Re: Reading Your First Book

I just swallowed your words
without meaning to
and they caught in my throat
as such things sometimes do

This poetry of yours
it’s a dangerous thing
because it brings me home
to myself
again
and I remember
that I can tell any story
I want to tell
any way that I want to

like how I’m sitting here
and the door keeps blowing open in all this wind
and I try to keep it shut
with a piece of fabric
that belongs
to my oldest child
who is upstairs asleep
while I’m sitting here
smoking cigarettes
and feeling
the world inside me
break loose
slow and quiet
like continents

This time will be different.
I will not have to burst through the door
of the senior center
tearful and searching
for an old person
to hug me
to hold me
to let me draw their hands
and to tell me that I might find such age
with some sort of grace

I will not have to run
out of the store
or pull over
to the side of the road

I will be able to look my children in the eye
without crying
for the child I lost
the child that was killed
the one that was myself

Tonight, in the dark,
I split the earth open
with a rusty shovel
that used to be brand new
and the sound that it made
as the edge bit
the crust of the soil
was tremendous

I just remembered
that it was that same shovel
that buried the friend
I was supposed to protect
and so with the cut
of a sacred tool once ordinary
I smelled my own winter fear
of beauty
of growth
of trying to survive
rise up from the dirt
like forever

…and I knew
that if I planted seeds again
I would be alright.

…and I know, now,
that maybe this isn’t breaking,
that maybe it is mending

4 thoughts on “Re: Reading Your First Book

    • Thanks, Julian. I appreciate that you are out there. The book of poetry that I was reading last night was Jacks McNamara’s first book, called Inbetweenland – it really made me feel a lot, in ways that weren’t exactly comfortable, but were true.

      This morning, I read some poems on http://www.strangewren.blogspot.com and they were so rich with language and imagery that the scraps of prose I manage to pull out of my hat seemed like little more than paper towels.

      Writing in poetics seems to take a certain brave abandon that I can’t always muster, but it comes and goes. I almost erased this post, but am now glad I didn’t.

      Thanks, again, for being out there.

      Here’s the mildly invective fit that I wrote this morning to let off some of the angry steam I’ve been feeling intermittently of late…for the sake of poetic transparency. I was going to drop it in the comments here, anyway.

      CALIFORNIA

      Did I mention the way the dirt tasted in my mouth like the calcium of my own bones?

      Reading those poems so early in the morning was a bad idea. All the syllables and arcane reference made my healing seem like a joke among jokes about mothers.

      I no longer care about Hermes walking the aisles of a discount store in Torrance trying on scarves made out of glitter while the chickens turn on their metal rods and the fleshy children brown and baked just stare and stare and stare at what you are to them which is some strange new breed of nothing

      Fuck the tricksters, as far as I’m concerned. Give it to me straight. Tell me what you mean, even if you don’t know.

      Try. Just try.

      That ship never sunk that was a lie and when you hung yourself from the mast in a bloated neuroleptic crucifixion your mouth stained with wine that could never be blood all you did was catch the wind that carried you back to the shores you hate with rows of shining sedans baking in the sun awaiting your return

      …and so who is the joke now?

      The cathectic empires we built of letters and spilled ink on flannel sheets like that sex that you called sad …let them burn in a fire that lights itself and brings you back to where you started somewhere miles from that wounded coast some place named for a star or a mother a brother home.

      Did I mention the salt in my eyes? How it tells me that the only joke is… nevermind.

      There are no jokes.

      ***

      (Love – Faith)

  1. Damn, you take some beautiful petucris… Want to come up to Fayetteville, Arkansas and photograph my wedding?? Or do you know anyone in the area whose work you like and who you could reccommend?Julie

    • Thanks for the invite to photograph your wedding! That’s pretty awesome! I can’t make it out to Arkansas, and don’t know anyone out that way, but I’m sure the pictures will turn out great whomever takes them!

      Happy gettin’ married!

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