I believe this one is called “Dear Heather”
“Dear Heather, I know you’re tired
of weathering storms. Tired of storms
altogether, tired of weather. Your cross
of a body at once famine-light
and lead heavy. Those alchemists
always trying to turn lead
into gold never met you. Had
no idea how a heart can rise up
and float to the surface without
displacing a drop of water. How
the light trawls until it finds
your hair, each unguent tendril
curling toward the sun.
You’re nobody’s war, a constant
battlefield, the body contriving
against itself to survive. I want
to give you something
for your velvet mountain
of a heart, so far outweighing
your body, for now, for now,
to tell you something about the moon
or the glacial movement
of tectonic plates but all the words
all the words lean toward love, love,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
love. Love. There’s a tune in you
that does not quit, no matter
how the body quakes and resists.
This is your curse, and your bliss.
This is how we go on.”
“The Fidelity of Epitaphs (20 Days Later)”
“You want to change something about your life
but your lover took both pairs of tweezers.
So you settle for shaving your legs again
and writing around one calf
in drunken pen the lines you keep
reciting to yourself from Marie’s poem
and which you will get
tattooed on that spot as soon
as the credit card company agrees
to pay for it: I am living.
I remember you. Yesterday
you wrote a poem that began,
“I go to work under a heavy
turban of grief” and last week,
“Gabi, I’ve been drafting epitaphs
all day” – you find an old
pair of tweezers in the back
of the medicine cabinet
and get pulling. Each sweet yank
a morsel of pain so good you begin
to understand those teenagers
who carve themselves into scarecrow
figurines. This small pain has
a location. A yes
and an end. What no one tells you
about grief is that it has no edges.
That no matter how much
you love the world, how grateful you are
for sunflowers and trashcans
and your unglamorously aging bones,
you’ll still have dreams
where you’re screaming across a table
at each other about something, you can’t
figure out why until you realize
she died. And here you are. A dull
pair of tweezers in a cluttered apartment,
crying on the floor. You want to make
something beautiful out of your life
but you never learned to paint
and you’re nearly 37. You have
no children and you burn dinner
more often than you dance. You feel
like a cloth set down on something spilled.
Useful but soiled. Handy, but not essential.
Maybe you’ll evaporate, or come apart
in the wash. Maybe you’ll figure out
what binds you to this planet
is not a magnet, but a cord so fine
you can slide it across one hand, fold
your fingers around the slippery
umbilical. Pull. Here is sorrow.
Pull. And here is bread. Pull. Some light
breaks across the linoleum. Pull.
Where do we go from here.”
Another favorite that is simple and empowering. I have written this poem on paper to carry with me in pockets as a reminder that will always be part of me. I can hold it between my fingers and know that it’s real. This poem IS my talisman.
Survival poem #17
“Because this is what you do. Get up.
Blame the liquor for the heaviness. Call in late
to work. Go to the couch because the bed
is too empty. Watch people scream about love
on Jerry Springer. Count the ways
it could be worse. It could be last week
when the missing got so big
you wrote him a letter
and sent it. It could be yesterday, no work
to go to, whole day looming.
It could be last month
or the month before, when you still
thought maybe. Still carried plans
around with you like talismans.
You could have kissed him last night.
Could have gone home with him, given in,
cried after, softly, face to the wall, his heavy arm
around you, hand on your stomach, rubbing.
Shower. Remember your body. Water
hotter than you can stand. Sit
on the shower floor. The word
devastated ringing the tub. Buildings
collapsed into themselves. Ribs
caving toward the spine. Recite
the strongest poem you know. A spell
against the lonely that gets you
in crowds and on three hours’ sleep.
Wonder where the gods are now.
Get up. Because death is not
an alternative. Because this is what you do.
Air like soup, move. Door, hallway, room.
Pants, socks, shoes. Sweater. Coat. Cold.
Wish you were a bird. Remember you
are not you, now. You are you
a year from now. How does that
woman walk? She is not sick or sad.
Doesn’t even remember today.
Has been to Europe. What song
is she humming? Now. Right now.
A friend shared this poem today, and it just resonated within me. Marty Mcconell’s poetry is honest and not all dressed up in fancy words and prose. Simple words that mean everything.
“Leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. Train your heart
like a dog. Change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. You lucky, lucky girl.
You have an apartment
just your size. A bathtub
full of tea. A heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. Don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. You had to have him.
And you did. And now you pull down
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. Make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. Place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
Don’t lose too much weight.
Stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. And you
are not stupid. You loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. Heart
like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas.
Heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.”
Santa Barbara bound. #partytime (Taken with instagram)
Last one from last night. We came and we conquered. (Taken with instagram)
Never thought this would happen. @dannyisnotdead #dasacredskin (Taken with instagram)
Keepin’ it fucking heavy on Friday night. #headbangs (Taken with instagram)
Mornin’! Tasha and I make awesome drinks. #prince (Taken with instagram)
Apparently it’s National Denim Day and now I feel like an asshole. #canadiantuxedofail (Taken with instagram)
Since it’s record store day and I’m stuck at work, I’ll just show some love to the records I’ve been playin’ today. #goodmixofeverything (Taken with instagram)
Wedding time!! I look like a goth in black lace. (Taken with instagram)
Today’s farmer’s market finds. Pita bread with Tzatziki, Tomato Eggplant, and Artichoke dip/sauce. (Taken with instagram)
I bought a curling iron for the first time in like a decade (wedding weekend). Who knew I had all this hair! (Taken with instagram)
Get lucky. #joineddaclub (Taken with instagram)