You Don't Even See Me Here

You Don't Even See Me Here

A Poem by Alexa Apothic Red
"

An allusion to one of my favorites in Greek mythology, Narcissus and Echo.. can so accurately parallel today's selfie-obsessed culture.

"
You are so wrapped up 
In the god 
You think 
You're becoming 
To notice 
The goddess flower 
Blooming brighter 
Every day before you 

She unfolds... 
Petal 
By petal 
You're 
On the hunt 
For shiny metal 
Whether to lift 
Or see yourself in 
She doesn't fit

Like Narcissus before 
So drunk 
On your 
Own image 
Beaming 
Back at you 
You've spurned 
Echo's love
 
And now she- 
Not the flowery nymph 
Venus once admired 
But a mumbling voice 
And lonely song 
Heard only in 
The distance 

...............((echo))................ 

And you- 
Atrophied
In your own decay 
That fleeting moment, 
Selfie-hoodwinked 
That made you think
You're a god
Instead wasted your body 
That you once
Worshiped 
 
And you- 
Now a lonely 
Narcissus flower 
On the bank 
Of a river 
Like me, 
Your Echo 
Was before

© 2018 Alexa Apothic Red



My Review

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Featured Review

Alexa, this poem not only shows your knowledge and education, it illustrates your gift as a writer. First, I like the title. At first, I thought that seems a bit too simple. Then, it clicked... That's the point. It's humble and sincere. Second, the structure works well here; the short lines are not only simple but powerful and flow perfectly beginning to end. Not sure the "echo" break in the middle was necessary, at least for me, but I get it.

You've also exceptionally shown the contrast between Narcissus and Echo. Maybe because I spend so much time in the gym, your description of Narcissus became a real person. "For shiny metal... whether to lift" and "you- Atrophied... In your own decay" are among the most descriptive lines here. "Atrophy" is the ideal word in this context, and brings to mind many men I've known who used steroids to achieve that desired image/body, and then lost it later, long after they lost their humility.

The last stanza is a well-crafted and suitable ending to your poem. I could feel the sting, maybe Echo's sharp words, said perhaps with a sharper grin and bittersweet trace on her lips.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Robert, As always, I so much look forward to reading your reviews and knowing your thoughts on my wo.. read more
Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

*illuminated



Reviews

Absolutely beautiful! This left me thinking and hanging over each line. You are amazingly talented!

Posted 1 Month Ago


Beautiful. I liked how you used the words. You wrote a story in the poetry that left the reader with something to think about.
"And you-
Now a lonely
Narcissus flower
On the bank
Of a river
Like me,
Your Echo
Was before"
The above lines. Amazing and perfect. Thank you Alexa for sharing the outstanding poetry.
Coyote

Posted 2 Months Ago


"In the God you think you are becoming" I just love this line, after reading the poem in its entirety it just stuck out at me and I feel like it captures the theme of the poem as a whole so well! I love how you've told a story within this poem and how you have incorporated the modern day into the world of Greek Mythology, so clever! The images are vivid and beautifully natural at the same time eg, the image of her unfolding like a flower. You have your own unique vision that you bring to your work and I that I really enjoy exploring. So yet again, a great job!

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

O-thank you so much once again for exploring my vision and for appreciating its originality. One can.. read more
Alexa, this poem not only shows your knowledge and education, it illustrates your gift as a writer. First, I like the title. At first, I thought that seems a bit too simple. Then, it clicked... That's the point. It's humble and sincere. Second, the structure works well here; the short lines are not only simple but powerful and flow perfectly beginning to end. Not sure the "echo" break in the middle was necessary, at least for me, but I get it.

You've also exceptionally shown the contrast between Narcissus and Echo. Maybe because I spend so much time in the gym, your description of Narcissus became a real person. "For shiny metal... whether to lift" and "you- Atrophied... In your own decay" are among the most descriptive lines here. "Atrophy" is the ideal word in this context, and brings to mind many men I've known who used steroids to achieve that desired image/body, and then lost it later, long after they lost their humility.

