i love you

i love you
bitterly, you
handsome man
idiotic bigot
sweet sour of sky

this isn’t exactly
what i mean, but it’s
in the right order;
only i messed things up
by prying your mouth
open with my fingers

calling 911 for the immediate
insertion of pills which
i don’t foresee as blockage
for swallowing forgiveness

and you hurl a trash can
out the second story window
but, i love you
in these hard places:

spittle, fists, assaults
and i’m totally devoted
and depleted and depending
on your mouth to be a sudden
and startling art

which i’d be proud to admit
is shaped like my own,
but i accidentally dig
your grave

only the dirt is reflecting
my responsibility to write
everything down exactly
or at least in weathered pieces

for Real Toads

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33 Comments

  1. I like the shock value of many of your images. They encapsulate the daily struggle with an art we love but must fight and bend to our will.

  2. Oh yeah, oh no … Wendell Berry once wrote that if you’re going to write about the dark you have to go dark, and this poem ain’t no rock ‘n’ roll show. How can one not love — bitterly — someone whose vibe is both irresistable and sweet sour (like the stench of death)? This poem has gone furthest down the dive on the other side of the tracks where the Paramour does nightly business: and is true to the encounter most by saying that “weathered pieces” is all that we can eventually say of it. Defining and forever glad it’s done. Yep, you nailed it.

    • Drove another nail…into this coffin. Thanks so much for the feedback Brendan. It was a complicated prompt, in my opinion, but worthwhile.

  3. Well, hope it’s not true, but rings very true and very sad, if compelling and well done. No good deed goes unpunished–those that are bent on self-destruction may not wish to be disrupted. Your enjambment in the midst of the hard push of the words is very effective, as the poem unrolls, letting the story too unfold, and a whole relationship and lifetime, and the sour of sky all these wonderful images, very apt and vivid. k.

  4. depending
    on your mouth to be a sudden
    and startling art
    I just love it when I get the chance to read real poetry first thing in the morning. And this is a poem after my own heart, dark, bloody, shadowed, bright, glaring and clean, twisty until it pounds things out straight. Really excellent stuff.

    • 😀❤️ have a great rest of your morning! Thanks for making mine a little brighter with all those adjectives. (Especially the real before poetry)

  5. The fifth stanza breaks my heart. You get the bit of hope in the speaker, that wish that somehow, magically the right words will be spoken that set everything right, yet everything that comes before and after lets you know how vain a hope this is.

  6. this is the most mesmerizing, quick-flowing, contradictory masterpiece of a poem.
    a snapshot reflection the chaos of a relationship.
    i just love this.

  7. Contradictions in love resolved in intensity of actions. Fantastically severe wording. A voice that questions and has no questions at the same time. Wondrously crafted, magnificently human. Extraordinary verse, Angie.

  8. You have a knack–and you show it here–of *seeming* to write conversationally, but the words you choose are not ordinary words, they’re poetic images and that makes all the difference. When combined, it can be powerful stuff, and this is.

    fireblossom

    • I initialize Fireblossom to FB, but don’t like that because of FaceBook:( And thanks so much for thinking my words are not ordinary. I was once told o needed to expand my vocabulary conversationally…I was in training to be a counselor. Ha

  9. Your words are striking – almost like a power punch to the brain. Amazing and cathartic in so many ways. You have a wide range to your talent, Angie.

  10. if only because you made me think of my own difficult relationship with my father.

    but more, much more than that. a spoken piece, love in the worn enamel of our shared teeth: the biting wit, the shared meals, the age and wearing.

    marvelous ~

  11. The love we have for our fathers is often a struggle. I loved the obvious love you have and the fighting nature you shared. I lost my father 17 years ago. I don’t cry as much as I did when it first happened, but I think of him more and more. Loved this, love you, Mosk the Humble

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