What makes a good poem?
Is it the rhythm? The structure? The carefully placed similes like dog treats and the restricted use of rhetorical questions?
If that's the case,
I think I failed the test.
Oh please! Don't leave! Let me try this again!
(A cough to clear the throat)
When one writes iambic pentameter
Doth that make his good prose the worthier then?
If I write a witty couplet in a rhyme
Does that make this utter shit more worth your time?
Have I got the tempo right?
I need an exclamatory tone!
Rhyming feels better somehow
But it doesn't make trombone.
My jittery jilted stream-of-consciousness different-line-length punctuation-less word-vomit onto a page-
Pause for breath-
Can never match the likes of Donne or Keats;
But I've bled my soul and fire onto this page
And surely, that is worth more than conceits?
As Heaven and Hell filled your glass you gave me the the gift of laughter and raised my spirits several times.
Those stories about a plethora of assess, wild crazed friends, and a hard painful life intrigued me for countless hours.
Never are you just a simple shade of black or white your always that insane drunk artist that mixes up the paint.
Your advice and experience taught me new colors that I would have never been able to imagine before.
Unlike me your a true writer that’s unaffected with the STD of being just a poet, but you still just might have the clap.
Your works are damned great so don’t you EVER stop trying to get your stuff out to this twisted world……..
Because if you quit I will seriously be obligated to punch you and I know you’ll still be able to easily kick my ass,
even though you probably broke your hip after you got out of your walker and unplugged your dialysis machine.
I’m not a mascochist (Unless I get a wad of cash or your a pretty Asian girl) so please for the love of god never make me do that, and hell I really like a lot you so I’d really prefer not to put a .38 special deep into your chest cavity.
Keep staying crazy you son of a bitch and although more than likely as your future attorney I’ll sure as hell stay busy,
but your my big brother and I fucking love you man so don’t you ever change.
P.S. Don’t hog on all of the good runoff pussy unless they are too chubby.
Why can't I be as soft as I picture myself? Why are all my edges sharp and jagged and blood stained? Why does my past haunt me the way it does?
Like around every corner I will see him there, like he could still be hiding in my closet. How does he still have this effect over me? I am so afraid to be soft ever again. I am so ridden with hatred, with anger, with fucking ressentiment for anything remotely close to what we had. I miss you, fucking still, 4 years later. When I saw you at that 2 year old's birthday party I just wanted to hug you or fucking yell, maybe I just wanted you to look at me the way you used to. I wanted to show you the tattoo I got in memoriam to you, show you that I took up smoking-just so you could lecture me for it. Talk to you about my father because I know how much you admired him and ever since he died I've missed you more than ever. Your name is always on the tip of my tongue, like a secret I know I should keep but can't. So, I guess I'll see you soon.
I have something within me that I cannot
Bear the shock of of its insinuation.
In the sport-ability of chit-chat I have
Often tried to conquer these thoughts
And with infinite pain I have hazarded
A thousand things hidden within myself.
“Excuse me,’’ I said upon seeing his face
Coming toward me while walking in Central Park.
“Are you who I think you are?’’ I asked.
“I suppose that depends on who you think I am,” he replied.
Not wanting to be made out a fool I asked
“OK, are you best known as JFK?”
“Well not exactly, he was my father,” he said with a smile.
I stuck out my hand like an idiot – but -
He offered his hand and shook mine like a man.
“I can’t believe it,” I said, “You really can
Bump into anyone in the big apple.”
He said that he had to be going, had to finish
His walk and get back to the office.
I asked him if I could tag along, just walk with him.
He said, “Sure.”
He kept a brisk pace, it was a cool day but comfortable.
The leaves were turned, mostly all fallen and
Then I realized that it was November 22nd.
“I’m real sorry about your dad,” I said,
“It broke my heart when I was a child.”
He nodded his head and sort of slowed his pace.
“How old were you?” he asked.
“I was 9”.
“I was 3”, he said looking at the ground.
“Yeah I know,” I said, “Everybody knew.”
He stopped and turned toward me,
Tilted his head to the left and point blank said,
“You know the story about my dad’s assassination
Is all BS don’t you?”
He caught me completely off guard but before I
Could say anything he turned back around and starting
Walking away from me like I had the plague.
I stood in my tracks but after he had gotten about 10 paces
He stopped and turned, “Well, do you want to walk or not?”
I half jogged to catch up with him and when I did
I couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Look I don’t know you and you don’t know me, “ he said
In a rough almost angry voice.
“Can you keep a secret?” he asked.
Still half jogging to keep up with him I answered,
“Sounds like you need someone to talk to.”
He slowed a bit, “I just got confirmation on who killed my dad.”
OK, about this time I’m like you saying a few choice curse words
In my mind – like holy sh…. You know..
