Tag Archives: aging

Now A Symphony

That One Note played over and over,

longing, mournful, angry, desperate–

once or twice joyous.

 

War could whisper through.

And career, family, art, music.

But fleeting and peripheral because

One Note Banging

blinding

SOUND SOUND SOUND.

 

Now little laughters, the sun rising, our skins softly aging.

The edges of things!

where before blurry, if not imagined.

Thank you…time?

for lifting that monotonous veil of Self

to reveal the symphony beyond.

 

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A Childhood Altered

At fifteen it was nitrous.

Just a tiny puff and the world goes black.

Little Kings, of course,

and,

always,

Marlboro Lights.

 

What would a house look like

made from all the rectangular packs of

Marlboro Lights?

A thousand square foot starter or a mansion with mother-in-law suite?

Weed came later,

from Byron and Colorado

til it got too “good”

and made me cry instead of laugh.

The eight balls,

the slips of paper cut into tiny squares,

the red red wine.

 

As the petrol fumes

creep into my nose at the station,

dutifully grasping the pump,

a familiar dizziness,

that old giddiness.

I do not turn away.

 

The Crayola markers

just after popping the top off

take me back to dirty apartments with

ashtrays brimming over,

clothing piled everywhere.

Then we color stars and planets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mortal

Maybe it was David Bowie or Alan Rickman or my friend’s beloved dad. Or maybe my forty-year-old brain is just beginning to grasp those words I’ve been hearing for years. Words I thought I understood—but now that I do understand them, realize I never before have.

Today is my life. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. And it doesn’t matter if I get all the things done I want to accomplish, or “become” the person I want to be. It doesn’t matter if I say sorry to the people I should apologize to, or forgive those who need forgiving.

My death will come sometime, unplanned. In a moment, my life will be over and I will be gone. I can’t plan it, can’t foresee it. It doesn’t live by my calendar. Death does not abide by my rules. The names I keep seeing in the news begin to cut deeper and deeper, as celebrities I’ve grown up with and lived as an adult on this planet with, begin to get off the bus. Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Corey Haim. I want to say to them—“Wait, the ride’s not over, why are you getting off here? We’re not done yet.” But they are done. That was their story.

People I partied with when I was younger are getting cancer. One had his cigarette-ruined front teeth pulled out and replaced with white, plastic ones. Double mastectomies. Friends on their second husbands. My mother is having cataracts removed on Monday, and my father now eats foods with a low glycemic index. My sister’s three kids spend  weekends at their dad’s. I think of myself as the twenty-year-old girl who packed up her Corolla and drove to Colorado one summer day at 90 miles per hour with her left foot sticking out the window. Who rented a hotel room by herself for the first time somewhere in Nebraska and sat out back on the train tracks smoking a cigarette and anticipating the rest of her life.

It goes so fast. I’ll miss you folks I’ve been sharing the planet with. It’s scary to keep driving on ahead without you. I was so used to you being here.

From My Heart

I tried to write to you, customly, on the world’s largest social media platform.
Something short and clever about missing you.
But that felt vague.
Distant and wrong.

I hear our voices when I watch
Die Hard every year
wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.
“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs.”

My mother remarried the next town over,
sister at college one hour away,
father away on business left us.

Left us eating Jimmie Johns at 6 a.m. after tripping all night,
trying not to appear weird to the electrician who decided to stop by right then to fix something in that shitty apartment.

Left us to drive our cars fast through dark starry cornfields,
windows down,
blasting REM, Queen, U2, Led Zeppelin,
or park them behind old barns,
in alleys,
softly playing Simon and Garfunkel,
Cat Stevens.

Left us to climb trees so fucked up we couldn’t get back down,
scramble on top of Krannert and stare down at the town.
Smoke in the mall,
smoke in the kitchen doing shots of Boones Farm
smoke in our cars,
smoke on our porches.
Smoke in our closets which were also our bedrooms,
watch the smoke lazily twist and contort.
Ashtrays overflowing at tables of Euchre, Spades,
Hearts every night that one summer while waiting for Twin Peaks to come on.

I could go on and on and on.
We were stupid and young and had way too much sex.
We hurt each other in ways that should never have happened.
But you were my family.

And the lights and the Santas,
all those crappy carols,
always make me want to be with you–
all of you.
Us together again.
Not now,
but then.

Way back then.

My Small Reminder

All those almonds and lack of sleep
got me wondering
What was it exactly that I wanted?

And then you asked me
what is “dead?”
what is “alive?”
and I saw
my house
my clothes
my kitchen
my view
my hair
all eclipsed by the rising sun innocence
of you.

How much do our sadnesses weigh?

The Catholic bells go bung, bung.
What does love sound like?

Cars encase us-
caterpillars,
some the hairy kind.

The sky turns from
black to pink
to blue to
pink to black.

The little one
gets taller
and thinner
and asks me
When do we Die?

When we are finished living,
I say,
taking a bite of salmon kabob
and wondering if anyone heard
his question
on this bright sunny Saturday
outside patio
shoppers with bags
hairs done
shiny sandals
expensive blouses.

We sit in the dark touring Saturn
for the sixth or seventh time
What does the Universe smell like?

Emerging,
our skin dampens,
our legs creak,
we need water.

Break

Wheelchairs pointed left right askew
like the balls on a pool table
after that loud
SMACK
sends them
rolling into corners
losing speed anywhere on that huge expanse
of green
Scattered across the dining room
one faced a wall
brown hair
white
men and women
They allow smoking in these joints?
She lay crumpled in bed like an apple doll
crying for us to leave
crying for us to come back
Pictures of a younger woman with children at her sides
lining the windowsill
smiling.