The last stanza is a well-crafted and suitable ending to your poem. I could feel the sting, maybe Echo's sharp words, said perhaps with a sharper grin and bittersweet trace on her lips.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Robert, As always, I so much look forward to reading your reviews and knowing your thoughts on my wo.. read more
Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

*illuminated
I loved the beauty and eloquence of the language you used which, I thought, suited the references to Greek mythology so well. You took that and coupled it with contemporary culture and made a statement that resonates and reverberates through the heart and mind.

The first stanza so concisely introduces the conflict: that societal vice, inward focus, selfishness, self-consumption to the point where the rest of the world fades into periphery and beyond, unnoticed, forgotten, unmissed. The juxtaposition between the "god you think you're becoming" and the "goddess flower" I thought contrasted the over-inflated self-esteem of a narcissist and the realistic down-to-earth beauty found by one who opens their eyes to the rest of the world. One hand gets carried away in self-obsessed fantasies that amount to nothing more than unrealistic pipe dreams, while the other finds beauty and real meaning in the small and imperfect but nonetheless spectacular things, things that can be touched and appreciated by a worthy spirit. The quest to be untouchable vs. the simple beauty of a touch . . .
Contrived Transcendence vs. imperfect but blossoming tangibility . . .or something like that.

"she unfolds petal by petal". A beautiful sequence. The unfolding and blooming of a flower, a simple yet gorgeous flower, not rushing or pining to be noticed or to be something she is not, taking her time to achieve that true, tangible, touchable beauty, not contrived, but real. This patience: a virtue, as are her prudence and her realization that she should not want to be more than she is. This image is then contrasted by the image of a "hunt", perhaps in a desperate or frenzied attempt to be validated, if even and only by the self: "shiny metal /Whether to lift / Or see yourself in" and "She doesn't fit". Such a simple line, but poignant. She is overlooked by the frenzied hunter with tunnel vision, looking only for those things that glitter and shine and will reflect that contrived tangible beauty back at them, an imperfect and hurried transcendence, insubstantial.

Third stanza explicitly introduces the reference to greek mythology. Narcissus, as per the myth, so self absorbed, rejects the sweet and growing, but not altogether blossomed tangible beauty of Echo to pursue his own transcendence; his quest to be untouchable by tangible means.

And then like the myth the tables are turned. The one who was content, present, and touchable, but whose pure spirit did not seek transcendence, is granted that true gift and becomes untouchable, "a mumbling voice / And lonely song". Far from the transcendent vision of godliness and inexhaustible beauty and power, that true transcendence granted to the Echo of this poem is one in which she remains her real self, a free spirit, not a slave to upholding an image, not contrived to fit godliness, or inflated to be grandiose. That blooming goddess flower of the spring, which unfolded carefully, not over exposing herself or attempting to be that summer rose before her time, has blossomed into something greater than anything beneath the touch. She has carried her pure, patient, and perfectly-imperfect spirit beyond her body whose former beauty now is no more than an afterthought, insignificant to the transcendent. and she speaks, finally. Finally, after her patience, realism, and contentedness in her tangible state, she gains that power to traverse the plane between transcendent and the touched. Her imperfect voice rings clear and true.

And Narcissus, that hunter of transcendence, he who was insatiable in his tangibility will remain forever touchable, discontented, grounded, and simple. Too focused on achieving transcendence by tangible means, he forgot that even tangible beauty withers and wastes away, while the pragmatic and patient Echo remembered that this body too shall pass and that the blooming is a sign, not of the body or physical blossom of the summer rose, but of the fragrance it will give. That tangible, beautiful, summer rose decays and disappears, but that fragrance can be captured and remembered and can transcend truly.

As it pertains to contemporary culture, you jab at the selfie-obsession with this piece; the compulsion of so many in society to become so consumed by themselves and their image. Those who seek to be so much more than themselves, by augmenting, contriving, and obsessing over themselves, eventually realize that they are are no longer flowering but wilting. The summer of beauty has passed and they missed the perfume for the petals. Someone who instead contents themselves with their present image, who does not constantly strive to be more than they are, and who looks to the natural and imperfect=perfection around them will notice the fragrance when it flows forth from the rose and will enjoy that which is not bound by decay and corruption.

