Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aftershocks

Aftershocks



I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. 
 ~Edgar Allan Poe



Last night the giants came
marching down the great divide
the bed shook the walls ached
deep as my bones
from the need for their
heeldrumming tantrum to stop
yet after in the quiet
my heart was as loud as if
you’d come back to me.
No Pope, no Santa’s helpers
no virgin mother here
in the dark barrow.

Another 
aftershock
winter rolls back in heavy
pulled in the giants’ wagon.
The rubbled black slag of the heart is
embroidered by sleet stitchery
that ornaments as it pierces silver faultlines 
buttonholes where decay will enter
and all be shaken to dust. 
Green love goes
fast as wilting salads tossed
al fresco on the crackling summer grass
dry as ancient flesh. No more
drinking stars in a madness that
mercilessly passes.
(Another.)
In a fixed
horrible sanity
I count dull pinpoints of
retina'd starlight bruised
bulb flicker in your
averted  eye 
pulling all round me the
sleet slippery words
settling the tumbled 
to cairn loss.
Another.

I picture the handler, polite
pompadour bent to patronize
these pitiful pratfalls 
her powderwhite face a mask 
for your voice
skullsmile of Kali
rabies dripping from
her green earrings.
I draw some comfort
knowing you are numb as I
from that killing bite you've
already received.



November 2011



Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub





55 comments:

  1. I wondered about you after the Oklahoma quakes rocked my home in Kansas. I only had a hint of it compared to what you are going through and I've had trouble trusting my footing.

    Tantrum is an excellent word. Vivid, intense poetry.

    Beth

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  2. It's a really weird sensation, isn't it, Beth? We had another one about 4.0 last night in the midst of some wild thunderstorms. I imagine people on the West Coast are used to such things, but this is out of the blue here and quite freaky. But its all grist to the poetry mill, I guess. At least no major damage associated with them or anything.I'd heard they were felt in Kansas and Arkansas. Thanks for reading.

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  3. Could be Shiva had a headache and she was pissed? But we are moving into the thirteenth area of Zodiac with all the planets and sun aligning with the center of the universe, I expect more of the idle faults to come to life.

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  4. I loved reading this! What a wonderful write! Like unfolding a beautiful tapestry wrapped around a gift. You are a master!

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  5. oy so the grounds still rolling...some me really cool lines int here hedge...the sleet stitched...starlight bruised bulb flicker is a fun jaunt off the tongue as well...chilling end with the handler and the bite already received...

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  6. Dayum! Can't you just write about flowers, or something? Well of course you can't, because it wouldn't have the scathing dark power that this has.

    As I was reading the middle stanza, I was thinking "oh stoppit!" It's just so good. "The rubbled black slag of the heart is embroidered by sleet stitchery"? Get out. God hates a show-off. ;-)

    Then the final stanza. "her powder white face a mask", the invocation of Kali, the rabies dripping from her green earrings...it's shocking, and blackly gorgeous.

    Besides, the label "snake in the lass" is priceless.

    I feel as if I've been bitten by this poem. It stings. The phrase "fascinated horror" comes to mind. Very very good, Witch.

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  7. I'd be quivering in my boots and locked away somewhere that I could feel safe. And you're making poetry out of it. You deserve a medal!

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  8. Dear Joy Ann: The "pitfalls" seem bent on making us quite dead and all relgions would gloat about our physical fate (if that is all there is)...this is a creative cracker;
    "skullsmile of Kali"
    Chiccoreal

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  9. Great quote...great picture...amazing write! One that requires hanging on, for sure. Perfectly paced, fantastic weave. Always awesome, Poet!!!

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  10. my goodness hedge..i stopped breathing while reading this..your imagery is just like shock waves...awesome write and cool quote.

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  11. Oh, earthquakes! We were having small tremors here last month and at the end of each, we'd wait a few seconds, anticipating the next big one.

    "I draw some comfort knowing you are numb as I..." yes, I know this feeling.

    A pleasure to read, as always.

