I’ve been writing poems about a dark period in my 20’s to release any negativity that might be lurking in my subconscious mind. After meditating on the words “letting go,” I wrote,”Rejection Blues.” Today I am far from starving. I’m a happy and healthy meditation instructor. I am paying homage to all those still trying to get their first piece published and the pain that accompanies a lack of recognition.
For a moment I thought about killing myself
but decided to stop for dinner first
I went to a cute little place called my kitchen,
its in an old building built in 1932
the year Sylvia Plath was born,
as luck would have it, it has a gas stove
I whipped up something from nothing,
leftovers actually, from no food Friday,
there’s always plenty of nothing to go around
After dinner I sat in the window,
ten stories up, such a fair to middlin’ height
I’m not saying I’ll jump; maybe I’ll float
I’m light as a feather, like that game
I loved to play as a kid. Fingers underneath
a body, eyes closed and chanting until
the deadweight of one of us levitates
into the air as if by magic and we, a coven
of teenage witches, so serious. Even then
I knew I would write about it.
Jumping is such a commitment; falling
is so much easier. Today I can barely
commit words to a page being depressed
and all. I might as well try the ballpoint
pen, my imagination is full. Stuffed full
of courses of Joyce, Carver and Plath,
which rhymes with bath. To take one,
after opening one’s wrists in warm water
How lost I am this evening in melancholy,
thick melancholy, such a pretty word
“It’s funny really,” isn’t that what people say?
When something bad happens to them
or maybe that’s how one reconciles
empty cabinets and dishes stacked in place,
all two of them, and the single fork
waiting patiently like a poet, all tines
and utilitarian steel, At least I know
what really matters like laughter
especially laughing at oneself for being
too depressed to move, too hungry to die
and dangerously upset about the rejection letter,
“Try again,” it says. Written by an Ivy Leaguer,
that I imagine in a soft leather chair, tossing my
work aside, even as I sink and our passions
sleep close to one another, under a dark sky
Internationally known Intuitive http://www.kellegracegaddis.com
My poem Polishing A Gem On The Surface Of The Sea is a chapbook, 43 pages in length, ten moments per page, ending on number 400. The following excerpt stops at moment 30 and kind of leaves you hanging, but I cannot have the full version up while it is a finalist in a national contest. The winner will be announced in September of 2015.
Polishing Gems On The Surface Of The Sea
- Sometimes I feel like I’m in a book or movie but then I realize I’m in a dream.
- Across our time, I’m a wave rolling forward, the undertow pulling back, and you, you are my rip current, my last gasp of breath before going under.
- The day I met Jack O’Malley a single yellow balloon floated into the yard. I tied it to my VW’s antennae and drove to the beach. I can still imagine it twirling in an invisible twister just beyond my view.
- Jack is now my Jack, and he loves Jack Kerouac, but I love my Jack more than Jack loves Jack.
- There is momentum in the moments we share as we read On The Road to one another.
- At times, I feel guilty for lusting after Jack Kerouac but one cannot have too much Jack.
- Before my eyes close I say, “Magical thinking is even more fun than the regular kind.”
- I often taste the future before it arrives, hear it, see it, sense it.
- When I turn on the TV, Judy Garland is singing, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
- I’ve only been awake for a minute, but Jack has been on my mind for hours.
- I stop on the freeway in awe of the light fingers reaching through the clouds.
- On our first date, Jack got down on one knee and asked me to visualize a diamond ring.
- I consider a career in advertising after watching Mad Men, but this estuary thought opens a passage that floods the sanctity of the poems in my mind.
- Jack is driving, and I’m watching it all go by.
- At a poetry reading in Mendocino, we meet a girl named Dorothy from Kansas.
- Mmm, Pavarotti with a latte.
- Jack and I find a collector’s box of butterflies in a second-hand store with “J. O’Malley” written on the back, we talk of destiny.
- Kismet and irony are what Jack and I eat for breakfast.
- Look! The clouds are like goose down at a distance, blurred and gray, soft and unreal in the fading light.
- I wonder who drove the pins through the hearts of the butterflies in the box.
- I lie on my surfboard waiting for a wave; my outstretched arms become the wings of a giant blue Morpho butterfly.
- Jack says the Blue Morpho is the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen.
- Ripples of heat rise off the road, and we are enveloped in sage and silence as we drive in a waterless world across the Mojave.
- In spite of being on the wrong coast, Jack and I like to play Breakfast at Tiffany’s every chance we get.
- Today we are on our fourth cocktail before noon.
- I usually write when Jack is asleep but sometimes we write together on cocktail napkins.
- There is so much beauty in the world, nothing else matters.
- Two hawks fly over our house.
- Jack says that we have the same spirit animal.
- It is wine with La Wally, and all is well.