Coffee Cup Poem no.94

Happy Birthday Visit for July

I went to celebrate your birthday
armed with beer and a heavy heart,
drove to the sunny cemetery,
and found men mowing the lawn.

I waited.

And kept waiting for thirty minutes
ccp94 alone in my car, until finally
I had to open up the beer.
Had no opener, so I fought with my keys
which took about ten minutes
so I guess that passed the time.

They werestill mowing and I know
they saw me sitting in my car
waiting and yet they kept driving
on those tiny golf cart mowers
up and down, up and down
to feed my anxiety.

I finished my beer and felt
at a loss of what came next.
I opened another, because, after all,
that’s what one does when at a loss.

Still they mowed until finally I got out,
walked to the grave, small steel plaque
flat in the ground. The bastards probably
mowed over the damn thing.
They gave me judgmental looks,
so I quickly prayed and left.

All the while I was wondering
how the dead feel, up in heaven
or down in hell, about being
mowed over with a heavy machine
on a weekly basis.

I suppose some are just happy
for the visit.

Coffee Cup Poem no.93

When Women Write about Death

Roxanne Roberts wrote about how the Grieving
“never ends,” how suicide stays with you,
her father, dead, like mine—two events
so singular and so unique, but then again not.

I feel more like Joan Didion at the death of her husband,
a cool customer, unable to formulate thoughts,Coffee Cup Poem no.93
wasting brain on the fly on the wall, waiting
for the panic to hit—the frenzy to begin.

I am still young in my writing—
without the luxury of looking back, years later,
and putting this in perspective, if possible.
No, it never goes away, but lingers

sometimes in the front of consciousness,
but sometimes just as that fly on the wall,
the monster in the closet that no bedtime story
can eradicate. I am no cool customer, and no

statistics citer—I will never be either,
I am a mad woman in the attic, biding time
until I feel better and some days I do and
that nightmare under the bed goes quiet.

Some days I sleep peacefully and restfully
without waking in a sweat, without seeing violence
under my eyelids, without cringing at images,
once indifferent but now unsettling.

Some days things are alright, but other days
I hold back the frenzy, like a shadow it follows me
sewn to my toes and mockingly dancing with pain
as it pokes at the back of my neck trying to get a rise.

No, I am no cool customer and no trodden advocate—
I will never be either; instead I am a mad frenzy
of pent up energy and love that bangs on the edges—
knock, knock, knocking—at my head continuously.

“Year of Magical Thinking”

Joan called it her year of magical thinking
and I cannot help but be anything
but captivated by her words, so true
in their applications.

I still seem to muddle through
not noticing the illogical holes in my view
of what happened, and where you’ve gone
as if you are anything but.

I get stuck on the details, even ones
that I can’t remember clearly, they’ve gone
from view and I am motionless
in thought.

It has been a year, my year
of magical thought and I fear
that it will go on somewhat longer
than simply one year.

It seems these thoughts have been put off
and I struggle to place them in any logical
context of time and space.
Instead they float, elusive as I have made them
waiting, patiently, to be addressed.

A Thought Continued

I was recently upset by the Gun Control initiative recently died in the Senate. I remembered the poem I wrote previously about my fear of guns and how strongly I dislike them. I decided to write a continuation of that thought and wrote past the first three stanzas of this poem. It works well as slam poetry, but I think it also translates on paper. This is not a condemnation of other viewpoints, but an expansion of my own.

Shooting Games

Somebody asked if I would like to shoot a gun
just for sport, a hobby out in the woods,
I froze.

I could barely muster up a No,
torn between feeling as though it were silly
to feel so antagonistic
but still the feeling in my stomach argued
with logic and I couldn’t bring myself to hold it
the cold barrel, heavy and metallic
and easily deadly, in my cold hands.
I could not imagine the feeling of power
and suffering and far too often
contained in something so small and toy like.

So I collected my words, uncomfortable,
waiting at the depth of my mouth, but stirring
in the pit of my heart and very calmly and politely said
“No, thank you. I’d rather not.”

You see, guns to me are not a sport,
but a family tragedy
where there is only a memory
of imagined gore
and unimagined fear.
An empty bench,
and a premature goodbye.

You see this week a gun control law failed,
and flailed in the arms of the senate
begging for the smallest of cautions
met with great resistance
and I can only cringe and ask
isn’t it worth the tiniest of measures
if just one time a shot
is stopped.

You see, this to me is not a great roadblock,
or even a steeping block to something bigger
but an almost meaningless precaution
taken to ease the pain of those of us
who have lost at the hands of those
wielding guns—see I am not naïve enough
to blame the gun, but I can blame it’s
overwhelming presence, and think
that maybe that small allowance
would give me small comfort when I think
of my father.

Because some days I sleep peacefully and restfully
without waking in a sweat, without seeing violence
under my eyelids, without cringing at images,
once indifferent but now unsettling.

Some days things are alright, but other days
I hold back the frenzy, like a shadow it follows me
sewn to my toes and mockingly dancing with pain
as it pokes at the back of my neck trying to get a rise.

