Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Balloons & other crap I left behind




It begins with a small prick, not enough
to burst the balloon, or warrant a name like BIG BANG,
but creates a slow leak

& we think,          if I just squeeze the air that is left
in the right direction, I'll no longer limp
on half inflated legs or ---

Then end up naked, ass up, on the floor,
sucking scant oxygen into lungs hung like lead weights
around our neck,
                          watching the small circle of light
                          diminish.

This is how my roommate finds me,
                                                             flat,
still stretched from all that was once
within me
                 & I want to
                      say,

"What took you so long?"

But that would take
too much.

For three years I tried to forget,
fill the space an empty room affords, when everywhere I turned
I took up too much, patch bike tires with an epoxy of anger & hate,
as if every mile I pedalled was further from the feel of her breasts
on my lips & the look in her eyes
when I found them together, holding my guts
in hands like prayer beads I could no longer count
which looked strangely like bottles, ash & panties
torn from too many legs I pretended
                                                weren't hers,

until --

The night I got out of the hospital,
it was snowing, so hard there were no longer roads
but ruts
            all leading to another home
            where I did not belong,

            & a whole bunch of white space, like fresh margins
            pushed to the side by a chaos of words

            that were someone else's.
            I left my balloon there on the curb,

if you find it,
            feel free to toss it
                      in the trash.
                                            



33 comments:

  1. For some reason that "prick" in my mind was one that unleashed a flow of blood that could not be staunched.
    Oh the angst in this poem - great!!!

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    1. Thanks Leslie. I am not completely happy with this one. I have told this story better. I will keep at it.

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  2. Sweet Jesus, Brian. X. Whatever the fuck you want to be called. This is 100% the best thing you've ever written. Good heavens, man. The first half, alone, made me cry ... and I hadn't even gotten to the painful jolt yet! Wow. Seriously impressive writing. So raw. I'm really jealous of your ability to be so open in your poetry. I wish I could say it's inspiring, but I'll never write freely like this. Anyway, this is magnificent, deep, gut-stabbing poetry. Bravo, my friend.

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    1. It really was a major turning point in my life. I was betrayed by most things that made my life stable - i was asked to leave the church, my long time girlfriend betrayed me, even parts of my family. I went very dark for several years and walked the edge of killing myself without intent. Drugs. Sex. It was all my pain trying to find a way out.

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    2. I feel you, sweetie. I could certainly reciprocate with stories. Instead I'll just pretend-hug-you. How about that?

      I love the last sentence of your comment. I'm glad you're using writing as a means for release now. It is a wonder how many people around us (and in us) are so often that close to destruction, regardless of which kind they choose.

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  3. I thought this was powerful stuff.. you have weaved the journey so effortlessly.. the pain the anger which we vent often sets us free. Beautifully executed!

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  4. Whew! That balloon matches some of my experience--also the absences of touch and kiss and body and the surreal emptinesses like blank pages and new opportunities and learning to walk again. I keep my broken balloon in a box somewhere in my closet.

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  5. A seamless delivery, the type to tickle one's imagination like no other. Its a web of connected events, from the small prick- to the passage of time until the room mate's discovery. Any longer, and the story wouldn't be the same, wouldn't end the same.

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  6. It is a privilege to read this poem. Seriously, one of your best. You took me right there and when you walked out into that clean white expanse, such relief I felt, that you had made your way through, and thus have so much to give, which you do, in your poems, in your work and in your life. I am such a big fan!!!!!!! LOVE the closing lines. Yup.

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  7. There are parts of one's past life that one does need to leave behind. They undoubtedly are the parts that make a person who they are, and the person wouldn't be the same without having those experiences. But, yup, some balloons do need to be left on the curb! Well penned, X.

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  8. one little prick is enough sometimes to draw everything out...ugh...though it's quite dark but i like that white bunch of space at the end...

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  9. For the fourth time, I want you to know I liked this piece...? Lets see if it sticks?

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  10. Yea! It did? Even shared it with a friend...?

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  11. Well, the image of that balloon and the subsequent body are not ones I'm likely to forget anytime soon. Gruesome, brilliant work!

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  12. I have broken my own record of the number of times I've read a poem of yours ~ this is gut-wrenching and beautiful all in one.

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  13. This is one of the most painful writings I have read in a long time.. somehow the confirmation of those tracks in the snow.. the confirmation... for a home where you're excluded hurts the most. It is like the beginning of a desert walk.. I feel this is a gateway to hell on earth.

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  14. it was snowing, so hard there were no longer roads
    but ruts
    all leading to another home
    where I did not belong,

    Really that whole ending, it just hit me really hard really poignant

    mindlovemisery

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  15. There's no question this is written straight from the heart of memory. That's what makes an excellent poem. Sometimes it's good to retell a story. There may be a little more healing each time.

