Hello, I love you, can I read you a poem?

Published March 19, 2011 by wildleek

At an open-mic the other night, an elderly woman from Austria read two chapters from a book she is working on. It is about her grandmother who was a young woman during the First and Second World Wars.

She writes of her great-grandmother, dying slowly of edema brought on by heart complications, before a brief reunion with one of her daughters. The imagery struck me and, as we are closing in on National Poetry Writing Month, it seemed an apt time to try writing again myself.

We liked the idea of believing, so we did

How nice to sleep on
clean linens,
you said, and the world
a curled fawn in leaves,

and the strobe
of bomb blasts,
a crumbling
projector screen
of buildings
and sky,

and the pale plane
of your cheek
dipping like the moon
drawn down to my hand

and a cigarette
dampened and Chopin

and the red river Rhine
running
through these bodies,
the scent
of sulphur and
ash and–

I will be leading my first-ever real poetry reading on April 29 at a place called “The Joy Center.” I might have a hard time selecting poems that aren’t too depressing. I don’t do “joy” very well in my writing, but we shall see.

But you need both to live, right? The Yin and the Yang, the dark and the light. I can wallow in gloom and grief but am able to come alive in joy. We are all able. And to live in only one district of the circle is to always be half when we long to be full.

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