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Stories From the Edge of Blindness

In 2002, Retinitis Pigmentosa changed my life. This is my story of a slow approach to darkness.

Category

Poetry

As it Should Be

The sun rises later every day as October unfolds itself into the imminence of winter.  I can’t help but watch all the ways in which the darkness stretches, how some kinds of darkness are elusive, others you can touch and feel deep inside you. But it is fleeting, and like the darkness, I am fleeting, uncertain, trapped beneath the weight of grief.  It is as it should be.  

On October 7, my father took his last breath. The sky was overcome with a clamor so quiet, my own breath felt like an intrusion. His death was a devastation wrapped so peacefully, so gently, in the hands of my sister and myself, as we comforted him through his final rite of passage.  I am aching but feel no regret.  I miss him but find myself smiling, laughing, remembering how lucky we were to be friends, to be father and daughter.  He taught me how to fall through the process of breaking, gave me poetry to cushion the fall and music as an elixir. 

 I welcome these darkening mornings, this looking glass into the bones of winter.  It is my time to remember, to realize that in the rhythm of my heart, my father lives.  I welcome the sadness, the reflection.  I miss him.  It is as it should be. 

Chantarelle’s Notebook

I have been absent, from here, from my life and my writing. For now, breathing is about the best I can do and poetry is the only thing I have to share.

I haven’t written or submitted much at all this year, so I am thrilled to have 2 poems in Chantarelle’s Notebook today. If you would like, you can read them here.

All I Have Right Now is Poetry

It has been a turbulent year. I haven’t done a lot of writing and almost no submitting, but I did have a few poems come out this month. Right now, it is all I have to share.

I already shared the poem in Orange Blossom Review, but if you would like to have another peek, you can do so here. My poem “Wax” appeared in Fresh Air Poetry, a new publication from the former editor of Amaryllis, Stephen Daniels. I also have a poem in this months Burning House Press that you can read here.

From the Quiet comes Poetry

Everything is so quiet and so very loud. Each step I take is labored, heavy and uncertain. I haven’t written much at all this year, or submitted or had much published, but today I opened my email to a lovely surprise. Issue 3 of Orange Blossom Review came out yesterday, and I am honored to have one of my poems in its virtual pages, amongst the work of so many talented writers. If you want to take a peek at the issue, you can so here.

Hollywood Poems

“Lady Street Jesus” is the last of 3 poems that were originally published in The Furious Gazelle. If you haven’t yet checked out TFG, I highly recommend you do, and if submitting writing is your thing, definitely think about submitting to them.

If you would like to read all 3 of my poems in TFG, you can do so here. If you want to subscribe to my YouTube channel, you can do so here. And, please check out my website, designed so beautifully by my husband, Joe.

Flush – Recorded Poetry Series

My energy is pretty zapped right now, my thoughts consumed with what is happening to my father. I feel sad and emotional. I feel so grateful for all of the kindness I receive here, and for the amazing writing that I get to lose myself in. But, right now, I am not reading much and certainly not writing much. I feel like a stone, slowly sinking as everything goes dark. I will get through this. I will meet the challenges that face me.

In the meantime, I have the last two poems from The Furious Gazelle recorded and will share those. In advance, I am sorry to post and run.

Flush

Lurking behind the thin
stained metal of a bathroom stall,
brazen and breathing gravel,
she waits for an audience.
I open the door to a greeting
that crackles with delight,
but the smell of her misery 
crowds the room.
She steps elegantly from
behind the tin curtain and
bows to her reflection in the mirror.
Her hair is tangled and covered with despair.
She is searching for a song
that died with the starlets of Ragtime.
Lips that drip fire grasp at words
falling through blisters and cracks.
Her nose seeps with determination.
She smudges blood across her teeth
with a tremoring hand, burps,
and flushes herself down the toilet.

Gold Lame’

This will be my last post before I turn 50, and honestly, I may have the kind of hangover that takes a few days to recover from, so this may be my last post for a week or so.  I am still undecided what the celebrations will look like.  That said….

I am continuing my recorded poetry series today with a poem that was originally published in The Furious Gazelle.  The Furious Gazelle is a super cool and eclectic journal, with editors whose artistic sensibilities have range, depth and flare.  “Gold Lame'” is the first of three poems I was lucky to have published with them, along with a couple of essays.

My range as a writer may not be very expansive; I tend to write about just a few things.  But, one of those things is my city, and in my city lives a wealth of characters to write about.  All three of the poems in The Furious Gazelle were inspired by Hollywood…the real Hollywood.

 

Gold Lame’

Toothless ladies reign
over my Hollywood neighborhood,
holding court on street corners.
Gold lame’ and a slash of red lips,
she flicks you away like filth off skin
and barricades you from the
wreckage of her fortress.
She sits on a throne of fading glamour
and keeps watch over the tumble of
ravaged relics that house her memories.
She came to the city to be gild
and slathered in star light,
but settled for a crown of tin with
rubies made of glass.

 

From The Hungry Chimera

It has been interesting, and a bit strange, resurrecting my older poems for the Recorded Poetry Series I started on YouTube.  Although I hope I have grown as a writer and will continue to grow and evolve, the earlier poems, I think, create a foundation that I am grateful for.  It can be enlightening to revisit beginnings, hold them gently and thoughtfully in your hand, rather than tear them apart.

This poem, published in the second issue of The Hungry Chimera, is called, “Paper Bag Dance”.  You can read it and the entire second issue here.  This is an exquisitely beautiful journal that I am proud to have been a part of.

Paper Bag Dance

City life enshrouds the girl in a paper bag.
She tucks herself in tightly
and shrinks from the onslaught of strangers
who walk briskly and have no eyes.
They rush through the grind,
living without the hesitation
that is born of curiosity.
She stumbles past shops,
staring into frosted panes and
disappears into her own reflection.
Waltzing behind the glass with a
stranger whose scent she longs to inhale,
she is liquid and light on her feet.
She reaches out to caress the strangers gown,
but her fingers press hard against
the brittle paper bag.

 

 

My Husband is a Genius

I am super excited!  I have a WEBSITE, an actual website with pictures and everything!  I feel like a real grown up writer, and the best part of it is that my husband, Joe, imagined, designed and created it.  He is a genius who has made me look much more impressive than I could ever be.

Joe has made websites for writers, chefs, doctors and safety professionals. He has true range and talent.  He will be officially opening his business this summer, so if you need an amazing website, or know anyone who does, he is your guy!!!!

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