Day 25 thru 27

Day 25-27 reads

So, I’m just going to link to three poets that I love & encourage readers to browse their works.

If anyone wants to talk about a poem, I’m always game. You can email me directly at elle@nocturnical.com.

Day 25 poem

I couldn’t really get with the prompt & had something specific I wanted to explore.

Grief is weird for me. I think the first feeling I’ve had every time I’ve lost someone has been guilt.

I have the usual guilts — the day-to-day I wish I had done this differently. But the prevailing guilt is this strong, soul-sucking feeling that it’s wrong that my life is continuing when this person, who was far more capable with life, is gone. Their story is over, while I feel incapable of even grasping the plot of my own.

& then I feel guilty for wallowing & bringing myself into the equation at all.

& I’m already emotionally unavailable because I experience my internal shit pretty intensely & I’m afraid of overloading people. This causes me to put up a wall & I hate it.

So, when my grandpa died in December (he was actually my cousin’s grandpa but treated me & my bro like his own, one of the absolute best people I’ve ever known), I decided to actively focus on burying my feelings when I was around fam & focus on what face I thought people needed to see.

I don’t know if I was any more help than usual, but it definitely set me back in the processing game.

& so this is the first time I’ve tried to write something about him.

Faith

I was never going to make you proud
& I think you knew — overtightened
the strings of your voice as you spoke
to strike harmony with my strangeness
& never complained when the music
unraveled, pulled apart, blew like cotton
in the wind — notes of petal & puff bellowing
flat through this valley, screaming sharp
through the hills — tell me to listen, to hear
god in the immenseness between those notes
& I tried but not hard enough — thrown
by the echoes of the stars, all the empty
swallowing all the light. & now you’re gone

& the strange song continues, no longer
fading into the noise of this place,
the hollow hills ringing with the spaces
between, my ear as empty as the sky.

Day 26 poem

This day’s prompt required an “almanac questionnaire” which I took as asking about the place, time, etc. we are currently in.

Here are my answers:

  • Weather: Dry heat
  • Flora: Balsam root
  • Architecture: Trash
  • Customs: A thousand churches
  • Mammals/repitles/fish: Coyotes, rattlesnakes, salmon
  • Childhood dream: Running a ranch, I mostly just wanted a huge animal sanctuary.
  • Found on the street: Rat carcass
  • Export: Apples
  • Graffiti: Southside tags
  • Lover: A guy with a jacked truck I guess. A guy like that would get around this town, lol.
  • Conspiracy: Chemtrails
  • Dress: Wranglers
  • Hometown Memory: My HS politics teacher saying “Libruhl is a dirty word!”
  • Notable Person: Trump’s former press secretary, I guess, jfc.
  • Outside your window, you find: My broke-ass bike
  • Today’s news headline: Fishermen want to catch a break in Columbia River protest
  • Scrap from a letter: Nobody writes me letters lol.
  • Animal from a myth: Coyotes, it’s all coyotes here
  • Story read to children at night: I don’t know, whatever they’re selling at the Wal*Mart.
  • You walk three minutes down an alley & you find: Mud & tweakers.
  • You walk to the border & hear: There aren’t really borders in rural areas, just a lot of fade.
  • What you fear: Dying here
  • Picture on your city’s postcard: The Columbia

Then you were supposed to use those answers as the prompt.

I was kind of unsure, but here’s what I came up with.

I’m afraid of dying here

Came into this world like a scream
underwater & have yet to surface,
the river so wide that it swallowed
houses & plank sidewalks & trees
with hearts & initials carved
by lovers that ate rattlesnake
& scared coyotes from the barnyard.
Lost in the fade of a town that never
ends, apple sheds & empty fields below,
chemtrails above. Find a route out
through clumps of balsam & bees,
shaded valleys of pine trees, bleed
into the the colors climbing the valley
walls, I’d rather be a vine devouring
the cascades rock by rock than stay,
waiting for the beast with a jaw
stronger than my fist.

Day 27 poem

This day’s poem asked us to review something that is not typically reviewed. So I reviewed my stupid brain being stupid.

Review

Unlike any other you’ll find; descend
spiral steps, dance & fumble, no one
watching, no one judging, mirror’s
been broken; shards too small to see.

There’s only the fall, but you’ll do it
with style, talk yourself in & out
of love but love nonetheless. Love
is the protagonist — wearing

the face of a stranger — & he
tells you all his secrets, the legend
of him written in stars & wine
& fingers again poised to write.

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