Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Stranger Woe

March 16, 2016

pain vicarious
we upload our tears
fill the shallow sorrow well
of the unknown dead
in our idle Western grief
we are found wanting
mourning loss of stars
craving real feeling
we push it online
into a collection plate
of strange lamentation
to outdo one another
at a game
of proximate sadness
so we might be depleted
of all anguish
that when death strikes
near and dear to heart
already we may be
without care
as cold as the celebrities
in their graves

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Coal Choke

February 16, 2016

There is coal smoke inside me
blackening all brilliance
dimming the light
clouding my way
choking my song
it is dark in there
hard to be human in the haze
to see what is right
how to behave
appear normal

When someone dies
rather than grieve the grave
or celebrate the life
I only think
quite flatly
how they’ll never have to
change a toilet roll again
or stir in the oil
atop their peanut butter
or check for rain
on their cell phone app

Death should earn from me
a deeper response
and for propriety
I will pretend
make the appropriate gestures
emit the expected noises
but that is more smoke
fanning out
from my broken mouth
like the mourner’s veil
I must wear
to hide my dead expression

The Cup

February 22, 2013

Atop the dresser, a man in a soufflé cup
lock of hair, guitar pick, skull ring and teeth
the dead are things left behind
a few tangibles: photographs, audio and video
mostly memories
more and more daily impaired
that’s all
not too bad considering
there is, in remembrances and possessions, luxury
the decadence of leisure
to think back and lie of the deceased
how perfect, how loyal
how endlessly better gone than present
precious perishable humanity
allow me to tell you how
the dead in our head do not lie
never betray
always smell good
rarely excuse themselves to piss, shit, sneeze or look away
unable to any longer bear your gaze
hounding them, hounding them into their graves
of lit cigarettes and too sharp curves
unsafe speeds and ill-spoken words
the decisions of life that accumulate
to make the picture of the ride that was
always destined no matter the choice
to crash, to burn, to end, never last
that’s the way to the dresser’s top
mildly or wildly
we all get in the same cup

Sacred Squat

December 28, 2012

None but the dead live in memories – the dead like you –
it is their sacred squat
until no lung that shared their air breathes,
and that distant date arrives quick, passes,
and is gone without note, mark or wake.
All the accumulated grief of the 20th century:
its wars and murders
its car crashes and ship wrecks
its overdoses and suicides
are too soon to be mourned as no more
than vaporous words upon paper and stone
writ in history books, memoirs and poems
on memorials, markers and crypts
dead things possessed of dead memories
to have existed at all, they say, is a blessing
against the odds
a stroke of unfathomable luck, sandwiched
between formidable eternities of nothing,
but I really don’t give a fuck
about millions of sperm rushing in,
only one bearing any given name
or the 50% of all conceptions that wash out
into the basin, so much flushed menstrual blood
or the dizzying epochs of geologic time
our DNA crawled and survived
when all these people – sipping Frappuccinos,
dribbling balls, pressing cell phone buttons
are here, stupidly existing outside memory alone –
a place to where I would condemn them all to rescue you from it.

Until Soon

August 22, 2012

Only the dead have lived
And the living will in their turn
for having had the audacity of getting born
waking, working, wearing slowly out
in the most horrible of ways… repetitively
unimaginatively, mundanely
Ordinary in their lives
plain in their deaths
loving mother, wife, sister, daughter
she liked to sing and laugh
but spent most of her days doing neither
because rare was the moment to bring either to mind
she will be missed
until soon

Phone Call

June 16, 2012

Drunken momentum buoys us blindly
on whiplash winds into uncharted territory
lands of strange calendars, blank white pages
tracking time in tractless geography
the ring of the messenger, howling
electric storm along the wire
a still-life mannequin hand
inches above the telephone
frozen in perpetuity
terror hammer
beats the bell
eastbound sun scorches oceanward windows
fingers twitch into motion
and snatch the receiver to the ear
blood inspiralling to the beat’s increase
unhinged sorrow on the line
a wail barely contained behind the wavering voice
a voice burned, never to be forgotten
until it is passed along, released
only when pulled like a thorn from a paw
from the cold meat of my brain
and given emotional word, renewed
to haunt another, but for now
it is mine, and it is either odd or sad
that for me, I hardly remember her
but that call – the sound of agonized grief
betrayed yet again by mortality
our brief stay in this place
where our days line up on a numbered grid,
militantly regulated
too much to bear in the full technological world
of high resolution digital maps
where every tree and gloomy alley
stands exposed and nothing is strange, black or mystery
except those frightening roads inward
that lifetimes must be spent blocking off, shoring up,
erasing, dynamiting bridges into personal history
it’s where it all leads, ultimately
to that phone call and that voice
speaking: overdose, needles, blackened spoons
all the ingredients needed to burn
the atlas of the world complete
leaving for us, ashes and wonder –
wondering over our inability to see the signs
to read the track marks
on the veiny trail
on the wilderness road to
a head in the kitchen trash
panicked, sunk and wretched
in her final need to vomit the treacheries of her past
like a malignant fetus growing at the expense of her
ever-diminishing soul,
granting release, a last unsteady breath like a song
dropping the phone, letting it dangle there
from the wall – busy signal screaming
until even it gives up everything to silence