Poetism Commentary: “I’m Not Sorry”

The poem in question: I’m Not Sorry

I wrote this poem, and at least one other, during a class at BYU: HEPE 129 (it’s pronounced “heppie”).  I believe it was called “Fitness and Lifestyle Management,” though that may have changed in the 20 years since I was there.  It was a class I took for P.E. credit, because I was, and am, adverse to actual physical education.

My then-girlfriend was also in the class, and I would often find ways not to pay as much attention as I should.  One time a friend of my girlfriend was talking to me and I said something about doing something “metaphorically.”  Confused, she asked if I meant “metaphysically,” and my girlfriend rolled her eyes and responded, “No, he definitely means metaphorically.”  I have no recollection of any other part of the conversation.

Anyway, one day during class I jotted down “I’m Not Sorry.”  It doesn’t have any particular personal meaning that I recall; I just thought it would be funny.  I guess it’s obstensibly about someone getting out of a bad relationship.

The lyrical style is inspired by They Might Be Giants, probably their song “Hey Mr. DJ I Thought You Said We Had a Deal.”  At the time I must have been listening to TMBG a lot, as the back side of the page on which I wrote “I’m Not Sorry” contains the lyrics to “The End of the Tour,” which I maintain is one of their finest compositions.

For me, the dearth of punctuation in the poem emphasizes the flippant attitude of the speaker toward the person he is addressing; he can’t be bothered to dress it up for her.

There are some minor variations in the different versions I have.  The lines

Act like I haven’t even heard
And you’ll slam the phone down in my face

are sometimes written as

And act like I haven’t even heard
You’ll slam the phone down in my face


Appeal, appeal to my guilt sense
Entice me, you must think I’m dense

is sometimes written as

Appeal, you appeal to my guilt sense
Entice me, you must think I’m so dense

The last two lines as originally written are

I don’t wanna see you anymore
Because I already said I’m sorry once before.

Finally, here is an image of the original handwritten version:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.