What can you do
with a broken heart?
Walk through a blizzard.
I’m not kidding. Get up
bundle in your best snow clothes
and walk and walk,
And take your dog if you can.
Something about the snow
makes them bound and leap
It’s so contagious in this event
you can’t help but smile,
if even just for a moment.
Walk until the cold reaches your lungs,
filling every last chasm
where you hid the words
you wanted to say to that bastard
or should have said,
because you weren’t given the chance.
Let the icy air break those words free
from hiding and float through the frosted wind.
Trudge and push forward.
With every heavy step
frigid bursts slap at your skin
and clear your soul.
Eventually you will feel bold for such an act.
Let yourself sweat away the layers
of unhappiness you carry
from the years of effort when you
pushed through the cover of the heavy earth
Then, when you return home,
appreciate the warmth of the walls that embrace you and hold you.
The rooms won’t feel quite so empty,
they will welcome you and wrap you up.
And it is difficult
with such a warm welcome,
not to feel gratitude for both the
storm and hearth
and whatever else fell between.
Because you walked through the storm.
I was your addiction,
which left me feeling whole.
The center of your universe,
you– my places unexplored.
We drove each other crazy,
but kept each other sane;
all the while, a steady warning
pushing through me ‘gain and again;
Never love an addict
the thought droned on and on,
Your subconscious lyrics humming
the black notes of my song,
so while I listened, I didn’t hear;
too many reasons to feel alive
You covered all my insecurity,
while my soul gave way and died
You’re my beautiful girl
Those blue heroine words
shooting through my long gone ego
pushing all intelligence aside
until that suffocating muggy day
his evaporated truth slapped me hard
with the force of Ruth Brown’s Blues,
that time she belted out, So Long
your the world to me ya know,
you’ve been mine for oh so long
In verse–each note crystalline,
as I watched you fade and slip away
Christmas tunes float over
and through the little house
the smell of buttery Chex mix
rises from the dirty stove;
every child playing with some
techy mouse, or stealing
another cookie from the shelf.
I look around and see
all of the ones I love
near me and with me,
except for you…
Your ghostly presence,
a choice, I have to say,
I never saw coming.
It struck me like the bells in
a Bing Crosby Christmas song
or the second ghost in
Dickens’s Christmas Carol.
I really thought in my
delusional holiday optimism
you would always be here.
Surely you understand
I can never allow myself
to feel this way, ever again.
So in case you were wondering
about the present I chose
to give myself at the end
of this miserable year:
A little dose of self respect,
and to be present
with those who are here.
she braided the word
into her severed heart
long before he left,
knowing full well
his watery presence
would never evaporate
from her existence;
somehow it would always
leak into everything she did.
The weight of knowing
she must carry him around,
like that, for the rest of her life
trying not to splash his memory
all over her murky thoughts,
but walk with it cautiously
in her boxed up soul;
the heaviness that burden
put on her bones nearly
cleared the liquid muddle
of her made-up mind.
My land wilted and mourned
in the eclipse of the December sun.
Bones scattered about, where
most parts and pieces died
as all things do,
And though the morning continued,
the rains eventually fell
washing away those acrid memories,
soothing the callused hard ground,
seeping through the angry cracks–
I listened as the lingering mist
tangled around my barren heart
and the dry palate of my soul
drank with a violent thirst.
And as all things do,
new life set its roots.
I listened to the silent groans
slipping through the muddy night
unnoticed and blight
as the bitterroot bloomed
there, on the harsh dessert floor;
the bright pink flower settled
in this unforgiving land.
with sour stems and poisoned marrow
the flush rose buds unfolded
their brilliant hues.
Their evidence spans proudly across my face;
rigid timelines, wrinkles of grace,
drawn in sands of love and hate
as I introspectively commiserate
how the many angles of lies and truth converge.
Verses colliding at breakneck pace– while
traversing raw corners of personal space,
dissecting the fragile slanted slivers
where fragmented possibilities openly flow
throughout her delicate delineated form.
Written in longhand, but often short;
the silhouette of a thousand worlds, I create
definitive boundaries for my human place,
yet rounding them out for give and take,
while unboxing and boxing my mental state.
They travel impossible lengths to release my soul;
modern designs borrowed from old–
an immeasurable periphery of quintessential,
on that marginal page between each empty space,
I’ll be walking a fine one—
until I know my place.
I am that word
stuck in the back of your mind,
the one you need, but can’t revive
in that crucial moment
when telling your story.
The one you ask your friends,
What’s that word again?
I know I will surface eventually,
and you will spit me out triumphantly
like a stone spews
from the pocket of a slingshot
aimed at every listener you’re with.
As you remember my place in your story,
you smile with satisfaction,
because you need that word.
And wistfully, I will wait
to be the word you form
like that round softened stone,
because you, sweetheart,
are the only love I have ever known.
I watched Lukas Nelson do it
Jimmy Hendrix style
with his teeth; you know…
through the purple haze
of friendship and music
where my mind wonders and goes
to the past: happiness and love.
And the snowflakes float over us
like the music; beat by beat.
Sometimes a moment comes
and it overwhelms, the movement
of life: complex, yet simple.
The energy from the crowd
pulsing bass, radiating heat.
And Dylan, too, sang the lyrics
don’t give up on me
those words we all wish for.
We can’t quit now.
The snow continues to fall,
and the deep neon lights
shine over the closest friends;
the ones you stand behind, as
an aura of joy and appreciation
swirls around me and settles in
during those snow daze.
cowritten with guest author Kenny Warner
What was it that I
wanted anyway? To live
the love between you and me;
like those days awhile ago when we
were given three feet of powder
or more over our slopes–
holding us afloat,
covering every obstacle in our way.
That perfect velvet harmony
between the snow and our skis
each turn giving way to the next;
my body in rhythm with
your line, when my thighs burned
and the winter flew past my soul,
letting go and reminding me
I was alive.
That’s where I hoped
you and I would stay; there
in the pure, with plenty of white
beneath us to play, but today
the ground is hard
ice pushing my edges left
when I want to go right;
the dusty snow mingled
with dirt and cold pebbles and
boulders and snow snakes
waiting to catch me off guard.
Nothing but ice pulling at our edges.
No clear line between us.
But I know it can only be days
or months or another year
until the powder grows beneath us
with each passing storm.
i quit drinking your words
my mind is a fog
of your finest liqueur
not even a taste
will pass by these lips
for the rest of my life
i am confident of this
why i crossed this line
violent shaking, dusk until dawn
pushes through every last pore
as you seep out of my skin
the memories and how you feel
sweat out of my body, out of my will
to just free my mind
you drag on my psyche
breathe slow, stealing time
a day without
your the most beautiful line
after twenty eight days
I’ll be just fine