Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Napowrimo -- April 18

Twas the 18th of April 1775...
hardly a man still alive
to remember that famous day and year
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere...

Poem for today informed by all that is below.
Heartbeat Clock

It's time enter a quiet room, your head
empty of all but the vignette
of the French duck who wanted to be a cat,
ignoring his set of wings and webbed feet.

Wise King Charles* thought his palace clock
could set time straight, but it was as subject

to mood as each citizen -- each YOU a perfect set
of selves. It's time to reflect before giving
into the urge to trade your feathers and quills
for some cat's handset and fur. I hear the beat
without needing anyone to measure what it clocks.

I'm thinking today, is a good day to let go of old memories.

All I want is...
such a common expression that drops out of the mouth.
I remember my mother saying, "All I want is a little white pill to end this all",
and as a young mother myself, feeling the confusion of wishing both that HER misery end,
but also my own, watching her struggles with alcohol and mental illness.
How many years of little blue pills, little pink pills, large quantities of Jim Beam in half gallon bottles standing in their black-lettered labels as straight as any Kentucky gentleman posing for a picture. And the pain of
knowing little can hold a soul trapped in a body rattling ice-cubes.

I remember the African refugee women I taught who hadn't learned "damn you to hell" as a response to lunatics who shot their husbands, burned their huts, abducted their sons. How do they numb the pain, except by their courage
to survive.

"How little we know" my mother taught her roomnate Rita.

If Yeats could say, "Now that my ladder is gone/I must lie down where all ladders start/In the foul rag and bones shop of the heart.

« C'est l'horloge du palais (qui fait comme il lui plaĆ®t) »
Imagine having a clock in your palace by which all the clocks in the city would be set!

My poem today was inspired by thinking of all these things -- found in a stack of notes in a tick-tocked
old folder I'm happy to toss!

*Charles V, dit Charles le Sage,

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