musings upon her funeral dress

These garments are like a tightly packed row of
Hers
dehydrated, deflated and hung up front to back.
Each item was her in a mode, a mood, a moment
in time
each was chosen by her to reflect the parts of her
personality most vibrant and attractive in times
when she felt brave.
They all began as simply wares on sale,
sterile and lacking a history and association.
I wouldn’t give a care for any of them
although I might have found them
eye-catching because of their colour
but they would hardly stir inside me
any fondness, not on their own, not any moreso
than any configuration on display at
H&M or Winners or the lot,
slapped and stretched over
plastic, faceless mannequins.
These clothes here in her closet
they were no different:
they began on a mannequin, on a
plastic person with no soul or agenda,
just textiles and dye and thread,
stitched up, ironed and branded
by some company like Billabong
– she really liked Billabong,
even though she never cared for brands
and she certainly didn’t fit their target crowd
of surfers and boarders.
She never surfed in her life.
Now she never would.
Would never try and find out if she enjoyed it,
if she would master it,
incorporate it into her lifestyle.
Who knows?
Maybe, eventually, her hobbies would
reflect her favourite clothes.
I doubt it.
She wasn’t a surfer.
That’s not the point.
She could have been,
she had the option,
life still held that fate as possible.
It doesn’t now, that’s the point.
It does for me, though.
Maybe I should take up surfing.
For her.
What good would that do for her?
Really.
None.
She’s dead.

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being saved

once again
this suffocating sea of shit
has come close to stealing
my breath
once more
she gives me hope
the promise of beauty
a prospect of happiness
I’m beginning to get used
to this
not accustomed to having an angel
just my self, my hate
and a bottle
stewing in the dark
visited by memories and regrets
she tells me I’m not alone
at least, I don’t have to be
she will share my bottle
share my darkness
hear my regrets and memories
temper my hate
I could get used to this
to being saved
to not being alone
it’ll be a stretch
but maybe I can handle it
certainly I hope so
because I think
I like being saved
much more then
being damned

gods

Tom Waits growls and wails from the living room stereo
I crack a fresh beer and join her on the bed
a freshly-bought anthology of early Bukowski poems sits on the desk
read me something, she says
I read her poetry and drink beer
as she listens with eyes closed
her mouth held in a grin of contentment
I finish a poem and close the book
resting my head back on her thigh
she sighs deeply
I can’t remember, she says, the last time I’ve been this happy
neither can I
is this not Heaven?
are we not gods?

pleasantries

as I pour myself a shot I hear the clicking and clacking
she puts a bottle of pills back into her shoulder-bag
“so, you’ve brought your pharmacy with you in there,” I say
as I down my liquor
“and you’ve got your pharmacy in that bottle,” she says
I come close to her and breathe whisky heavily in her face
she says, “I see we are beyond pleasantries,”
“we were beyond pleasantries…”
I begin, but she finishes:
“… when you sprayed come all over my stomach.”

facing the truth of my condition

got a bump from a stranger
that’s why I feel the urge
to expell my heart on paper tonight
I’ll admit it
yes, I did it
he offered and I took
powder – coke or E or some other letter of the alphabet
I don’t know
puffed on a cigar for an hour
talked about real estate in this part of town

still, you are centre stage
the star of my dreams
if you were a drug
I’d take you on a knife blade without question
because I am high on you
every second of the day
can’t be without you
more than a moment without
wanting you

this is bad for a writer
but, I know
this is the writer’s place
I suppose you are my muse
my inspiration
my station at which I refuel
you are my well

but now I am caught, because I am a writer

what am I supposed to write about now
other than you
you are my all-consuming
you are my obsession
you are my all
my rhythm, my beat, my time
the raft on which I set ablaze
all the memories of my own yore
good-bye yesterdays of loneliness
a viking funeral to all the old pain
and loves
to leave space
for that which I love now

how should love be
hope that I’ll have it all figured out

no

always running away
I understand all the philosophy
I know now – it is not all there is
flowers and pleasant farewells
it is life in the mines
digging away at the dusty core
covering yourself with soot and dirt and sweat
before you reach
a bed of crystaline beauty
and once that beauty hits you
all other pursuits seem pointless

have I found that diamond
have I broken through
have I found that one with whom to share eternity
such thoughts seem scary
but what of the opposite
a life of loneliness
a life of solitude

yes, you could do it
you could handle it
you know it
you know you could exist
without God
without wife
without child
without partner
without friend
without world
without love
we all know this – you have nothing to prove

so just shut up, old fool
shut up and just be happy
be happy
with her