Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Joy & Pain, like Sunshine & Rain

photo by holmes palacios

It is not so much the birthing,
which in the stretch of muscle & contraction
as being, the parting of bone, spine bent
as question marks, the tear
of flesh
                        makes you curse the one who
                        put this inside you

On the day my son was born,
he died six times
                                until I wept dry riverbeds
                                that roared like rapids of lost heart beats

Or after,
exhausted, hearing that first cry,
lips trembling & angry hands flailing
when released from the swaddle - when you well
up, in sudden realization ---

I had a hand in this.

Or even,
pushing them out the door
& closing it - knowing they will find a way
or won't
                  There is only so much
                   you can do

And at worst,
being the one to administer their rites,
preparing first a last meal & enduring uncomfortable
conversation prior to their execution ---
                                           pushing the button,
                                           being the barbituate, parallytic
                                           & the potassium // all at once.

It is none of this.

I have broken far too many
pencils / torn too many pages, howled & spittle,
curled knuckles on the steps my temple, took to my knees
before fields of unmarred snow
& promised far
                    much // I can't keep

For the moment // ink

from the pen tip,
marauding & pillaging in hungry "words"
cannibals falling upon themselves
lips wet with syllables & eyes
reflecting a fragile sanity

(in reflection of their creator?)

until all that are left
is as they should be - versed

& I take them in my mouth,
to womb again in the texture of my lungs,
knowing some will die / & heart beats lost
be baptized and reborn on my tongue before this mic
tonight //
                 as poems.

                 yes, ladies & gentlemen,
                 there is still joy to be had
                 in poetry ---


  1. Ha! The children are very much out in the world here--the physical and the metaphysical--and your birthing of poems is very much both a delivery and deliverance! An intense journey through trials of creation and execution--thanks. k.

  2. Loved this! So well described. Another one which I can hold to my heart and read, and re-read. Thank you x. Poetry, whatever the subject, is such a wonderfully expressive medium. Like painting.

  3. What an astounding poem.. for a moment one gets lost in its intricate details. Loved these lines:

    from the pen tip,
    marauding & pillaging in hungry "words"
    cannibals falling upon themselves
    lips wet with syllables & eyes
    reflecting a fragile sanity

    Beautifully penned!
    Lots of love,

  4. Gorgeous:
    "On the day my son was born,
    he died six times
    until I wept dry riverbeds
    that roared like rapids of lost heart beats"

    "pot/ass/i/um" ... hilarious
    "pencils" ... pen/see/ills
    "howled & spittle" ... Weird wording. But to me, it becomes "how-led and spy teal," which I dig.

    "reflecting a fragile sanity" ... Ooh, this is pretty.

    "until all that are left
    is as they should be" ... Say what? Is English your second language, bro? ;)

    "to womb again in the texture of my lungs" ... Another really pretty line.

    That's a great song, by the way. Listenin' to it now, actually.

    "Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain
    Over and over you can be sure
    There will be sorrow but you will endure"

    Great jam.

  5. This is splendid.. so many layers. from the father seeing his son birth to an execution to the way a poem grows (also birthed in a sense).. but afterwards we have a child, a poem and all the worth that comes with it.

  6. Oh wow this is a favorite I don't even know where to begin but I loved this piece from beginning to end. Wow


  7. love how you describe the moments of creation...reminds me of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities..."It was the best of times, it was the worst of was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,"...a beautiful poem on that true delight....

  8. An absolutely stellar, breathtaking write, my friend. I read it over to properly imbibe all that it offers. Wow. That weeping of dry riverbeds, and the swooshing froth of your accelerating closing lines..........this is such fine poetry!!!!!

  9. What Sherry said and all those above her times three!

  10. Life affirming ... beautiful poem, X.

  11. You lead us through pain to...poetry! A difficult journey, but worth every step!

    Poems at Daybreak

  12. Just a gorgeous spill of word and phrase here.
    Especially love the double meaning in "temple" here:
    "curled knuckles on the steps my temple, took to my knees"

  13. The passion & eagerness leaps out from your lovely, so soulful!! Beautiful....

  14. It is a blessing to find one's joy...even amidst the dark grit of life.

  15. smiles... it def. is a bit like giving birth and releasing - and letting go and setting free with all the risks and pain and joys that it brings - some day those words drive me near madness - some days they kiss me wildly and i think - wow - reading them aloud is like giving them a rebirth - so you're going to an open mic tonite?

  16. This is wonderful. I love this allusion of poetry and birthing.

  17. This is powerful. I tend to forget the pain it sometimes is to give birth to verses. The joy seems to take over, or the ego. Love your allusion to birthing and children and how painful to let go. Wonerful, thoughtful write.
    Good luck if you're doing open mic. I know you'll do wonderfully.


  18. After the intimacy of birth and death, the public reading came as a surprise to me! Perfectly so! I recognized that moment of performance as a return to the beginning, even given what had gone before. "I had a hand in this!" from pencils to sound, broken and built and owned and freed. I love it.

  19. Each child like poem we create is precious to the author but once freed is on its own in the world wide web to fend for itself as we look anxiously on.

  20. I love the process of writing like the birthing of the child (And I had 3) ~ There is always the anxiety and the thrill of spilling them out or not, versed& re-versed ~ Admiring this very much X ~

  21. Yes, thankfully there is still joy. When it no longer brings joy, it is time to turn in the pen! Smiles.

  22. I just love the way you write! Another super poem!

  23. Amazing poem, the flow the feeling the tremble while reading it.

  24. Birth of PoeTRY
    wondrous stuff
    not sure who
    put IT in me
    of WHO..:)

  25. powerful strong expressive words penned together to fill the canvass. good write, mi amigo

  26. I love poetry because we can write it from our vantage point and the reader the reader can use it as a springboard to take him to the stars or to a well filled with tears.
    Yep you hit it as the poet and I as the reader went over the edge.
    Happy weekend

  27. I get so caught up in the intensity of your writing: death, birthing, pain and poetry. Where do the words come from? From all of these places, these places inside you. Great piece. Love this one!

  28. I like the comparison between some of the pain of giving birth with the pain of writing a poem. Both difficult in the carrying out, but both very much worth it in the end result. Smiles.

  29. The birthing of a it like birthing a the canal a seed is planted to grow to bring forth life..sometimes there is great pain, but the joy out lives the pain. I wonder about the part where you son dies six times before that first breath. Ok, I am going to attend an open mic tomorrow night..I haven't done it in a while I want to feel my poetry spring to life. Thank you for that...

  30. Wonderful stuff, gives me chills.

  31. Great emotional upheavals generated by intense or critical situations will generate immense feelings that need an outlet. One is fortunate if poetry provides the means to a release of that tension through creativity. Great poem!

  32. I'm still harboring a faint hope that your final verse will come true ~