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“Hell I don’t know,” he said, “It’s all circumstantial.”
Coming to a complete stop, “There’s got to be a way that I
Can tell people, let the whole world know that I know who did it.”
He turned to me, “What would you do if you knew who took your dad
Away from you when you were just a baby but if you told anyone about these
Murdering, slime balls they would most likely kill you too?” he asked.
“I don’t know sir,” I said shrugging my shoulders.
“If I had your money I’d figure out a way though,” I continued.
With a questioning look he asked, “OK, if you had my money what would you do?”
“I don’t know, man,” I said - “Maybe name a building after them or a street
Or something that everyone knew you named.
You know, like a hint or a clue or something.”
His eyes got big, “That’s it,” he said, “By God that’s it.”
He shook my hand again and asked me my name.
And a few short years later he was gone too.
But the name – the name he named his business – there’s your clue.
Thu used to live in Saigon. When the war ended,
she had fallen in love with a boy who lived next door to her.
He was her first love. He would write love poems to her.
Sometimes they would hold hands.
Once they shared a kiss.
They were young and deeply in love.
But as the war finished, they moved on from each other.
The boy went to live with his family in Australia, while she moved to America.
After they broke up, Thu would still think about him.
He was the one who dumped her.
The breakup crushed her heart.
But she didn’t let it mar her dignity.
Time passed, Thu moved to Virginia
and she went to high school in Fairfax County.
The letters started pouring in from the boy.
But she had too much pride and she didn’t respond until one day.
That was the day that John Lennon was murdered
in cold blood.
She was heartbroken like every other person in the world.
Yet, she also thought of the boy and how much he loved John Lennon.
Thu remembers reading the newspaper, seeing John Lennon’s face
on the front page of the paper.
She took a pair of scissors
and cut a square around John’s face.
Then she wrote a letter to the boy.
And then she sealed the newspaper clipping and the letter in an envelope.
Begged her mom over the phone to send the letter to the boy.
Her mom was still in Saigon and somehow she made contact with the boy.
And she gave the letter to him.
A month later, she opened the mail and there was a letter from the boy.
She read the letter, stifled a cry, and then proceeded to write.
The next day she sent the letter.
Thu was happy to read his words.
It was as though she could hear his voice through his sentences.
Like he was there next to her, looking at her,
speaking to her spirit.
And then after a month, she realized he wasn’t going to respond back to her letter.
She couldn’t believe that he didn’t give her a response.
“And that’s the end of the story,” Thu said to her son.
“What do you mean that’s the end of the story? That can’t be the end!”
“Well you’re the writer, right? Think of an ending.”
Drifting into my world
With so little a care
As the heat of the evening
Turned into a sordid affair
Riding me gently, tamer
Of heavy waves
Tangled together in shadows --
For you, I’ll always misbehave
Slipping from my grasp
And into another’s --
Trembling toward your kiss
Tell me I’m your only lover
But replaceable me
Left to wilt at the shoreline
While you sailed off to sea.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, LORD,
my Rock and my Redeemer.
Good Morning Beloved
It is good to be among you this morning.
Let us pray….
As we sojourn the pathways of life
You have brought us to the places
Of ecstatic splendorous peaks
You have blessed us with resounding joys
You have filled us with good things
The grace of your unconditional love
Is made manifest in the abundant life
you have promised to all your children
We bless you Lord for your provision
And your unfailing unrequited love
You have also humbled us Lord
With times of perplexing trial,
deep sorrows and pointed loss
Our earthly journey
has led us to places
of dread, devastation
sickness and pending death
Our plans and aspirations
Have turned to dust
Our eyes fill with tears
Our crestfallen hearts
We fail to receive the
balm of love
We have been routed
We have lost the battle
We have been conquered
by separation, sin and despair
The spirit of life
From our bodies
All that remains
Are dry bones
Scattered in the
valley of death
hidden by the shadows
In the nadir of our lives
Yet your abiding love
strong Present Helper
calling us to your light
May we rise from our
Afflictions as Lazarus
did when called by his
beloved friend Jesus
May your grace anoint
Our ears with the sound of
The Great Resurrectors voice
May you stir our hearts
With the wisdom of your will
May you bless our lips
With the grace of prophecy
That we may
Prophesy to the broken
And brittle bones of our lives
Prophecy to the bones
so they may be joined
With sinew and flesh again
May your words
May we walk again
In the land of the living
And rejoin the beloved
At the table of
Your abundant grace
In The Good Deliver's Name
Eric Dolphy, Come Sunday
Ezekiel 37 The Valley of Dry Bones,
John 11, The Death of Lazarus
Prayer of the Dry Bones
Faith Lutheran Church
4th Sunday in Lent