I Carry His Heart

Halloween was Lorin’s favorite holiday. He loved getting dressed up and greeting the neighborhood kids.

If Halloween fell on a weekend, we would get more inventive with our costumes since we weren’t getting home late from work.

On one such Halloween, Lorin dressed up as a hillbilly zombie or was it a “redneck” zombie? He was excellent with makeup from his years studying and working in the theater. He wore a torn flannel shirt, suspenders, old pants, hiking boots and carried a mixing bowl with blood (red food dye colored water) and eyeballs (fake, of course). He stirred the bowl with a wooden spoon while sitting on the stoop. He scared some kids, but one actually asked for an eyeball, much to his mother’s chagrin.

I dressed up as the “joker’s wife” (Heath Ledger’s Joker) in a housedress, torn knee-high stockings, big slippers, matted hair in a hairnet with rubber spiders in it, and white face paint with a jagged red smile.

We were quite the pair.

A neighbor took a photo of us, but I can’t find it.

I will miss Lorin at Halloween, as I do every holiday, and every day.

This poem is dedicated to him. I almost had my best friend read it at his memorial service, but I changed my mind. I would have preferred to have read it myself, but I wasn’t fit to do so.

i carry your heart with me
(by e.e. cummings)
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Powder

(google image)

Earth, moist from an earlier rainfall
impression of a body on the ground
where he lay

powder pink blanket with blue stripes
like a baby’s blanket
too short for an adult

I wanted to keep it
but it was taken from me
like everything else
that day

ground into dust

I am powder
no longer whole
only particles of myself
remain

I don’t recognize who I am

 

Rage at the Machine

(google image)

No one to blame
so let’s blame the machine
the machine that drove us to his death
the black Ford Explorer with champagne trim,
like Stephen King’s Christine

or we can blame lack of sleep
we both fell asleep–
not a Viking death
as Lorin had hoped for

death be not proud*

I am not proud

I am deeply depressed

I want to get over it
but I can’t seem to
so I’m trying to get through it
every day

but the days are long
and they don’t make sense

Let’s blame the machine,
the inanimate object,
not the humans who
controlled it
and lost control of it

the lives lost
the heartbreak

blame the machine

 

 

*Death, be not proud (John Donne)

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

 

Bad Jesus

Paul false prophet

(google)

Bad Jesus
hang out in the parking lot
Bad Jesus
no scholar, but he is smart
Bad Jesus
tell you he loves you so
Bad Jesus
want money
and you’re his mark

Bad Jesus
make you feel
so special inside
Bad Jesus
mold your body, mangle your mind
Bad Jesus
take you away from your family
Bad Jesus
say only he can set you free

Bad Jesus
bring you enlightenment
Bad Jesus
say he’s a genius
Bad Jesus
smell you in the ocean
like a great white

Bad Jesus
If you see him,
run for your life

Svengali

svengali 2

(google image – John Barrymore as “Svengali”)

You are the best at everything
You are God
but are too humble to admit it
most of the time

You have so much going on
we couldn’t possibly understand

You don’t want to bring us negative energy,
you say,
but you do anyway

You love us so much
We are “family”
but you don’t treat us that way

You come into our home
and take what you please
Of course you can,
you have the key

You never say “thank you”
or “please”

You hate liars

You are not who you say you are

You are Svengali

We were your slaves

We were suckers

but we know now

We will heal ourselves

and move on

Will you?

Evil is the New Black

532264563_6b52549980_z

(photo: Alexandra Panyukova)

Orange is no longer the New Black
Evil has trumped it

with gun-slaughter
domestic terrorismus
unlawful law enforcers
sniper attacks

blood splatter
media porn king pins and queens
luxuriating in the horror
like a bubble bath
after a hard day

thoughts and prayers
thoughts and prayers
thoughts and prayers

another funeral
interviews on wide screen TV
24-7 news cycle
weeping mothers and children

it’s so banal
it’s all the rage
to be enraged
constantly

Congress on vacation
needing a break
from truth

how hard it is to see
when you won’t believe

High Anxiety

You visit
without warning
unlike a gentleman
come to call

my heart races
with terror
when you wend my way
you can make
the mightiest fall

I wish I could stop the
flutter in my chest,
the fear from things
unseen

Anxiety,
I don’t like you
please pack up your bags
And leave!

Sit In

It took an old man from Georgia
whose skull was cracked
by the cudgel of prejudice
on “Bloody Sunday,” 1965,
to force the speaker down
even if he would not hear

The speaker called the sit in
a “publicity stunt,”
debasing the act with
a catchall phrase

We are not blind,
Mr. Speaker.
We are not deaf.
You will not silence
the will of the just,
the pure-hearted.
We see through
your icy smile

You have blood
on your hands

Venus (or Bernie) in Furs

Venus in fursVenus of Urbino - Titian

(Venus of Urbino by Titian)

I am a humble pussy cat
my fur is red and white
I’m not a Renaissance painter’s dream
or a swordsman of great might

I lived with my owner till she died
then they put me in a cage
I lived there forever, it seemed
I wondered if I’d be saved

Now I have lots of furry friends
and good (diet) food to eat
scratch posts and mouse toys to play with
my world is quite complete

So don’t forget–it’s never too late
for good things to happen to you
don’t ever give up, be steadfast
and your dreams can come true

 

Jesus in the Glass Elevator

Jesus in the Glass Elevator (Erica Herd)

Jesus in the Glass Elevator (E. Herd)

Have you had enough
of gold Jesus in the Glass Elevator
looking down at you

Have you had enough
of shiny TV correspondents
bloviating on the blessed lives of celebrities
before you brush your teeth

Have you had enough
of lawns that keep growing
that you can’t afford to upkeep

what’s the grass for anyway?

Have you had enough
of 15 flavors of Triscuits, including:
Original
Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil
Reduced Fat
Hint of Salt
Rosemary & Olive Oil
Dill, Sea Salt, & Olive Oil
Roasted Garlic
Fire Roasted Tomato & Olive Oil
Garden Herb
Rye with Caraway Seeds

Why fifteen?

Have you had enough
of too much
enough of hearing “amazing”
when it’s not

enough is enough