Tonight I took a walk in the dark
Unstrapped the bubble of light from my head and descended
Feet first to the curb
And by turns constrained and compelled by the wind
Whispered my winding way in the dark.
And I saw the light a life emits:
Flashing digital blue
Licking red flickers
Slow orange warm glow
Encased within the glass bay windows of a city.
And tiny I
In the space between
An out of body spirit
Blown away, blown toward
It was a crazy weekend. We bought the last of the furniture, which means my apartment now smells like Swedish pine and lingonberry.
After a month of sleeping on the floor, my son got his bunk bed and after a year and a half in boxes I got a little cabinet for all my art supplies. Thus, the weekend was full of detailing the growing list of bunk bed rules and unpacking beautiful things.
I opened the box of all the sketchbooks I’ve had since junior high. I took out the files containing my years of illustrations for the Sunday school curriculum and the children’s reader I did. And I discovered the stack of poems I wrote in the year after my Dad died.
I don’t write much poetry, but I get on kicks. I enjoy their density. I find I use them when my feelings are most compact and undefinable, much like those little foam creatures confined to capsules and awaiting bath time.
In this analogy, poetry would be the warm bath that releases you, opens you up and details your edges.
So, here is a dense little piece I had forgotten about. It reminds me well of that seeming interminable time. If you’ve ever experienced sorrow, I’m sure you will understand.
“As I Watched the Fire”
Oh! If I had a power tonight it would be this,
To send out my sorrow into the flames,
To lick and burn some other chimney,
Save my throat,
To consume some other material,
Save my spirit.
Then, I would watch it burn down to its predictable end,
To finish and be done, once and for all,
Left cold after its long hot work.
And all the concentrated efforts of my sorrow’s journey,
Would be accomplished in one short evening,
As I watched the fire.
I wonder if those drug commercials on the TV actually work. I’m always left shocked by the sheer quantity of side effects and with only a vague idea of what the drug was supposed to be helping in the first place.
It looks like a lot of fun to go gamboling in the meadow with attractive people on sunny days. Fun enough to experience brain bleeds and incontinence? Maybe not. What if we throw in a row on the lake? Well… Horseback riding? Hmm…
Here is a poem to serve as a reminder to us all:
THE ZOMBIE DIET
If it were a thing that I could
Bottle it and
Sell it on the shelves in south beach.
And the imperfectly weighted
Would buy astonishing amounts
And laud the attributes of this
The perfect pill.
And they would extol their thinning limbs
And admire the caverns beneath their cheekbones
Never bothering to read the warning label that
“Side effects may include
Last night I went to put the leftover rice away. I looked at the rice; I got out a container. I looked at the rice again; I got out a different container. It still didn’t work.
My husband thinks it’s funny, but zombies change everything. And a lot of things stop being funny when the world falls to the perambulating dead.
I once wrote a poem about this problem of mine. You’re welcome.
TUPPERWARE AS AN INDICATOR OF SURVIVAL
There are two containers in my fridge
I play it off as if
I had intended all along
The segregation of sauce and noodles.
But the truth will come out
During zombie apocalypse that
Spatial reasoning is not my gift.
It will be exposed as I
Evaluate the expanse
Between me and the zombie
And me and the bunker door
And think to myself
“Oh, yeah, I can totally make that.”
I’m working on a novel right now. It’s a dystopian sci-fi young adult romantic adventure set somewhere in the future, you know… ‘cause we need more of those.
This led me to read again, for the first time in a while, my zombie poems.
So, here’s one for you, for Saturday, for flu season, and for whimsy.
And if this poem finds you actually suffering from this horrible flu, remember, at least it’s just making you horribly sick not turning you into a zombie. Things could be much much worse.
I’m glad it’s not really possible.
There’s enough to worry about with
All over my
Near and dear
Without the risk of immortality.
I had a bug last year.
If I hadn’t gotten better
I would’ve lived forever
In soulless limbo.
Good thing I got my
I’ll post more of these here and there, but if you just can’t wait to sink your teeth into more you can purchase a kindle or paperback version on Amazon, links on the Writings page.