Category Archives: poetical rejects

six poems by pd Lyons recently rejected by kettle blue review


Love Poem for R.B.

 

Today I heard on the radio that Richard Brautigan

Killed himself last fall.

Then some girl who was 17 in 1970 read his Love Poem.

She said that her then lover was a DJ on a college

Station and had dedicated a recording of the poem

To her, over the air, before he disappeared in a

Californian direction.

 

Anyway, I don’t know where I was.

Maybe I was washing clothes or asleep.

Maybe I was with Jenny or Eva or somebody.

I could a been drunk, or depressed

As if by some sort of intuition.

All I really know is that I’ll never know where I was

When he did it.

 

I wonder how he did it.

Maybe I should go down to the library look him

Up on the newspaper micro-film file?

Most likely I won’t though, the library is closed now

And I’m not sure I care that much anyway.

Besides it’s one of those details I’m sure will

Accidentally find its way to me.

 

It kinda pisses me off that he did it, I mean he

Wrote that Watermelon Sugar book, I read it years ago

When Mary gave it to me and I, 15 in 1970.

Watermelon Sugar and Mary my first lover go good together.

I don’t know about this suicide stuff though.

But maybe it’s nice not having to wake up alone with yourself

 

When you just don’t want to any more.

 

6/6/85

 

 

the sea made her way

 

 

sneaking up river

daring an overland short cut

crossed the lake

a hitched ride over the high land

where the old man sat

back against white stucco

smoking a Cuban cigar

 

right away she began;

whispered

rolling waves

sounds of silver birds

stars like diamonds

pure black

as if travelling among them there would never be another horizon

 

behind his eyes the old man smiled

o ribbons of smoke

barely audible ahh

 

at which she paused

looked

saw

him as he now was

and knew all she could do was to return from whence she came

never to kiss his pale grey eyes again

 

She Would

 

turn the armadillo

tickle his stomach with her tongue

 

black beetle tears swell

June bugs high heel snaps

crickets rip trying on new clothes

caterpillars hum dull dreams of a sex life

 

through irises and junipers

these she breaths

 

on her toes

sneakers let the ballet

peer out with wonder

along these New Haven streets

amid this morning

slipping into the haze

 

who is it

whispered water lily secrets

when your mornings got too heavy?

 

leaving the Stars behind

called you flower by moonlight

called you cypress by spring

watched you from the evening change

grey misty morning across the spider down day

 

the old man I have sat with

 

the old man I have sat with

anarchist veteran

wars wound down across an age of cigarettes

jokes spun in and out upon the swirl of pastis and water

croissants and coffee through to charcuterie

against the warm summer stones of Montesquieu

old man and me, our laughter.

to not ever be forgotten,

our fear.

 

 

Mogambo

 

in the back yards of the moon

mountains ever silk with smoke

a cigarette a champagne

a dress for dinner

as if we would ever

be back

the only true things

ghosts unable to sleep

unable to abide this weight of age and flesh

 

princesses and big cats

a woman afraid of her own jungle

hunter of the caged

a man afraid of mortality

how could our hungers meet?

how could our true nature reveal,

those ghosts we fear so much

are all the spirit we could have been.

all we traded away so cheap.

 

in the obligations of our evenings

in the entitlement of our heritage

sweat black the spear singers

sweat black the towel holders

as if the pale god held sway

without the guns of our own steel,

without the cripple nature of our own fears

we could never make our way a way

 

Bigger Than the Sky If a Star Was Your Eye

 

Without sadness there can be no kindness.

Depression while it may be unkind

Is not a kind of sadness.

 

Someday children learn:

Daddies don’t know everything

Daddies aren’t always there

Daddies cannot protect in an omnipotent way

And on top of that neither can mommy.

Not even if we are believed to be gods.

 

I have lived in houses of the dead.

Those who died before my age

Those who lived to be a hundred a hundred years ago.

Someday these stairs I sweep will still be here

And I will not be anywhere.

Someday all those I ever knew and who knew me,

No matter how intimately; will be no more.

Not even forgotten because there will be none

Whoever even knew them or us or me.

 

My daughter age 7 asks “What happens when you die daddy?”

“What really happens after you die dad?”

 

Am I afraid of death?

Afraid of not being me anymore?

Am I afraid of life?

Afraid of not knowing answers

Growing old?

Forgetting?

 

My daughter loves the sea

we don’t live near it

sometimes get to visit

dancing in and out the surf

Up and down the Dogs Bay regardless of the weather.

 

My son now in his thirties

hardly ever leaves his house

the one he bought from my father’s estate

The house me and the siblings grew up in

Some I argued with, so he could live there

Like his grandpa said.

 

And maybe it’s not so bad to forget?

be free of history

be new

make space for right now

stop so much looking back.

 

and maybe it can be that way with death?

not so bad,

letting go of all this me?

making space for something new?

 

But I’ve a strong ego

Tuff as nails

A Buddha’s nightmare

Veteran of all kinds of wars.

Maybe that’s the equation:

stronger the ego – stronger the fear?

 

I am not the god of my children

too old to fool them with immortality

Anyway, they’re too smart to not perceive

My purely human heart.

 

Love is not an answer but a response.

A response to all those unanswerable questions.

 

Not knowing anything

I love.

The more answers I don’t have?

The more I feel my own true love.

 

So, I tell her –

I don’t know what really happens when we die

But I do know how much I love you ~

 

20 Jan 09

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