to the new in-law, although you belong here more than i do

You are a a canon bursting through their artful hedges,

you are a blonde sonic boom,

a megaton atom,

as you crash through the front door and employ

your opera vocals to the tune of your intention

to go sledding.

You used to clean your voice teacher’s house,

you tell us,

in that way you talk,

lips curling around each “r” like

children clinging to their parents in a crowd,

and once,

he made you sing for another student,

to show her how it was done,

while you tried to hide the cloth and Windex;

you said it was mean of him,

but you smiled, too.

You married her daughter’s husband,

and I wonder what she thinks of you as

she pleasantly smiles.  I think she likes you.

Maybe her daughter would have, as well,

if she were still alive;

her children call you “Mother” now,

along with the others.

Six yellow ducklings in a row.

You wade through snow pants and mittens,

laid out on white sheets like bodies,

like her body when she left them,

before you came.

Are you saving them?

I want to eat their little thoughts,

and swim through their fading memories.

I never knew her,

but they did,

once.

And when I see you,

it’s all I can think about.

78 Comments

  1. Once and for all, can you specify how we should address you? Is ‘Shrink’ appropriate? I hope this is ok. In the meantime, Er, h, Shrink, freaking great poem! There is something freeing about a poem where you can just let go and say what you mean and say everything you mean. Well, well done!

  2. The exchange between you and Eston is brilliant, especially in the visual form that it takes in the marginalia – columns taper from lines to single words as the replies mount up and shift right – until the voices meld – they could easily flip if one isn’t watching too closely – then they expand and shift left again depending on where you position the reply to replies – would make a great time lapse video, sped up, if one could actually catch the replies coming in real time – would look like a kung-fu movie, I’m sure – eston is your typer durden I think Chagall

  3. “I want to eat their little thoughts, and swim through their fading memories.”
    Superb – or more correctly – superbest – or more superb than the rest of it. P.S. Think you and Eston need to get a room. lol

  4. Thank you for your blog and all that comes with it. You are as sharp as poly chromium razor wire or aka concertina wire which has a better sound but cuts all the same.

      1. Maybe I’m just jealous of your effortless eloquence, but that doesn’t give you the right to flaunt it like some cosmic prima donna!

                    1. You can’t help it, can you? You love this sordid repetition you honey-tongued maniac, you raving moronic princess.You are sick with sweet and sour!

                    2. Oh, I know you do, ella diablo! You love being insulted, it’s the only this that humbles you down from your noble cloud!

                    3. Through a telescope that looks for fiery comets and apocalyptic asteroids such as yourself! Besides, your cloud is just a tuft of transparent gauze wrapped around an ascending balloon into space.

                    4. You would love my rich, episodic eruptions melt your cloud into tears and pop your vulgar balloon.

  5. Powerful and beautiful.. I love the way you spin your thoughts into a delicate web of truth and feelings… I am a fan! 🙂

  6. Wow. What I love about your poetry (well, this is a generalization, so I apologize in advance) is how beautifully you express your feeling of being a stranger in your own skin, and in this case, in other’s lives. It is a beautiful, desperate alienation that is stunning to encounter.

      1. There seems to be an odd kind of convergence happening in this electronic world. Have you read Johnny’s “Extrapolate” yet? We are all writing about that same sense of almost-but-not-quite belonging today.

        As an aside, I have been thinking about the un-World card, and alienation might be the way to go with it!

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