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aayoung

Poetry, Prose, Art, Photography, Curiosities

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depression

Virginia

pictures of
young Virginia Woolf
cause me to weep
rivers
her features
seem as though
depression was her mother
pain her father
a mouth made to sigh
as if she knew
the moment she was born
she wanted to die

the dogs are unfed

House of the Tragic Poet

depression has a heart

buried beneath

pumice streets

of old pompeii

it has lost

all interest

in homeric greek

walled within

the house of the tragic poet

it doesn’t  pretend

to engage in platitudes

it does not want to tell you

how it’s doing

it does not want

to be reminded

of how much it aches

how embarrassed it feels

or infect you

with its tragedy

it has forgotten its father’s birthday

depression can’t elaborate

regarding dreams as

a fool’s currency

lacking the wherewithal to say

i feel as though

i died years ago

the horses are dead

the dogs are unfed

the natives have ceased

their drum beat

 

Nietzsche wasn’t so peachy, but this woman…

Janne Teller,

a Danish novelist

of Austrian-German background,

wrote the line,

“From the moment we are born,

we begin to die.”

I, poet,

think to myself,

only a Danish novelist

of Austrian-German background

could possibly conceive of a line

that fucking morbid.

The following line should simply read,

“Why not avoid the protracted suffering

and slit your wrists, the proper way, now?”

Death was my business for many years,

Ms. Janne “I-Need-Zoloft” Teller.

I am pleased to inform you,

there is a prolonged period

between birth and death

which we warm blooded humans

refer to as, “life,”

and it is nothing short

of miraculous.

honorable mention

my father drove

through two kentucky counties

screaming 

“It’s a girl!”

after twenty years

three wives

and four boys, one of which

he could not claim

just before the depression took hold

and dying by his own hand

became more appealing

than dying slowly

in front of me

“Do you think I want Alicia to see me like this?”

he screamed at her

while the garbage burned…

and she agreed

ovid playing dress up

do you
poet
know how absurd you are

as it is critical to your survival
and the endeavor to be heard

ovid playing dress up

you’re not the first depressive writer
hell
you’re not even the millionth

the whining of the pompous is uninteresting

so buck up you sappy fuck
and look to the fundamentals

you should be boot kicked for using the word “very” in a poem

i cease to find your writing profound
if knowing when to use the words

that
which
who and whom

stumps the shit out of you

i may not be drunk enough to write this

i may not be drunk enough to write this

but as you know
where
we
afflicted with the pen
are concerned

there comes a point
you no longer have a choice

that time came tonight
when the music came on all by itself

a ghostly moment alone in the dining room
when lou reed’s voice began to sing
turn to me
from an untouched stereo

the depth of your sadness overwhelmed me
and i felt myself failing you so

i must resist every possible cliche when i say

you punk son of a bitch
stop
counting your curses

the past is indestructible

i’m glad you never made it

i’m happy your kick ass band
was looking east
as culture crawled west

because you would be dead now
and i never would have known you

i wouldn’t have kept writing
and i’d be long gone too

when i consider all that you are

it staggers me to think
how many beautiful things
wouldn’t exist

rosie the riveter

he is off fighting in the war
on the other side of the world
as i wait at home
growing my victory garden

letters and postcards tied in ribbons
as the record player weeps
p.s. i love you

my wringing hands plead to mars for his safe return
in the knowing hope chests so easily
convert to coffins

his cause is the same my father’s was

a battle often lost

and here i am again
buying war bonds

the little girl in mary janes
pig tails sad brown eyes
and a sun dress

watching daddy die too soon

from too many pills too much bottled poison and black
cigarette in bed
depressions

so sure i can save

this one

from his invading army

the day aunt lena jumped in the well

mausoleum chambers

fill my mother’s house

 

the lavender room

with grandmother luvenia’s bed

and soft pink crystal light fixture from the old house on fishing creek

is where the spaw and bates families are entombed

 

the bed spread woven from funeral ribbons and loss

cherry framed antique portraiture

hang as illuminated death masks of my ancestors

behind the old convex glass

 

shoe leather faces

whip stitched lines

and battle scars

their backs curved

from bending to god’s will

 

their great depression was their existence

 

i look into the women’s changed eyes

who lost children

 

they had faded to a barely living shade of gray

known only to battlefields

and beds sickened with scarlet fever

 

country life is a sort more merciless than most

particularly to the feminine persuasion

 

mother swears the cicadas were screaming in the june apple trees

that pot steam august day meant for sewing bicentennial dresses

the day aunt lena jumped in the well

 

i often walked by the sealed haunted thing as a little girl

lungs filling with fear

wondering why that day

she chose to turn potable water into tears

 

was it the four year old daughter

named venus

born and died in the month of april

buried beside the church

 

had the clocks her late husband made wound her tightly enough to do it

 

or was it simply senility

i’ll never know

 

when had she stopped hearing the piano music

what had she suffered

that an abyss seemed somehow more comforting

than another day lost in the valley of stones

 

i close the memory of her with a crystal doorknob

 

cousin leland went into the well after the body

but her soul

never resurfaced

depression glass

the evening
hears the chickens cluck
they eat tomato seeds
from an attentive keeper
the spider lady plants
lean against the old wood shop
lavender hookers
the sun is dripping
down the house’s western
grapevine growing side
and the wind chimes
are playing
counting flowers on the wall
by the statler brothers
the garden is in a state of grand decline
purple faced petunias
who don’t know
not to be beautiful
float upward after drinking rain
the picnic table
has a centerpiece
of foxfire
glowing
for the half august moon
the smell
of fall
a notion
harbored
within the breeze
upon my face
i fear the coming winter
and
for two hundred year old trees
roots weakened
by shifting soil
that remembers
native curses uttered
this earth parched for water
of provincial people
composed
and
carbon bonded
of a more
egalitarian
molecule

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