

solid black eyes
speculating him

he turned his head
sees me

       step away

not sure why
it bothers me to be seen

            watching


***

Posted to dVerse Poets Pub for  Open Link Night Week 9 . (Fellow poets and visitors, do visit this site and check out the long list of poems and blogs linked up there.)

27 comments:

seabell said...

Sometimes our eyes betray us... That's why it must be hard to be caught watching someone. A urban moment, I see. Different!

Ravenblack said...

Thanks seabell. You might be right -- eye contact is a sort of communication, and one didn't intend to start one with a stranger.

Marian said...

"el matador of traffic," love it!
hello ravenblack... stopped by to say hello and also to let you know that i added you to the Poets United blogroll & blog listings. welcome! yay!
hope you are doing well... nice to see you.
xo Marian

Ravenblack said...

Thanks for the welcome Marian! :) Glad to be part of the community at Poets United.

And thanks for the comment on my poem.

chromapoesy.com said...

Yes, we want to see but are sometimes shocked when we are seen. Yet in love one of its defining characteristics is that we are truly seen by another. Maybe that sudden intimacy, with its correlations of love, is what makes us uncomfortable with the stranger. I remember as a child being fascinated with spies, those that see but aren't seen. Sometimes I think this is a part of my love of cinema and art. I play at the voyeur who will never be caught investigating the lives of others. Other times I think this is ridiculous and I am simply sharing in the creation of meaning through the examined object (there's a big difference in staring at someone pretending to be someone else and in staring at them in person). Lots to think about in a potent poem as I've come to expect from you, wow!

Fred said...

Raven, really nice observational piece. Love the watching others watching idea- very nice, thanks

Ravenblack said...

Anna: I think you might have hit it, the sudden intimacy when eyes met. Eyes do speak so much in the way they look. I have tried continuing staring one time (I was younger and daring), some people smile (men tend to), women tend to look wary and angered. But back to myself, it was a hard thing to do, instinctively you would just turn away -- it's a reaction. And yes as you say, there's a difference watching someone pretending to be someone or playing a part, and watching a person who doesn't know he's being watched. On related note to that, Reality TV took off because of people's fascination to watch people as they are, but now dying because it is not. Thanks for the feedback and sharing your interesting thoughts. :)


Fred: Thanks, much appreciate your visit and comments as always.

juca2 said...

I like the way your poem develops and ends at that moment of awareness... // Peter.

eclipsingwinter said...

I am a people watcher and there is that moment when the observation becomes an intrusion. I don't mind it when I'm in the same physical location as the watcher but online and anonymous is a much different story. Well captured.

Beth

Brian Miller said...

very nice...yes getting caught watching can be uncomfortable because then we have to move beyond passive watching and now be interactive and really see...nicely written....

ccchampagne said...

I really enjoyed the descriptive tone of this, along with all the imagery it evokes... I love imagery! And I really liked this poem (though the crows got me into a bit of a Hitchcock mood)!

cianphelan said...

It is a curious thing to behold...so often the eyes do flicker away when met by those being watched. Is it shame? Is it uncertainty? I think Brian's right...it's that transition from passivity to interactivity that throws a person for a loop...

Beachanny said...

This took me to London (as that's my city of choice). It could be any city, a place where people rarely meet another's eyes, say hello or good morning, or hidy,as one does in a little town. So to be caught in the act of watching is somewhat unsettling, but it's usually all right if one returns the look with a smile, I've found. Then you're free to talk about books or trees. Liked this a lot!

Ravenblack said...

Peter, Beth, Brian, CC, cianphelan and Beachanny, thanks for your comments on this piece. Really glad you all like it.

Beth: online observations are a bit different, I agree. :)

Brian and cianphelan: I would agree too. Eyes are communicative in themselves. Just meeting another set of eyes, something to follow, an interaction expected indeed.

Beachanny: I'm not sure if the people in my city are friendly enough to return conversation. I would have to see if I am ever brave enough to try it! :)

Joanne Elliott said...

As writers we are always watching...though we like to do it without anyone noticing. I sit by the window and watch the world and think up stories. I don't like it when people notice I'm watching either though.

Love these lines:

"a stranger on his way home
jaywalker
el matador of traffic"

Ravenblack said...

Kinda spoils it once they know they are being watched. Thanks for your comment and feedback, Joanne.

colleen said...

Your words brought me into the moment with you. In that sense the poem did its job.

Ravenblack said...

Thank you, Colleen. Glad that it worked for you.

Old Raven said...

You have created here a really superb "mood." You have done this with several phrases ... not least of which is:

"crows hunching
in twos and threes
on a telephone wire"

And of course those who know me, know that I would fall for these words. This a was wonderful read.

hedgewitch said...

You catch an interesting moment we all have experienced, yet I can't remember reading an exploration of it before--for that alone good marks. Then you paint the scene super-vividly, making it real and immediate "el matador of traffic" is an instant and potent visual. An excellent poem in every way. Much enjoyed it.

johnallenrichter said...

True insight to a human psyche...... I feel exactly this way when I get caught watching... Very human, very real, very understandable, not prancing in verbiage for the sake of verbiage...... Your style is awesome and I enjoyed this poem very much......

Ravenblack said...

Old Raven, Hedgewitch and Johnallenrichter: thanks for your feedback and wonderful comments. Really glad that you all enjoyed it.

johnallenrichter said...

Ravenblack... thanks for visiting my "copper glances" poem... Your insight on that moved me deeply, you noticed something about that poem that was put there intentionally, but very subtly, and I want to thank you for that.... I'm really glad you enjoyed it....

Kenia Cris said...

I'm a watcher myself, I like to observe people in their daily rush somewhere, in the bus, in restaurants... I wonder what's going in their minds. I've never been caught in the act of watching, I would be really embarrassed I guess. :-S

Thanks for visiting Poesia Torta and spreading some love in the comment form. Take care and keep smiling. <3

Ravenblack said...

John: You're welcome. It's a pleasure reading your poem. :)

Kenia: I have been caught. And caught others watching me. We just pretend we were looking for something else! :D Thanks for the visiting.

Daydreamertoo said...

Ahhh yes.. it reminded me of when we sit anywhere like the doctor's or some such and we can't help but keep sneeking a peek at other folks and looking away in case we're spotted. Must be a human thing because we all seem to do it.
Lovely imagery all the way though this piece!

Ravenblack said...

Thanks Daydreamer. :)