Memory I

Memory I

the winter is glooming now
dripwater is sliding down the windowpanes
the frost on my mind is hoared with weather,
slicing clocks and stale breakfasts,
muddied plans and senseless perseverance

there was a time
when the rain would have driven me mad
pounding, pounding as it does, on the eaves
[like the old story by the old dead man where it rains and rains and rains
[and no one ever gets to see the sun
[and the rain always dripping, sliding slipping into face
[between eyebrows, down ears, past neck
[and trickling into partially opened mouth]
but not now: I’ve girded myself about with walls,
bitter fortifications and disembodied trenches.

it is raining

and when I open my eyes, in the dark,
to the sound of music or clamorings or rustlings in the night
I often think I am still asleep
that my nightbrain is conjuring dream-murmurs to strangle me
but then I feel the burning still in my eyes
and I know that I have never been asleep:
still waiting to ride that wyrdness into dream.

the darkness raining

a nightmare haunted my chair demurely
weeping softly in the night
and I was swarmed by a thousand
thousand hungry toothsome ducks, all wanting my bread
though I had none…

***

I’ve been looking over some old writing. Where else to put it, except this old weblog? In my early 20s, I wrote a series of poems called Memories. Simply, they were moments in time that stood out as almost mythical to me, so I scribbled down some poems–I probably have the notebooks and scraps of paper still packed away somewhere–and compiled them all together. It was the most serious, personal writing project I’d done up to that point. I even printed and bound about five copies of them. I gave them away as Christmas presents one year, when I was super broke. They may be floating around somewhere, still.

Older me looking back wants to rewrite these poems and “fix” them, but I’m gonna show some compassion to younger me, here, and leave them as is. Younger me did the best he could at the time and who am I to begrudge him his passion and emotional meanderings.

I do still quite like “slicing clocks and stale breakfasts”.

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