He’s not too bad a guy. He has feelings as deep, sore and soaring as anyone else’s, I guess. Maybe even more so, we just don’t know. Few have ever seen them as he moved through the vacuum of his days.
I once caught him in one of his brooding moods, the ones maybe you’ve seen or you’ve felt. He broke through the 1,000-mile stare and wall of his self-imposed isolation to look up at me, half-grinned and raised his chin in greeting. He hummed his shrugged-shouldered humph when I inquired how he was.
“So how you doing?”
“I’m doing. Wondering if all this is worth it.”
“All what?” I asked.
“Just doing, being, thinking. You know, like that Descartes guy said, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ Maybe I should just stop thinking so much.”
“That’d be no fun.”
Then he surprised me with, “I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry for? You haven’t done anything to me,” I said.
“I’m sorry because I’ve never expressed to anyone my regrets for my sins and omissions, never cried at their funerals, never spoke up about how I truly felt, never professed my love to those I should have and never moved on from the ones I shouldn’t,” he said.
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked.
“Because you’re the only one I can and that’s what I lament the most,” he said as we each turned away from the mirror and switched off our bathroom light.
I’ve talked about you so, so many times
you would think by now I understand you.
But no, seems you’re just a frame for these rhymes.
In my heart, I know it’s all I can do.
Because you are that thing that makes me weak,
and weakness has always been my power.
While your touch has ever been what I seek,
even touched, I’d more than likely cower.
If one day, emotion, strength and insight
might somehow stir me to honest action,
you’ll know I finally won this long fight
between truth and a fantasy attraction.
It feels just like demonic possession,
my love’s just another great obsession.
Day 9 of my NaPoWriMo poem-a-day challenge, a two-fer. When asked to write a Love and/or Anti-love poem, I ended up writing one that could be either…AND both.
It’s hard to calculate the lost years,
since I’m not sure if I should count them
one by one or exponentially against
my sell-by date or shelf-life.
What does it matter? They’re gone.
I could make a good case you stole them,
with your easy intent to hurt,
with your puerile propensity toward
always feeling the aggrieved
when you’re actually the aggrieving,
with your win-or-lose, life-or-death
binary way of looking at life,
just as long as you’re the one
on the plus side of the ledger
when the buzzer sounds.
But what does it matter? They’re gone.
I’ve tried recovering them, casting nets
like this one to capture my lost good life.
But like my life, they’ve gaping holes now,
through which so much has slipped
I can’t seem to hold them.
And as I sail west toward that horizon,
I have to admit, they’re gone,
and it matters.
It matters like hell.
Day 5 of Poem-a-Day April. Today’s prompt: a “stolen” poem. I just sat down ten minutes ago and these thoughts came rushing to me. I’ll choose not to parse their meaning, though in my present state of disrepair, I’d no doubt get even my own meaning wrong. Nevertheless, here it is. Number 5. You may discuss among yourselves.
I’d ask your name, but I already know.
It’s who you are behind it I forget.
Or perhaps I never really knew, so…
Maybe you are someone I’ve never met.
I’ve forgotten so many old faces,
their names have nothing to hang onto there.
Though sometimes I’ll enter these old places
and recall how that light danced in your hair.
Some tell me this is part of growing old,
losing the treasure of recollection.
But that faculty has long since grown cold
since I felt the sting of your rejection.
So here by this window I sit and write,
of you nonexistent, and times so bright.
Back from making new memories with a sweet little girl in North Carolina to this cold space where I forget so much. Some worth the forgetting. Some not. Which, I can’t recall.
I’m not certain anymore if I walk
through the valley of death’s shadow
or the shadow of the valley.
Either way, it’s cold and dark.
The days can start brightly enough,
curtains opened, sun illuminating,
though what day this is doesn’t seem
to climb from the covers until
well after I’ve gone downstairs.
At some point, no matter what light
through yon window breaks,
the Juliet of perceived joy will drink
the abbot’s poison. And that, friend, is that.
My steps will once again stagger
into the valley or the shadow
and some small death will rip from me
the light and warmth even you
might mean to provide.
And so it’s back to the room,
where those curtains I pull
and nameless tomorrow smooths
that special place for me beneath its blanket.
Somewhere between darkness and dawn,
your warmth and light will touch me.
Then tomorrow steals all the covers.
I’m trying to write something happier
something outside of the same old dark stuff.
Problem: I don’t wish to sound sappier,
but convey more than a dog barking “Ruff.”
I said, “Joe, what would make you feel better?”
But the answer didn’t make itself clear.
I knew maybe when my whistle’s wetter…
So I went to the kitchen for a beer.
Sustained, I sat to make happy happen,
but just beer alone can bring on a yawn.
The next thing you know this poet’s nappin’,
rhyming “yawn” with the sound of wood sawin’.
So my hope to write you a poem of joy
lies delayed beneath your sleeping old boy.
I’m trying’ to fake it ’til I make it. Make it out of this long running depressed state. So in a stab at my own form of cognitive behavioral therapy, I figured maybe if I could express some joy in a poem, I might catch that wave out of this eddy of woe. Let’s just say I feel a little more near its perimeter. Hope I made you grin a little. THAT makes me feel better.
Shroud of Sadness by Elle Leee
The dolorous shroud again fell on me
after I thought I’d escaped its dark shade.
And, again, it was dropped by a jeune fille,
this time not because of trouble I made.
Well, just a tad, because my love’s so big,
but love’s only a construct made for rhyme.
I figured this out as I tried to dig
up the right word that sounds like rhyme this time.
Losing your love, whether rhyming or not
gutted me like a dull knife in my chest.
And the blood ran from my heart, cold not hot,
so maybe this shroud’s all for the best.
Perhaps you’ll love this poet when he’s dead,
but if I’m just blue, forget what I said.
Yeah, Valentine’s Day always brings out the loser in me. And I’ve always been a better poet of Loss more than Love.