No, I am not naïve enough to believe
that it’s the fault of the gun—I am all too aware
that the fault lies with the man holding it
thinking about ending life, isolated by
hatred, self-doubt, or unjustified motive.
I see a gun in the hands of someone giving up
on life and taking it by force
never mistaking a deadly weapon for
a water-filled harmless action.

So until then I will kindly decline to hold a gun,
something toy like and tragic in one
so often sold and easily bought and politely say
“No thank you, I’d rather not.”

Coffee Cup Poem no.84

Shooting Games

Somebody asked if I would like to shoot a gunccp84
just for sport, a hobby out in the woods,
I froze.

I could barely muster up a No,
torn between feeling as though it were silly
to feel so antagonistic
but still the feeling in my stomach argued
with logic and I couldn’t bring myself to hold it
the cold barrel, heavy and metallic
and easily deadly, in my cold white hands.
I could not imagine the feeling of power
and suffering and far too often
contained in something so small and toy like.

So I collected my words, uncomfortable,
waiting at the depth of my mouth, but stirring
in the pit of my heart and very calmly and politely said
“No, thank you. I’d rather not.”

Coffee Cup Poem no.83

On the radio I hear
cries of war, a distant
story of the gory results
of a bomb, far away,
and close in the speakers
of my car. I learn
of pots and pans
and water, still simmering,
on the stove. A family gathered
around for dinner,
a scene now eerily compressed
in radio waves.

The family’s clean house
now painted with dust and
fallen chunks of construction,
mixed with plasma echoes
in the reporter’s voice
over chatter of the clean up crew
shaking in a home, strangely quite,
I imagine. And still. How still
it must be now, life has gone,
and the only movement is
that water on the stove.

The bombs keep falling and
stories keep coming over
air waves and televisions.
The world is slowly quieting
as all over water boils over,
turns ichor and thick
and the stove is left burning.

Coffee Cup Poem no.82

Some days I feel lucky,
floating, almost, and I
forget to feel all those things
that plague me on the other days
When I feel lost, and I
turn to the thing–that person–
that makes me feel the luckiest
and all is confusion–blurred–
those days, lucky and lost,
lucky or lost, are the best
and make the most sense.
The other days are days of nothing
and nothing, as everyone knows,
or whoever has had love or loss
(as sayings wisely go)
is the worst feeling, or absence of
because there is no point to nothing.
No gain, no loss to be for
there is no be in nothing days
just the absenteeism of is
or there or were or was or here.
In nothing only blackness is found
maybe not even that for
nothing is simply nothing, and if
you’ve ever known it, you know
this to be true, no whole in hole.
Those are the days I live to avoid
and dodge if I can–for if I live
in days filled with anything but
nothing, then there is always something
something to be lucky or even to be lost.

*This poem is intended to have a different format, but for some reason unknown to me, wordpress refuses to allow me to indent lines.

A memory for six months passed

Gettysburg

You took Coach Joe and me to Gettysburg
last summer on a day trip in July.
It was hot on the bus ride we took
overlooking battle fields, but nice
outside on the patio of a local dive,
drinking beer, the three of us.

We made fun of Jake for being a confederate,
you and I, because he picked the wrong side
and because he’s a bit racist, but you
were too, I guess. The movie was good,
but the mural was better and we took
pictures by the cannons and by the hillside
where men of both sides died.

The drive down Jake talked and we,
we listened to Morrissey—I should of seen.
We asked for directions from probably
the strangest toll booth man in history,
he had to be. I loved that trip, being with
two of my favorite men—loud and strong

and fathers to me. I wish we could go back
even if Jake’s a confederate and you
a sympathizer and we learn again
that America has gotten fat and slow
and lazy in the outdoors. I’d go back
in an instant if you would come with me
for old time’s sake.

Coffee Cup Poem no.80

As you may have noticed, I’ve been a somewhat absent blogger over the past four months. I am trying to find words to write, but my mind has had a somewhat singular focus when it comes to poetry. I am trying to find some inspiration outside of my family’s tragedy, so please bear with me.

A Writer’s Problem

It’s been four months and I find
I am unable to write a good line
about anything but death and time—
does that mean I have lost my mind?

Four months and it feels like today
is everyday and everyday is the same day,
the original day, the day when everything
changed.

Coffee Cup Poem no.77

Life Line

Imagination sinks into its seat
finally beaten(O!so beat)
by life and all its worries

dealt a blow(crashing, it has)
lonely innocence,gone and passed
flails its arms drown,drowning

it breaks away(I wish I could)
let go of life-stale,I would I would
if it would come back,afloat

andfloat into the air,into the sky
I look into the sun,moon,so high
,so high and capture dandelion hope

whispering to air,so wanting
wanting to find a dreamer’s wishings
mind,imagination,bide time

together sinking,washing(the moon-tide)
swinging backandforth,sidetoside
trying to catch hopes,       unawares

(the dandelion floats above
,catching on to the oceanwind shrug
falling in love,in love, in love)