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  16. Wow! I think I say that a lot to your poems, and this one more so than ever. Thank you for the courage and honesty to make this wonderful (if harrowing) piece.

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  17. Well, now I am sitting here like weeping willow ...crying....that road was rough...the pain..ugh..I have to get a kleenex...

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  18. Yes, a very harrowing poem-- I think it's the end that probably shakes one as the reader sort of expects some kind of redemption and it is not offered so clearly there. Yet of course one knows you are writing about it all! So that there was a coming through it. The prayer beads that looked strangely like bottles especially strong I thought. K

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  19. being betrayed by a person you love is the toughest thing on earth. the pain so palpable - i love the images, the little leak and how you try to compensate but can't and life bursts which is brutal but on the other hand - i know a lot of people who manage to walk on half-inflated feet for many years and it kills them slowly. love the snow, the fresh margins, the symbolism and the chance for a new start as well there in the close which is a new beginning really. sorry i'm so late.. was just so tired when i got home finally..

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  20. Yes this is a very impressive piece of writing and I am sure the comments in response have given you some satisfaction that you expressed yourself very well indeed.

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  21. Excellent use of metaphor and cunning images. Your pain ooxrs throughout this poem. And yet you leave behind the trash, moving on trudging through the snow

    Much love...

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  22. Well unlike S i'll share a short story.. her name S.. for Sonia too.. lights up the Son in me.. and takes it away.. and the path after that is mostly darkness.. but eventually i go on a vision quest and the rest is history.. and although this kind of past is common somewhat among young college adult males.. really sad you are asked to leave the church.. i avoid 'those' kind of churches like the plague by the way.. and now no one has the 'balls' to tale me to leave.. haha!.. at least not in brick and mortar churches.. hehe.. but yes.. excellent job of sharing this desperation and pain of life..in poetic aesthetic expression.. that does often mix with suicidal thoughts as well.. but thank GOD those didn't come to me.. then.. until i actually experienced the literal suicide disease with a guarantee of those thoughts in medical literature.. per Trigeminal Neuralgia.. but it was worth it to relate better to others who live or have lived in that boat that sinks to the ocean floor.. and yes.. regarding Sonia.. it took me about three years to forget enough to move on and really enjoy life for the quarter of a century or so after until darkness comes again.. LIGHT UP NOW.. TG..!..IT's NOW..:) tGiN!..;)

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  23. And hmm.. puts on spectacles and shrink hat.. and raises left Spock eyebrow.. could those 'other' girls be an expression of that first girl including this 'S'.. hmm.... i didn't get full closure until i actually contacted Sonia.. last year.. through her daughter.. and truly i needed to do that.. although.. i couldn't admit it until brave enough to do it.. and i never dream about her anymore.. as i honestly I did.. somewhat disturbingly so.. until i closed that book shut completely.. about a year ago.. just a thought.... and a rhetorical question.. no need to answer.. smiles.. i had blocked the pain of that experience out of my life for decades revisiting me in dreams.. and forcing myself to remember it when i lost my emotions is part of what helped me to gain back my emotions.. i contacted her and thanked her for the pain.. as that's just another dark savior in my life.. that eventually literally saved my soul.. again the dark and light mix.. to many people discount the power of THE DARK AS ULTIMATE LIGHT..:)

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  24. I believe I have read a similar story before but this one is just gut wrenching to read again ~ I am very happy that you have moved on past the hurts & anger & disappointments ~

    This part touched me:

    For three years I tried to forget,
    fill the space an empty room affords, when everywhere I turned
    I took up too much, patch bike tires with an epoxy of anger & hate

    I admire you for writing this dark journey ~ Grace

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  25. Sometimes the most personal are the hardest to write--one of your best for me--and one of the most painful

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  26. Well described, the feeling as if the bottom has literally fallen out of one's world! I think many of us know that exact feeling. As if the absolutely unthinkable has punched us in the gut!
    I am now in another situation which I would never have dreamed of happening. It is taking all my faith to survive.

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  27. Don't mean to quote your words back at you, but these particular lines really struck a chord: that feeling of being trapped in somebody else's life yet seeing no way out.

    but ruts
    all leading to another home
    where I did not belong,

    & a whole bunch of white space, like fresh margins
    pushed to the side by a chaos of words

    that were someone else's.
    Yet ultimately, a clear-eyed, unsentimental yet heart-wrenching recount of a traumatic period

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  28. I envision a panic attack brought on by a cheating lover. Well written.

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  29. i'm at present teetering; not a found bed, but an execrable email trail, and now I get to figure out where to cobble the pieces. so, i feel this on broken-bone rib edges ~

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  30. Having experienced betrayal of the worse kind myself, this poem touched a part of my psyche that is still raw. Powerful and strong, like perchloric acid...

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