There are certain thoughts and emotions we all have when we reach a certain milestone in our lives. Most of us internalize those thoughts and emotions – and the related actions they cause us to do – to our inner being and never mention them to anybody else. But is that very healthy? Andreas Gripp has boldly put some of those thoughts and emotions onto paper and given us The Better Kiss to ponder upon.
Rain Delay (Page 7)
I said I’d be watching baseball
but instead it’s become one of those
kind of nights where a high school crush
and a college sweetheart
where a yearbook and a years-old
letter are revisiting without
and I ask myself should I even look them up
online when I know I’ll stumble upon
their married name,
some photo they’ve posted
with their husband, children,
smiles I cannot relate to
and will leave me wishing
I’d stuck to the original plan
of cheering on my favourite player
while he hits a homer
and steals a base.
Gripp has reached deep inside from somewhere and found some deep and profound thoughts then crafted some brilliant lines to describe what he is feeling. No doubt these are thoughts we all have had and dismissed, but Gripp has brought them forward for us to consider properly.
Twenty Fourteen (Page 15)
I’m at the library
and seem to be the only one
reading a book.
Everyone else has their twitching hands
on some sort of tablet, smartphone,
or other plastic thing you swipe with your finger
or type something vapid into
with your rapid, nimble thumbs.
No one gives a fat rat’s ass
that I’m pondering lines
from a volume of poems no thicker
than their fleeting gadgets,
no one’s even seen a rat for years,
let alone a fat one, nibbling the corners
of classic lit,
being this isn’t the good ol’ days
of cheese baits and mouse traps,
of librarians shushing you
to keep it down,
of soiled, earmarked pages
furrowed from their turning
by a thousand pairs of hands
that came here long before anyone dreamt
the world would be coming to us
in the oddity of a gigabyte.
Gripp has created clear imagery here. His words flash understanding directly to the mind’s eye and comprehension occurs. But that is not to say there isn’t a need to re-read certain passages. The imagery that comes up again after re-reading is one worth pondering.
Reflection (Page 34)
In the mirror, my face is “backwards,”
The only image that I behold, of me,
What’s left is right
and what’s right is wrong.
Everyone else sees what’s really there:
the marks, the creases,
the straying strands of hair
where they surely ought to be.
Yes, I can see the accuracy
in a photo,
but I want the view of my true countenance
from your authentic eyes,
my frown rising, dropping
like the east-to-west path of sun.
Of course, you have the very same problem,
the fallacy of glass,
the swallowed myth
that mirrors never lie.
I’ve merely stated what the issue is
and await some puzzled look on your face
that only I will ever see.
The Better Kiss by Andreas Gripp is an enlightening read to the thoughts and emotions we all have but never discuss. A great read and a great piece of literature.