X. Afterwards

On occasion
They are 9 or 11 or 10 or 12.
On occasion
They are students.
On occasion
They are not.
On occasion
They are separate.
But mostly
They are just human
And together
And without.

Luke: This poem has too many back stories, most of which are ruined relationships and unilateral crush-type things. Nothing too interesting. The Hedgehog's Dilemma is based almost completely off of Neon Genesis Evangelion, where Shinji is symbolized by the hedgehog who cannot get close to anyone. In this case, it's Luke. Luke's element is supposed to be loneliness, although on this occasion I'll have to make a call and say it is also disillusionment.

Andy: Andy's poem is more stream-of-consciousness, but it directs its attacks to a monastic way of engaging oneself wholly in academics. His element is honesty. This poem is maybe just a change from the other more solemn-minded ideals of its colleagues. Andy's poem, like many that will come after, directs itself to Charlie.

Carlin: This poem is backtracking to an Elizabethan ideal of poetry, with lots of flowery imagery, but without the rhyme. The repetitive use of the O! is supposed to give an idea of the right hand in one of Schubert's Improvisations, namely the one that sounds rather like a church piece, the six, I think, but don't count on it. The pinkie holds the note while the rest of the hand plays some softer, milder notes to support it, and that is what Carlin's poem should be, a lot of supporting ideals and a few sharp melodies. Her element is perseverance.

E.G.: E.G. is a play on e. e. cummings, only because the two initialized names seemed funny together. His element is silence, although it can also be concealment. E.G., both he and his element, are directed towards Luke.

Eda: This element is maybe one of the hardest to guess, even though they're all pretty hard, and it's carelessness, particularly the carelessness characterized by basketball, the risk of missing a shot. Hence, Eda tries to reach out to someone but ends up missing the mark with the choice of person, but she does, however ironically, make the basketball shot. I think Eda is supposed to be reaching out to Cathy, but it is hard to tell anyway.

Jack: Jack's element is adaptation, which is sort of strange, seeing as he babbles about death a lot. For the most part, Jack is supposed to be afraid of conforming, because he sees it as a kind of death, but he also sees the harm of not adapting. So he's stuck in the inbetween.

Cathy: Cathy's element is impudence, or quite possibly just stubbornness. It was quite difficult to write about me without becoming too wrapped up into the poem, seeing as I needed to keep styles consistent. But I'll explain narration farther down into this "Afterwards". Cathy, by the way, is also addressing Charlie.

Charlie: is addressing the world. His element is genius, but it could be fearlessness too.

Tiffany: She is supposed to be epiphany, which explains much of why she can't explain her logic. Tracing wood grains comes from Xenocide, by Orson Scott Card, and I believe Mesmer is the person who inspired the world "mesmerize", a hypnotic sort of a person. I don't know exactly who he is. Bad allusion. And, like others, Tiffany is addressing Charlie.

General author's notes: These people all take a math class with me, which is why there's more mathematical references than I'm used to using in some of these poems. Death pops up quite a bit as well, and while it is not the main focus in most of these people's lives, it occurs to me that they would all have their own definitions of life and death, and that is what Breakfast of Champions is about, different definitions. Paradoxial pointed out that it sounds as if many of these people are angry, and they are. They sort of lash out at everyone, but as I have pointed out, many of these people are addressing others within the group. Charlie, while he is the most talked to, has the least to say, and it creates an interesting vaccuum. But for the most part, this is just a hesitant attempt at trying to gather a mismatched group of people into a potluck of poetry. Last of all, the title, if any of you recognize, is stolen from Kurt Vonnegut's novel, which has a plot, but also attempts to gather people and ideals together. And, above all, refers to martinis. Now that's cool. *wink*

~SF