Basically, be yourself because your image may or may not be worth capturing, but your spirit is, and you'll miss it if you're constantly blinking for the flash of a camera that's no good at catching spirits anyhow. Like, how many undoctored ghost photos have you seen? Ok, lol, now i'm mixing metaphors and losing it. Or actually, maybe if we're too tangibly focussed and image obsessed then our spirits are never captured, our bodies decay, and we become trapped spirits, the haunting kind, that are stuck in an object, a room, or a body because they just couldn't let go of the touchable world in their quest to be untouch- . . . nope.

Well, now I feel like I just exited a forest or something and there are blue skies, meadows and a review conclusion just over the hill. I'd look back at the forest behind me, but i'm worried I might spend too much time looking at each individual tree trying to figure out what it meant, and miss that i was in a forest. My review is a forest, just see the forest and not the individual trees because if my memory serves me, some of them are pretty odd looking, somewhat decayed, rotting, haunted, and definitely don't smell like summer roses. I don't even know why i'm writing in metaphors anymore, i think a review is supposed to illuminate and cast light on a piece, not bury it in more metaphors so i apologize if i dug too deep a hole and dragged your poem down there with me, but i guess it beats cremation, cuz at least you can dig it up. Oh god.

As you can tell, I enjoyed your poem thoroughly. I loved the overarching metaphor of Narcissus and Echo, using that story as a carrier for a modern issue, a phenomenon attached to social media that is isolating people rather than bringing them together. I loved the imagery you used of the flowers and the petals and "atrophied" was a great word choice. "Selfie-hoodwinked" was also such a great phrase, like self deceived, but selfie deceived, like you did it to yourself, but the selfie did it too, like, I think i might have just over explicated it. Anyway, it's been a fantastic read, its been a while since i've been able to do anything related to greek mythology so thank you so much for that. Great choice of metaphor.

Ok, so i was just about to say thanks for sharing, brilliant poem and bye, when i read the last three lines again and now my head is going again, help. Who is the speaker? Like, who is it whose Echo was before, besides the narcissus flower? Is this 'echo', formerly 'Echo', now speaking about herself being before? No longer tied down to the capitalization, structure and metaphor of the poem but transcending the form and becoming the speaker, omnipresent, referring to herself in the third person throughout the poem, or literally only speaking at the end of sentences/the poem, completing them as per the myth? Or did I just miss something obvious . . .

Ok, brilliant poem, thanks for sharing Alexa, goodnight:)

Hailey





Posted 3 Months Ago


nice poem was interesting and loved it

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Aw, thanks so much! I'm so glad that you found it interesting and loved it!! I'm honored.
Well, you pretty much nailed it. So much better said than most. Self adulation seems to be the new nlack in this crazy, messed up world of mirror lickers. Just as well their not made of chocolate or they'd eat themselves.
Plus, bonus points for the greek mythology usage. Makes me want to read them again.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Lorry, I'm humbled. Thanks so much for a kind review! I agree completely about society.. It's rampan.. read more
Lorry 4.9

3 Months Ago

A happy thought :)
Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

That's a good thing to have :)
deep and intriguing really, nicely done

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Thank you! I appreciate it Alex!
ahhh, the selfish selfie. we've become a cell phone nation. becoming more pervasive all the time. many people go about their day totally absorbed in it and don't even pay attention to reality around them. disrupting traffic, blocking sidewalks, etc. nice metaphor. greek mythology holds many morals & lessons for us. technology becoming intrusively more disruptive in life all the time. perhaps cell phones should come with this packaged with them. thanks for sharing. i enjoyed this. very creative. all around great write!

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Pete, Thank you so much for the very thoughtful review. I agree, while I utilize technology for its .. read more
Nicely done Alexa :)

You described the topic in your own sweet manner...:))

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Alexa Apothic Red

3 Months Ago

Thank you so much!

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12 Reviews
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Added on February 2, 2018
Last Updated on February 2, 2018
Tags: Vanity, selfie, Narcissus and Echo, echo, Venus, reflection, mirror, self-obsessed, lonely, beauty, fleeting, body, life, mythology, gods, goddesses, nymphs

Author

Alexa Apothic Red
Alexa Apothic Red

TN



About
I am very passionate in life and in writing. I am also a singer and songwriter. Swim in my words, take up residence in my mind... Inspire me, and I hope to do the same for you... Lately, I've been .. more..

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