"It’s two a.m. The emergency room psychiatrist looks up from his clipboard with eyes paid to care and asks me if I see people who aren’t really there. I say, “I see people how the hell am I supposed to know if they’re real or not?” He doesn’t laugh neither do I. The math’s not on my side ten…
I joined a poetry forum in an attempt to poke me into writing more and get some critical judgement. The forum seems to be mostly 17 year olds that use poetry as a soapbox of “I NEED TO TELL MY FEELS!!!” which has caused me to react in a number of ways.
Terrible Love Poetry
You left me that night I drunkenly called you a whore. Our arguments were pyrotechnic by then and escalated to grease fires, slippery showers, home invasions.
I remember the night we ate psychotropics under magnolia trees to watch blooms wave and burst like campfire embers. Visions of you, a deity among the stars, called me along the trail like a pilgrim into your hands - cupped hands - as if an oyster was gathering sand.
There are times I still wake up caught in the muscle memory of one arm upon your abdomen while the other rests in the space between a pillow, your neck, the mattress.
“There’s a very deep strain of existential gratitude that runs through a lot of poetry. It’s certainly in haiku. Almost every haiku says the same thing: it’s amazing to be alive here. There’s a little haiku: ‘A cherry tree in blossom / In the distance / I hear a dog barking.’ Those two things have nothing to do with each other, except the fact that the poet was there to see and hear them. So the haiku is saying, I was here. ‘Kilroy was here.’ To appreciate the wonder of that, you have to imagine the absence of that, of not being there, of nonexistence, right? I consider poets to be a part of a larger group of people who don’t have to survive major surgery or go through a windshield in order to feel grateful for being alive. It shouldn’t require such traumatic experiences to feel grateful. So I think a love of language and a sense of gratitude would be two ingredients in the recipe for making a poet.”
A.R. Ammons was born and raised in the town I live in now.
Hymn — A.R. Ammons
I know if I find you I will have to leave the earth and go on out over the sea marshes and the brant in bays and over the hills of tall hickory and over the crater lakes and canyons and on up through the spheres of diminishing air past the blackset noctilucent clouds where one wants to stop and look way past all the light diffusions and bombardments up farther than the loss of sight into the unseasonal undifferentiated empty stark
And I know if I find you I will have to stay with the earth inspecting with thin tools and ground eyes trusting the microvilli sporangia and simplest coelenterates and praying for a nerve cell with all the soul of my chemical reactions and going right on down where the eye sees only traces
You are everywhere partial and entire You are on the inside of everything and on the outside
I walk down the path down the hill where the sweetgum has begun to ooze spring sap at the cut and I see how the bark cracks and winds like no other bark chasmal to my ant-soul running up and down and if I find you I must go out deep into your far resolutions and if I find you I must stay here with the separate leaves
Finger the navel, undress red, leather-bound skin to honeycombs, compartmentalized beads of royal jelly ready to be inhaled. Scrape your lips on yellow pith, unceremoniously stain fingers in tart juices of god folly. Your teeth are pestles grinding flesh and seed together as you serpentine your tongue to catch pellets as a handful escape this trap, spite a hungry mouth, dye clothes, and color the earth.