poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:027

RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
Deer Lodge
In Praise of Spoken Differences
My Tribe

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Deer Lodge

They had known one another since crimson youth; now the time was that of leaf-glued autumn forest floors where they walked on the deck there above Deer Lodge. Friends since the time when her hair was pumpkin pie braids, she had always been his female cartographer and placed on her mental map that even young he had the black lakes of an old man’s eyes. He reached out to touch her hand now, oil poured in trembling sacrament, while the leaves tumbled in a cold wind; she knew the violet bruises deep in the mind, knew to trowel on love in quiet moments where gratitude redeems the undone. She took his hand and held it while memories patched together like a pieced quilt their long ago imponderable, unspoken insults, thoughts like streaking snow sleds, steeples brightened by a young girl’s laughter. She remembered when they walked on the smoking, burning water, her skirts like architraves, and he cried to her about glasses of spilled love-juices, about the many bad poems written about clichéd death. She spoke: people say to know beauty is inevitable loss, inescapable grief, that this capacity separates us from animals. I am not sure for I have seen grief flow like water from animal tongues. To know death may be to know love—if so what kind of love? Our shadow follows us all our lives disappears when we do does the shadow know heaven does an Egyptian funerary boat row it to the sun? Does it matter? Claw marks precede us when we slide wet from our mother’s thighs, texted-tombstone our marker, all that is left vapid images, lying reels in film cans. Is this the love we bring into the world? something black about it something onyx like a Slava Old-New Year waiting for the final diaspora.

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:027





In Praise of Spoken Differences

Books always do this to her unfathomable books on bottomless themes that she sits reading in a red dress in the fall leaves, mind clothed in scarlet thoughts. Have you ever thought of this, she asks me to pull Moby Dick from the waters a great white light swallowing transgressions, crucified upon the sea, upon frothing waves— crests tipped pink by his sacrificed blood? How different it would have been if her faith had survived. How different would it have been on the island if Ralph and Piggy had never found the conch shell? Almost a thing of abstract art her father died when she was seven, splattering his brains all over the garage walls in wet grays and reds with a 12 gauge while she and her brother slept upstairs. How different it would have been if he hadn’t lost his job, wasn’t depressed, if his girlfriend had stayed. How different would it have been if Hamlet never toyed with Ophelia, if Gertrude spurned Claudius? At forty her husband left her for a younger woman, without remorse, without explanation, gone like a shadow that ceased following its matter. How different would it have been if Abelard kept his balls, Heloise never donned the habit? How different would it have been if Iseult had not told Tristan the sails were black? How different would it have been if Romeo and Juliet changed the ending of west side story? Not such a small thing these pantomimed silhouettes dancing like Macbeth’s witches Not such a small thing. Transgressions follow like mosquito’s multifaceted eyes, locked in the vast deep the way that only a special human can hear humpback whales compose great cetacean epics in celebration. There in the deep quiet black where disintegrated fish bones fall, float eerily down like artificial snow in a glass winter globe. Ocean snow covering the mud like watery hoarfrost—these are the Saharas of the abyss. She swims She swims Deep Deep What would it be like if I had never been born? What would it be? How different would it have been to never be? How different would it have been?

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:027





My Tribe

I live in the past—a sense of urgency possesses me like some eager ghost ardent to come alive and taste again the language of the living. Must be the wine of age that uncorks these bygones, congenital disposition marking totemic tales through a glass screen. I am convinced that the 1940s, 50s was a tribal time, at least that is my illusion lighting my skin and making it glow. But doesn’t every generation look back at a better world, the search for the lost home ingrained within the soul? Troubadours, all, at some still point, the grass, the garden, the breathing earth singing, singing out in symphonic arias. Irony that I relive these times as digital days, the postmodern computer an electronic time machine transcending ticking moments, vanished space. YouTube resurrects a wealth of American myth—1950s high school proms where tie and jacket youth, already men, smile and escort young women wearing classy evening dresses. Cheerleaders and ball games and school bells ringing end of classes, real blackboards, chalk— American dream before the nightmares began. Even the black and white trees lining small town streets bow in the homage laden wind, water hydrants patiently wait to spray out, cool, hot summer days. The smooth greasers and the cool beatniks are no more than jesters, school jackets emblems of pride. But all just digital now, ones and zeroes marking my silent brow. Gone gone as mythical as Adam and Eve, but a genesis sustaining nonetheless.




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RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
Deer Lodge
In Praise of Spoken Differences
My Tribe


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