Hey all….

…Look!

The Magpie is back at it.

For those who don’t already know, The Magpie is my amazingly talented and creative (if I do say so myself) daughter. While she has had the hand and eye of a True Artist quite literally since she was still in diapers….

…and her talent (and creativity and imagination) has grown nigh exponentially…

(just a small sampling of the depth and breadth of her work over the last few years)

…she has now made made the written word her main focus. She is currently eating, sleeping and breathing the writing life, morning, noon and night. It is the first thing she wants to do every day and we must force her to stop every night in order to get some unfortunately necessary rest. And she is doing all this while somehow still maintaining her visual art pursuits, interests in science, math, mythology and literature and high honors in school. Her dedication to this new endeavor puts my paltry efforts to shame.

I hope you’ll take a look at her Magpies Menagerie and see what she’s been up to and stick around to see what she has in store.

https://magpiesmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/hi-again/

(Am I being overly indulgent or proud? Can you blame me?)

A death of memory poem

 





I have been thinking about the
writing of death poems. How this 
practice can prepare one for the 
inevitable. I had intended to write
a death poem on the forty-seventh
anniversary of my birth (the beginning,
I thought, of a new annual tradition) but 
I did not. Instead, I seem to have written 
a death of memory poem, something 
that I believe I must fear even more 
than death itself at this time in my life,
though this is probably only because
I have not come close enough to 
death while the death of memory is 
a thing that I have known closely for
quite a long time. So here is my
death of memory poem. Perhaps,
by its writing, I will be made ready.







Let my poems be a hedge between
my self and the loss of my memories,
a palliative against or a salve for the 
wounds that I saw on my father’s face, 
that I now have seen on my own face, 
that same face when I look in the mirror.







My memory is gone.  It is a broken 
thing beyond fixing that will just run 
down and down over time. But maybe 
these words, these poems will give me 
something that my father never had, 
something that he never knew how 
to find on his own, something that I 
do not know that I know how to find
on my own and yet still I search and 
yearn for—a changing of the heart, 
a look in this mirror, a softening of 
the self (hard, hard thing that we
make within us, our myriad actions 
and phenomena uncountable that 
we cling to, these never-ending 
evanescent folds in the cortex 
of time, these simple tricks we 
use to try to woo security to sit 
at the table with us, to say to us
that we are we but not alone
and yet somehow still solitary…).







Perhaps I can find this thing 
for both of us, my father and
I, though he is long past finding
and I find my self searching still.







Perhaps, if my memories must leave 
me (and it seems that they will) I can 
have them replaced with poems.  
If my memories are to be dislodged,
if they are to fall to the wayside, 
I would rather have poems in their places 
than just more fears of losing more memories.







What is the self but a bag full
of memories that we cannot 
put down? Though we are
boarding a train to a place 
of no things and we stand
ultimately alone on the platform
and the bag is full of useless things
and our arms are already full of all 
the things the world has given us
that we did not want or need or ask for,
still, we cannot put it down.







I want to be able to put it all 
down. When the time comes, I 
want to be able to board that 
train with empty hands. Let me
board it with empty hands, alone.











Child of the past of the father of the future

I see you there 
on the other side
of forty-seven,

waiting for me
like a father,
like a child,

looking up,
looking back,
waiting for me

to catch up,
to start making
sense of what I see.

Well, stop.
I won’t do it.
I can’t do it.

This is why I 
do what I do
and you know it.

So stop. Stop waiting.
Stop wasting both
of our times.

I’ll get there 
when I get there
or maybe I won’t.

You’ll just have to 
wait and see or
wait and not see.

It’s all the same to me.
I don’t care anymore.
I will do what I do.






  

Complications of sleep



I roll out of bed for the third (or is it the 
fourth) time, cartoon-legged and hunched.

Corns have become hot coals 
on the soles of my feet as I slept.

All the tendons in my lower legs have 
apparently shrunk by one centimeter each.

I cannot fully straighten my back 
until I am half-way to the bathroom.

My left eyelid wants to roll up inside out 
and needs a helping  hand to just open.

The last two fingers of my left hand 
are numb and humming with needles as

that arm must have been the one curled under 
my head, pinching a nerve in shoulder or elbow.

Such is the night at oh-dark-past-forty.
Quasi Motive moves in the night.