What if sunsets were blue? What if they resembled my recollections: how I broke upon your hardness, how you ran from my insensitive cutting remarks, lasers which severed whatever tied us together those few years? Would I ever have experienced solar reds, oranges, pink-tinged magic? Known this reality? Turned from unreal shadows dancing on Plato's cave wall, pushed into dwelling among well-lit shadow-makers, my memories hold only blue shadows watching blue sunsets.
Some comb beaches pocketing striking shells, attempting time's arrest. I, rather, snatch sun's rays from morning and evening skies, saving moments too fleeting for memory--tweaking my specimens to resemble what my minds-eye says actually occurred.
the rhymed poem
My poems seldom rhyme. To me it seems contrived frivolity. Pushing literary toes into narrow shoes just shows clever, well-turned rhyming tricks meant not for skill, but merely hicks who hold a cowpoke's doggerel more meaningful than good ol' Bill!
I am not a friend. I am an appliance turned off and on at whim; replaced when my performance fails. Valued for comfort, valued for feeding egos/stomachs/hearts (choose one or more) until satiated. Stress-walking, tense-talking, wondering when this misstep will negate our shared history. This just in: I too will turn you off at a moment's notice. Gardening emotionally, I prune unfruitful relationships, attempt to shape the unruly, fight invasive species, but, lately, I think I've pruned too aggressively, fought too vociferously, spent too little time nurturing those pretties who choose to live in my garden. "Window up, window down", Grandma's mantra. Why bother with gradations, nuance, shades of meaning, human failings? Today's binary, electronic culture can't see it's founded in yesterday's hard realities: "If'n it doan kill ya, it'sa prolly good, but if'n it make ya sick, t'ro it! Ain't no use hangin' onta sump'n gonna maybe kill ya, sooner or latuh." Yes, I live not in my past but in someone else's. It served our ancestors for lifetimes, it put backbone into indecipherable existence, into amorphous life: Symbolic living, roles for everyone-- must I think about myself, about you, about everyone? Surely I will die inside. I will face insurmountable walls of misunderstanding. Today's non-roles just demand different roles, other rules, other games to play. Just tweak roles from millennia past. No need to reinvent new modes of emotional transportation. But still... It's on/off, "thanks for being there, why can't you behave, why can't you act the way we act, push the buttons we push, hate what we hate, love what we love?" I've got some on/off for ya: Be who you are; I'll be the same. Maybe similar will attract Similar. Or bug off.
We ran-- hoping, loping, leaping-- grieving-- up Happiness Ridge. Its summit proved small, merely step one of many.
Sometimes, poetry is not good, rejuvenating long-dead memories when one graded The Poetry Assignment as written by thirteen-year-olds. Sometimes, the poet shoots invisible needles of meaning, millions of them, ripping, zipping through me, nailing me to where I sit.
[once again grabbed by the poetry of James G. Piatt as featured on Ephemeral Elegies]
I read a book once. I checked it out of my high school library; I was a sophomore. It was arranged like this, one concept per line, and it explained infinity. A difficult concept, so only one idea per line. It taught me that one infinity can exist inside another, therefore the second infinity's bigger. And if you add "1" to the second infinity, it's bigger than it was before. I read this book while waiting for our wrestling team to compete. I co-managed the team, and I relished being the one to watch the locker room during matches meaning I could read uninterrupted for a long time. This book both increased, and decreased, my awe for The Infinite, and it did nothing to explain how more than fifty years later I see/feel/understand what went through my head as I read this book while young men in stretchy uniforms grabbed each other's crotch.
once upon a time
Once upon a time–
Time? It’s in two-two, just
beat as you breathe–
But it happened,
like this, like–
I only meant you live time differently,–
No, we’re timing
Where everything happens
it happen? At all?–
Your beatings annoy–
My bleatings annoy-–
So it goes…once…
“After writing a poem, one should wipe carefully and wash one’s hands.”
write me poetry (wriggling fish eludes grasp)
"Write me poems," she said. "Not that sonnet, rondeau crap. Make it formed, but not formal. Make it happy, poignant, heartfelt." Whew! Tall order. How to commit to words which don't bring despair, don't touch my psyche's crackling third rail? 'formed, not formal'? Wrapped around my neutrality entwine serpents of dark, of light, yet both truthful. One favors pain, despair, sadness. Countering, its mirror favors hopeful, joyous optimism. But it whispers-- 'gainst its brother-- screams less, asks more. "Everything's great!" doesn't cut it. Good news--no news. Seismic shifts, stabs to my heart grab more attention than goody-ness. Problems add edge, life's hoppy bite, offsetting its malty sweetness. But she challenged! Can happiness inspire poems? My life-garden hosts tangled plants, gnarled, tall, choking new growth. Little shoots blossom up regardless, and... Something happens. My ultimate Gardener, my concept of God nurtures sprouts, brings forth fresh flowers striving to vie with woody growths. Despite these new optimistic upstarts, my soul's garden remains wild: poison vines, weeds, burrs, thorns. No apologies. Who am I to question what grows, what does not? Why question my lived reality, denigrate my totality? Are we happy now? Are we mired in hopelessness? Do we focus on pretty new blossoms? Do we ignore the whole? Without yin there's no yang. Without black, white on white. Speak to truth no matter its source. Shuffle the deck; deal ALL its cards. Thirteen sevens multiplies two potent numbers, magical yet at odds with each other. She will appreciate [this].