Friday, November 2, 2007

Birds

We were perched up near the ceiling
on top of the big bad 'do not touch',
her daddy's ebony liquor cabinet,
perched like two little birds on a wire,
wanting to take our chances and fly.

Her mom was banging away upstairs;
her daddy was gone to the corner store,
back to Mars, back to the sweaty arms
of "the other one", but he'd be back,
one day, she said, he'd see the marks
our damning hand prints in the dust
so thick it was a cloth of dead skin,
filth that polluted her many cat-lives--
the ones unspent up until that point.

He'd be mad,
but she didn't care--
so I didn't care.

Birds on a wire
that's all we were
sitting on a shelf
together in a pair.

Her mom ran a bath after another
marathon day of beds, empty bottles
and strangers, one after another
thick smoke drifting downstairs
like the odor of a burning skunk,
we hear water splash, mean laughs,
some crying, the banging of the walls.
"Don't make me come down stairs,"
her mom yelled when we would be loud
or maybe too quiet, but she never did.

We sat up there, higher than hell
and she quietly stared holes through
the yellow ceiling, cobwebs waving
like a black flag of pirates and children,
living doom in the living room
out there, just beyond the horizon.

She told me she didn't care
that she didn't care--not one thought,
not one worry.

And I believed her then.

But now I think she did.

Why else
were we on that locked-up cabinet
wondering the if's, the how's and why's
of small grounded things yearning to fly.

Top: Some beautiful symbolism. I know who would love that. Bottom: The Moon and Venus, both in final crescent, almost at the point of eclipse. And in broad daylight, no less. Again, there's some gorgeous symbolism here.

32 comments:

singleton said...

"She told me she didn't even care
that she didn't care--not one thought

And I believed her then.

But now I think she did."

Yeah, somehow I think she did, too...

Eric....this one plays like a Tennessee Williams story captured on film....poignantly beautiful....
Peace, my friend

eric1313 said...

Singleton

Now that's one heck of a thing to live up to. Tennessee Williams-- awesome! I'm not sure I deserve it, but thanks!

I'll take that peace
and make myself one last
beautiful paper airplane
to hang glide down
from the edge of this
great dark liquor cabinet
that is my memory

Meet you there on firm ground
or in the middle,
high in the air
drifting down;
not uttering a single sound

singleton said...

Yes, I see,
the more you unpack,
tragedy before during after
unfolding.....
finger painted in the dust...

The Butterfly Bar said...

Singleton

It's done, now. Thanks for checking back up on me.

Peace out, Singleton. Talk to you tomorrow.

me and the other me said...

why do your poems always make me cry? loss of innocence and love and the losing of it..are universal truths but that doesn't help us when we're living it.
thanks for a melancholy memory- perfect for 4am and no sleep in sight. how i wish i could unfold my long frozen wings and fly away.

eric1313 said...

Me and the other me

So glad to see you reading here.

Didn't mean to make you cry, my friend But yes, some things are just very upsetting. Her mom was a hooker--I remember people saying that and I would get mad at them, but latter, when innocense drops away, you realize it's the truth and god does it make you feel like you live in the ground.

It's a sad. Take care.

Susan Miller said...

Beautifully broken, Eric.

Thank you for writing.

Crashdummie said...

I just love the way you manage to chose the perfect pics for your poems... its all connected :)

See, that is why when I dont have time i make time to dropp by - you just rock eric!

Cheers

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

It does convey that hopeless sense of trying to understand feeling that you feel at that age.

I like it.

Maithri said...

Beautiful! As always,

love and peace brother, M

Princess Pointful said...

You find your little nooks of peace wherever you can, don't you? Even if they are nestled at the top of a cabinet.

I really liked this one. Both tragic and beautiful.

Now, in regards to your comment 'I'll see you in April'- for two seconds, after I'd read your comment just after waking up this morning, I thought you meant you were coming to my side of the world for a visit this spring. Alas, I realized you were just speaking of a return to my springtime posts!

karoline said...

oh eric...they're all fabulous...i've so enjoyed reading them all....

k:)

i beati said...

powerful

eric1313 said...

Susan Miller

And thank you for reading. Always good to see you. I'll be by directly.


Crashy

And I so appreciate your dedication, girl.
And I'm very glad you liked this one. It was painstakingly put together, but it worked very well.

Peace out.

eric1313 said...

