I’ve felt old and ancient
Since I was 12 years old,
Worn out, road weary,
For reasons unexplained
Living in the Cleaver household
In an idyllic isolated Oregon valley.
It made me want to believe in reincarnation,
The only explanation for the
Spread thin butter feeling
That started in the 3rd grade
When I reasoned out
That death meant oblivion
Not fluffy clouds and angels,
Training myself not to think of it,
To fend off the icy black hole
Opening under my sternum,
Crushing everything within its event horizon.
I lay in bed, tears streaming cheeks,
meaninglesness pressing down; suffocating
I start to scream,
Pretending to have had a nightmare,
So my mother will come, hold, and console.
Unable to articulate the existential crisis
Of an 8 year old boy.
I await their decision
Not knowing what to do,
Its out of my hands now.
They weigh and judge the facts,
Studying the letter of the law,
I await their decision.
With nothing but time to spend
I sit, fidget and try to distract my mind,
Not knowing what to do.
Even if I cry and scream,
Revisit every stupid mistake,
Its out of my hands now.
This is my first attempt at a Cascade.
in a crowd of
people, anxiety, and suffering.
This poem started life as the first draft of Isolation, but I couldn’t get the syllable count to fit the tetractys form. I ended up starting over and writing a new tetractys on the same theme. After letting it rest for a few days I came back to the first draft and was able to complete it.
Poem #24 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)
High water rising,
Gently caress my collar bone,
Drip drops and patient streams
Wear away granite stones.
Wet wool weighs down,
Fingers bleed climbing garages,
Trying desperately not to drown.
Flood waters flowing,
Creeping the curve of my lips,
Neck stretched, stomach clenched,
Knees knocking atop toe tips.
Rivers run deep and muddy,
The valley floor will disappear,
Thunder shakes to the marrow,
Lightening crackles the atmosphere.
Lips pursed tight,
Almost as tight as my asshole,
Struggle to nose above the water,
This is the way the dice roll.
When does it become too much to bear?
Flood gates threaten to burst,
Held whole by will alone,
Saltwater streams sting
Eyes screwed shut to damn the flow.
No one can see, No one must know.
Weight pressing down,
Dull pressure gripping; squeezing.
Pinned to the ground,
Getting hard to breathe.
It would be so easy to just stop.
Wrapped in a blanket,
Warm, safe; nothing can hurt me.
Don’t want to get up.