Thursday, February 22, 2018

Internal Injuries

I hear dead people.
1965 continues endlessly,
elms rustling in summer breeze,
baseball and Beatles cards spread on the sidewalk still,
screen doors and monarch butterflies fragile but immortal.
You can stop now
(don't stop)
you can stop
(don't)
you
(don't)
stop.

Don't listen. 
Drop the sound out.
Roll with it if you can.
This house has been on fire for decades, why panic now? 
I hear dead people,
jumped up from eternal rest or damnation
telling me what they always told me:
child, you're fucked, and it's your own damn fault.
Can I stop hearing it now?
Can I stop living
(don't stop)
or start?
(don't start with me)
or
(you)
me
(us)
stop.
STOP.

1965 continues endlessly,
elms rustling in the summer breeze. 
________

for Poem As One-Sided Conversation at Toads.

 

 

14 comments:

Janis said...

OMG, this is so hot:

"You can stop now
(don't stop)
you can stop
(don't)
you
(don't)
stop.

Don't listen.
Drop the sound out.
Roll with it if you can."

So good. So, so good, Shay. Damn, I love this poem. There's nothing better than being mentally stuck in a *really* good year.

I was just listening to that song a couple of days ago. Right now, I'm stuck on Sonya Teclai. So yummy. I'm big-time drooling.

Kim Russell said...

I think I would like to relive 1965 but being trapped in that year, not growing up and not experiencing anything else would be a nightmare. These lines are so effective:
'screen doors and monarch butterflies fragile but immortal'
and
'This house has been on fire for decades, why panic now?'
The repetition at the end of
'1965 continues endlessly,
elms rustling in the summer breeze' made me shiver.

Janis said...

https://youtube.com/watch?v=hIEjGL-xPDE

Toni Spencer said...

I sort of remember 1965, the Beatles mos def, and I remember elms before they fell to the dreaded blight. It seems summer lasted forever back then. But being stuck in 1965? I don't know. I think I could do it.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Burning parasol, Tori Amos for a sun and 1965 singing "I Can't Get No (Satisfaction) on a transistor radio with the dead for batteries. Snap! You bullwhipit so good.

Fireblossom said...

"Janis"--betrayal, that's what this is about.

hedgewitch said...

The tight composition and technical skill here are flawless, but also beautifully subsumed in the living images and message--you hit this one out of the park, Shay.

Cloudia said...

Don't it now!

Helen said...

1965. Vietnam, Watts riots ~ memories come rushing. I will never be able to shut them out.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is transporting, Shay.. the ever-present elms suggesting the flow of time but also the sense that sometimes it stands still. It is all so delicate, even the sudden rush, the realization - a moment never to be forgotten.

Vivian Zems said...

Trapped in a time warp....you captured the time well.

brudberg said...

Time might move on, but some moments never leave... the most hurtful ones the most. 1965 is a year I have very few years from...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I am so glad time didnt stop that year.....yoiks. The internal messages we received as children can be haunting. I felt this poem - the elms rustling, the Beatles card.......and the stop/dont stop. Nobody writes like you.

Margaret said...

I was born in 1965... There are certain years for all of us that we will never be able to shut out. People who have died and for better or worse - their voices still echo in my head - especially the negative voice of one particular person - I thought, I guess, it would leave me liberated - free - but ... No, not in those quiet moments when I reflect - those same feelings are there... The beginning of this poem is so specific - it's as if I can just step right into the scene. "Telling me what they've always told me" - Can we stop hearing it now? Good question.