Crushed by Ingsoc

Thanks for the visit. Yeah, there really is a disconnect between that age and adulthood. It's impossible to get the feeling exactly right. But this came very close--close enough that it worked.


Maithri

And you, too. Glad to see you here, as always. I hope it was worth the read.

eric1313 said...

Karoline

And I'm here, twenty four seven, the walls always illuminated with words and by the bright lights I shine on them.


ibeati

And you too. Glad to see you about.

Take care and peace to you all.

eric1313 said...

Princess Pointful

Sometimes the ideas just spill out, and I wonder 'huh?' But then I just go with it.

I started typing and it came out and could opnly lead to being this way. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Of course that's what I meant! Your writing is awesome. And your side of the world is safe from the terror of the motor city, have no fear! ;)

Peace to you, friend.

Josie said...

Eric, Singleton stole the words right out of my mouth. This felt like Tennessee Williams.

The end of innocence, right? But the reality of the end of innocence is sort of bitter.

eric1313 said...

Josie

You hit it just right. This end of innocence would have one believe that there is no such thing as inocence--or maybe, that there shouldn't be something so easily defiled.

Thanks for the words. Glad to see you. Peace out.

karma lennon said...

As always, I love it. It speaks to me-if I don't care then why am I still questioning? If I want to fly, then why stay perched just talking about it? And I gotta agree with Singy and the Tennessee Williams thing-it captures this hot, messy, gradual moment....

The first picture isn't a John Lennon is it? It reminds me of a print of his I have.

The Lisa Show said...

I love your imagery. Hauntingly beautiful.

Beth said...

I agree, your imagery is haunting. I don't even like poetry, yet your stuff is so readable. I actually don't skip to the end.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Dude, I was about to comment then I looked at the time--I have to be somewhere in 5 minutes! Dog! I shall return!

captain corky said...

"She told me she didn't even care
that she didn't care--not one thought."

It's amazing how much clearer we can identify and feel pain as we get older.

Enemy of the Republic said...

That last line makes me think of love--especially when some other force, more powerful than flying, wilts it to the ground. But then I see that in everything these days.

eric1313 said...

Karma Lennon

No, I actually I don't know for sure. It does look like a John Lennon original, now that you mention it. Suddenly, I don't feel so bad for googling it.

That is at the heart. She could not help but care. She was questioning it, and more than that, she was wnated to find some way to get her mother's attention back onto her life. It really was a slow building kind of horror, and one she never got used to.

Thanks for the comments,

Peace out.

eric1313 said...

The Lisa Show

Thank you--like always, its the details that set a good story apart from a dud.

Peace to you, friend. Latter on!

eric1313 said...

Beth

Thank you! There really is no higher compliment than being able to pull in a non poetry reader and have them appreciate what I write. That's the best.

I need to turn this country around and have it get back to where it once belonged, as John and Paul from the Beatles used to sing.

eric1313 said...

Corky

All the time, there's things we don't fully grasp until we are much older, hopehuly wiser for it and even then, we still don't always get it.

Thanks for the shout. Peace out, phasers on stun.

eric1313 said...

Enemy

Busy is a good thing. A vital life must be led for us to reach our goals, even if it feels like business is only getting in the way of our true desires.

In this one she loved her mom, and could not fathom why that love was not returned. Her mother was in her own world, but also, doing what she felt had to be done, to a certain extent. In this case, she was a prostitute. But it was a world that jaded her, and so, she passed that jaddedness on to her daughter.

It's sad, but her immortality that she was grabbing for was certainly living on in her daughter--good and ill. Mostly ill.

Thanks for coming by.

Later on!

Princess Pointful said...

Oh my God... is that Darth pug I see?
I have to be jetting to bed sooner than later, as this time of week is one for the early mornings, which don't tend to get along so well with me.
I did want to drop by and say that I adored that humour in the Bukowski poem... sort of sly and black and fun. I admire people who can balance that without being too hokey.

And, I know, aren't Lisa and Distracted Spunk fabulous? Lisa is so honest and passionate, and DS seems to turn the most everyday musings into the poetic.

As always, you are too kind, dear sir. Hope all is lovely at your end!

eric1313 said...

Found you again!

I am not too kind--you're just lots of fun to talk to and your writing is truly enviable.

I definitely have to turn on the email alerts. I can't abide this mess of letting your comments slip by me.

It's a luxury for me to be able to drop back and talk to you, so I always want to know what you have to say.

Thanks for being you, Princess. You're one of a kind.