I am absolutely thrilled that my first acceptance from a journal this year came from Nine Muses Poetry, a journal that has published so many of the contemporary writers I admire. My huge thanks to editor Annest Gwilym for including my poem as part of this month’s Special Challenge. If you would like to read it, you can so so here.
I was in the car with my husband yesterday, Thomson Twins jangling in the background, when I started to think of what it means to be untethered. I am parentless, floating without the anchors that rooted my bones to the earth, my blood to the sky. My identity was already fractured, unstable at best, but now I become the definition of loss each time I open my eyes to inhale the sun, each time I close them again to swallow the moon. I have been emptied out so many times, turning to the memory of voices that fade with the passing of years. I became old when I should have been steeped in youth, threw my eyes into the grave, forgot how to look to the sky for solace, for discovery. I am recognized by the shape of my diseases, ailments that strangle my determination, but I don’t recognize my own face. I am the word on the page that erases itself but never stops searching for sound. I am a war, a need to be invisible and seen, to be silence and noise. Is this what it means to be untethered?
It is raining in Los Angeles. 31 years ago today, my Mom was buried. It rained that day as well.
Some years I feel the weight of these days on the anniversary of her death, some years I feel it more keenly on the anniversary of her burial. The night she died, everything was so quiet and I felt numb, lost. It was three days later, at the cemetery, that the noise of her absence filled the sky. I stared at her casket thinking how wrong it was that the wood was polished, shiny. Rain began to fall as they lowered her body into the ground. Sobs escaped my throat. My Dad had to hold me upright so I wouldn’t fall out of the chair. It was the day the breaking began to consume me.
I wrote this poem on the 25th anniversary of her burial.
Twenty- five years ago, I watched strangers
lower my mother’s body into the ground.
It was raining that day.
The soil swallowed up her oak and pink satin casket.
Not a place for a woman whose laugh lit up rooms,
whose touch soothed even the deepest aches.
My breath and heart plummeted into the hollow earth and
I broke into pieces that scattered in the rain.
For twenty- five years I have been collecting them.
*first published in Stepping Stones Magazine
I have been in a bleak place lately. It is a familiar place, a place of introspection where I can try to figure out what is bringing on the sadness. I thought it was because of the shit storm of rejections I have been getting, but they were just the cap on feelings that were already dragging me under. I have been feeling overwhelmed for so long.
After coming to the conclusion that it isn’t the rejections that are pulling me into the clutches of sorrow, I had to stop and breathe and look behind my eyes to see what has been troubling me. This can, at times, be a herculean task, as I seem to be troubled far too often, and it is never just one thing. But, I have become good at peeling away the layers, seeing what lurks beneath.
Continue reading “By Your Side”
In the past few months, years after the inception of “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”, I started to really explore the blogging world rather than just stand on the outside in abject terror, feeling like a loser. I started to interact and exercise my voice. I started to read some amazing blogs, written by writers I have come to admire; writers who teach me things and make me think. One of my favorite blogs is Tom Being Tom, and recently, Tom wrote something that has had me thinking about being, becoming and changing, as the years of my life traverse, meander, sink and soar. His post is, “We Are Not But One Thing”, and when you read it, you will understand why it got me thinking. Tom is an intelligent and thoughtful writer. He presents new ways of thinking about and looking at life. He is a hopeful realist.
Continue reading “At Home in the Darkness”
I feel sad this morning. It isn’t new, feeling sad and writing about sadness; I do that a lot. But, today it isn’t just sadness, or darkness or blindness, that is in my head and on my skin, it is shame. I have written about shame before, in regard to my disease and feeling different, but the shame I feel today has nothing to do with RP; it came long before blindness.
Continue reading “Stuck in the Escape”