Monday, March 29, 2010


What is it about me, I want to be involved in these things? I somehow think I have something to contribute. Maybe I do. As a young man I was beat up by a distraught husband, but he was not very effective and that mainly because he was in the wrong and he knew it. He broke my watch. I was pissed. Actually over the years, I have gotten some practice and some wisdom. Mostly when I get in the middle like this it more or less works out. I do not cross intimacy lines without invitation.

Here I watch myself perhaps.


I walked in to see
you and found you engaged,
serious effort,
I could tell, you pale,
eyes wide open, hands like claws,
you receiving her
embrace, while she cried.

I had no notion what that
was all about but
I was sure I had
no business in your place,
not at that time.

April 27, 2009 3:56 PM


  1. What a picture you've created with that one image - hands like claws.

  2. To stand in the flow of raw despair sometimes requires a kind of temporary petrification to prevent action. All actions would be wrong in some way, and yet the flood would seem to demand rectification if it were possible. "Do something, even if it is wrong!" No. "Do nothing, even if you might explode." Yes.

    The people who say you do not die from feelings are fortunate that they have not been to the extremes recently. To not die from feelings this extreme assumes divine assistance, perhaps through the hearts of friends who are willing to stand with you and not die too.

  3. The preamble made me smile, ruefully. I like the way you write about everything.

  4. Lucy, thank you for your vote of confidence. I doubt I write about EVERYTHING.

  5. Christopher - I've wondered how a parent survives the death of a child. Physically, how do they continue to live? I'm not sure I could. Truly.

  6. Karen, one of my good friends in AA is a woman with three children. One died a couple years ago, a junior in high school. Austin was her middle boy. He was a creative boy, writing poetry and plays and short stories. He was obviously headed somewhere. He rode his bike back and forth to school.

    A city bus crowded him at a certain corner and when he fell, ran over his head and killed him instantly. It apparently was as much his fault as not or at least there is confusion over that point.

    I have watched and feel it is nothing short of a miraculous process. She is coming out of the loss and despair after a couple years, her sobriety intact, her current relationship still intact, her other two children doing okay, and she did all this more or less in public, in front of people in AA and relying on her friends who stayed with her and took the wind.

    She was never sure she would make it, not one day, until just a little time ago. How do you eat an elephant? One god damned bite at a time.

    I did not have her in mind when I wrote this poem, but I could have. Do you know that despair has a body odor? It does.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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