Tuesday, March 24, 2015

occult

If you can believe it, it's day 24 of the Tupelo Press 30/30 challenge! Today's NY times word of the day is occult. I'm drawn to the less popular definition of the word, which is a verb meaning "to hide from view, conceal, or have its light extinguished." This would be the version of the word more closely related to occlude.

As I described it to a friend, this is a bit of a "therapy poem" for me. The past year has been quite a journey for me, including a lot of letting go of crap and opening myself up to the possibility that two seemingly apparent contradictions can be true at the same time. Sometimes these contradictions keep me up at night, and I have to do visualization exercises (the breathing out of smoke in the poem is what I picture in my mind as I try to go to sleep) to let go of anger, polarities, pain. It works, and continues to work. And the complexities continue to unfold and be difficult. And on and on. So poems exist.


occult

i.
it's as if you can't find me
the last year so many drifts & contradictions

(sometimes finding dark is finding light
contrast: opposite colors draw the eye
it takes a certain looking to see)

happily the stars
were almost here

ii.
we see them as squares, the days
because they accumulate 
into patterns of bigger squares

only when she slept on my floor
was I able to sleep

sometimes she is me as a child
& I need to tell her things so she can sleep

things no one ever told me
but I needed
need now to hear

her small body like kindling
cradling the light from the hallway
so perfectly slumped

she needs me
& is far gone now into dream


iii.
only in winter does breakfast
smell like heaven

& at night I breathe out
the dark past
to sleep

like a cloud of black smoke from my mouth
this letting go
this breathing towards rest & quiet

each exhale closer
to the perfect juxtaposition

finding the light
somewhere in my body dream

the future way I will speak, breathe out
patterns of light and shadow
that anyone else can hear






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