These are things that make me happy. The stars brightness turns in the air. Dandelions. Reading Hemingway. The pouring rain. A switched off television. The magical life of writing. This is a fist and it keeps on coming. Whenever lions roared marking their territory. If I knew you, I would keep you safe. I would have kept you away from the rough galaxy from the time you were born. This poem is in memory of Kevin Carter. If I had known you, I would have liked your view on things. I write about the song in the wind, and when I am inside the white blinding vision of the seasons moral compass, I am most alive!
The things that make me sad.
The magical life of writing. The fact that xenophobia is in need of a psychiatrist. This is meat country and we are all in need of it.
Navigating through the dark of global warning. Pollution. The footprint of climate change. Men who love the company of other men, cigarettes, single malt whiskies, and stories. I can’t live. I can’t live without you. I can’t live with you my lonely heart. My silent voice. My lonely, hungry, searching heart echoes through the night.
The thin rain can’t mask my loneliness, but my heart can. Why did ancient woman not think of mapping out the sea? Dearest, wife and mother you’ve been doing it for a lot longer than I have.
Living in this world while I was left in the dark. The lone outsider feasting on rock, paper, and scissors. Wanting peace. Not getting any of it. I must live before I die. I must love before it’s too late. I must forget, I must forgive you, and when you’ve cut me down to size.
My ego. My flesh. You’ve watched me since birth. Stitched me back together your own tapestry made of flesh, made of blood, again and again as if that was more than enough, your insomnia became my insomnia. Your raw decision-fatigue became my own. I lived in a crowded house. With dead poets, all the Greats. The sun came between us. The hereafter. Art.
I am left digging. To find you, your soul. Your raw wings. Your angel skin, husk, and tongue. The birdsong of the river, sea, thunderstorm, rainforest. It burns me up. The waves of my childhood sea. I call it home. I am a girl again. A girl playing nursemaid to my father. The mall has shark-infested waters. Do not let us go there. I prefer sunlight. I prefer soaking-up the sun and the breeze in my hair to booze. To my brother’s beers. My sister’s wine. Both of them do not believe that they are alcoholics. I find this information startling.
Like the fact that I have studied ballet. Even though I grew too tall.
Even though there were girls who had prettier feet than I did.
My feet looked like dead fish. Those words reverberated in my tiny chest. But I was not alone in that room. My reflection staring back at me. This is the river’s song. Melodic. Catchy. I mourn many things now. I dream of high school corridors. Youth does not have a name anymore. I live for water. For a body of water, the weight of it to uplift me, empower me. I dream of capturing castles in the air. I also will myself to be happy. Happiness is best when shared with a friend.
I remember my mother whispering to me. She does not whisper to me anymore and nothing seems as lovely as when my mother was in my life.
I wish it could go back to being that way.
That perfect world. People bring life into the world. Couples make love. Elderly people move around in their nursing home, forgotten.
Others live with their children, grandchildren, forgotten too. I must do something with my hair. Buy new clothes. Do that makeover. Maybe it will makeover my soul. Maybe I will get a new soul instead. Replace the old one. I love me. The old one or the sinister new one, I ask suspiciously. I’m addicted to a certain kind of paradise, opera, soft classical music playing in the background, Elton John’s lyrics. I thought of you on a December day my father came home from the hospital.
They forgot to fatten him up (accidentally or otherwise). I knew I would never be the same again. We could have smuggled in secretly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if we could. Once you saved me from disorder. Chaos. There was routine. Order. Death. There was chronic disease staring us in the face every day during visiting hours. I thought of how extraordinary you were. Your beautiful face. I thought of how sometimes when got in the way of your voice. It was your voice that was a symphony. Love is never quite enough or we forget to say those words when we mean it the most. We forget to say, ‘I have missed you.’ ‘I wish you were here to take all of this pain away. It is murder.’
The monsters under the bed, they are still there. All in one piece.
Unlike me. The skeletons in the closet tell me to grin and bear it or else I will come close to losing it all. My mind in the rain. Closure.
My dad. Daddy. After watching ‘Night of the Iguana’, I think to myself that the eyes of holy gods must be made of fire. Their lungs must be a mansion covering the estate of the moon’s craters Named after Jesuit priests. I drink in the lines of his face. I have lost her. My pale winter. My September. My ghost. My sister. I cannot catch up to her.
To our shared wilderness history. I think of Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and Maryat Lee. So, I write in the morning (a lonely life), read in the afternoon.