By Ryan R. Latini
During this time of toasts and toddies, you may have noticed two ways that your fellows entered the New Year: triumphantly or despondently. Whether trudging or staggering, both approaches are indulgent and intoxicating depending on the mood.
Pulled from the SVJ archives, we explore exuberance and despondence by two of our past writers.
With Dennis Saleh’s 2006 poem, Déjà Vu, you can swaddle yourself against the cold in the warm, melancholic blanket of the same-old. Saleh’s poem begins with a lament: “It is January. It is January. / Month of déjà vu.” Are the calendar’s pages blank slates, or proof of eternal recurrence?
Jacqueline Garlitos, in her 2005 poem The Window Washer, describes a character breaking through into a new world, and despite having her flesh shredded to ribbons, she is able to sing in triumphant rebellion at the shattering of her perceived enclosure.
So, is the New Year just a hopeless reverberation of Déjà Vu where, “Even the air is an echo?”
Or, like The Window Washer, will you push through at all costs and, “Drink the air, taste all it holds?”
There is time enough for both—time enough…until there isn’t.
Page 30, Fall 2006, Vol. 23
Page 22, Fall 2005, Vol. 21
A Note About The Author: Ryan R. Latini received his MA from the Writing Studies program at Saint Joseph’s University. He graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a BA in English in 2008. He is on the editorial staff of The Avenue, has been published in The Avenue, and has contributed to SJU’s Writing Studies blog. He has worked as a freelance writer, a tutor for Literacy New Jersey (Gloucester County), and is currently working on his first novel. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanRLatini