Doing the Loop
The rules are made in factories.
The rules are made to be broken.
Broken people see themselves in broken things.
Whole towns of broken people work somehow.
Somehow is not a place.
Yet you get there and wonder: how?
How, repeated, is a kind of howl.
In wilds and towns, how answers how.
How do you begin or end?
There are no rules. Begin again.
I like the way that she takes the last word of her phrases to start the next. It feels like she is reinforcing the idea that she just mentioned. I feel her repetition of words is purposeful: she says “the rules” twice at first and then again in the last time, “broken” three times, and “how” four times. Her structure is interesting — each stanza is only two lines and they do not rhyme. I find the flow is dependent on the carried over words from stanza to stanza, but I also feel this method gives the reading a stop and go kind of feel.
I find myself wondering what it means. This is also why I liked the poem the most out of the ones I read this week. It made me think about what Andrea Cohen was trying to get at. The title makes me think that she is talking about the cycle of life and just getting through the days. The line “Whole towns of broken people work somehow” makes me think this poem is about struggle and how people overcome the obstacles in their lives. We don’t know how we get through it but we do it “somehow”. We question how we actually were able to make it through; this thought of “how” is like a howl because it is a loud and forceful question in our minds. I can imagine myself after a busy semester filled with personal issues and essays, standing on Ada Blvd after my last exams screaming “HOW?”. It ends on a hopeful note: a new beginning. A freedom from the rules allows us start anew. Maybe if we don’t worry so much about the “how” and just keep on going, the loop of life’s struggles might be a bit easier.