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  12. The strength of your words are as bone shaking as the quakes the speak of. My being set ajar, not knowing what to expect next or how to assimilate all you've written. Powerful, certainly the grist for the poetry mill!

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  13. Like Alex use to say in "A Clockwork Orange," nothing like a little of that old ultraviolence to free one out of the sanitycage ... Awesome events require a proper magnitude of voice to sing it back, and this has plenty of Lear in it -- oh shake, rattle, boil, rage, dear Earthshaker ... Out on the proper steppes of the godless feral and wild. "...Rabies dripping from / her green earrings," indeed. Ain't it grand the wind started blowing? Makes a droogie feel right perked up. - Brendan

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  14. Thanks all. Not feeling chirpy today, in case you couldn't tell.
    @B: I'm not exactly sure what you just said, but thanks for reading, and welcome to my world.;_)

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  15. Turmoil and images that rattle the nerves. Powerful write!

    I'm sure the ground moving under your feet rattled a few nerves. I experienced an earthquake the first time about 10 years ago...just before 9/11. I had been living in the LA area for 2 years and then WHAM! It was a big bang of an earthquake. No damage, just big noise. That was my late welcome to the West coast.

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  16. Having experienced my first quake in Virginia in August, and seeing my walls literally move, I can say I learned a new way to be scared. The roar that preceded the shaking is unforgettable. The earth indeed speaks.

    Vivid imagery and a cadence that makes this one to read aloud.

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  17. wow. this is amazing! i would love to hear this performed aloud! so powerful!

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  18. The rubbled black slag of the heart is
    embroidered by sleet stitchery/

    These are amazing and the whole poem is evocative and packed with imagery and alliteration, and just, well, everything! Great writing.

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  19. Would you br suprised if i said that i love this?

    gripping - from the title - the picture - that awesome Poe Quote i am hooked.

    In a fixed
    horrible sanity
    I count dull pinpoints of
    retina'd starlight bruised
    bulb flicker in your
    averted eye

    at this point my eyes buckled and my brain folded into a marsh land shephards crook.

    crafted to and inch and slicing to the core.

    'Performance piece'! i hear the crowd baying it!

    wicked

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  20. Thanks Arron. This one was like spitting out bile--better than not, but still...glad you dug it--thought you might enjoy the Poe.

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  21. I've lived through some seriously large quakes (yep west coast). This whole piece makes me think of waking to one. One's mind trying to make sense of the physical as it steps from the dreamscape. Too many ridiculously good lines to start mentioning them.

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  22. An act of God
    Jolts the prairie sod
    As the lunatic fringe
    Cries: PAYBACK FOR YOUR SINS!

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  23. Amazing piece. So much said here. The second section is my favorite, but I love the language chosen and the alliterative choices you've sprinkled through. Crafted so well. Thanks, enjoyed it much:)

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  24. Those giants took out santa's helpers, no wonder it's such horrible sanity..haha...amazing verse, enjoyed the references you sprinkled throughout as you told your tale.

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  25. yet after in the quiet
    my heart was as loud as if
    you’d come back to me....
    some really awesome lines here.
    I hope you are well!

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  26. You have an amazing way with words, I was mesmerized as I read this!

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  27. Love the Poe quote and your use of it. I'm laughing at Fireblossom's comment. I share her enthusiasm. Your poem is as close as I ever want to get to an earthquake.

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  28. I cannot even begin to imagine how scary that must be. Takes never to not up and run but, they're occurring all over the place with more and more frequency now.
    Great piece of prose it inspired though.

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  29. Intense and vivid images captured in this beautiful piece... great alliteration in stanza three... and I think the shape of the poem is significant. I'm glad you're okay.

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  30. Thanks Mark. Fireblossom is my sanity check.

    @Laurie--great eye--you're the first to notice the seismographic echo. ;_) Thanks for reading.

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  31. My dad was just telling me about an earthquake down in Argentina and the aftershocks. Had immediate flasbacks to childhood. I do not miss them. Very attention getting piece. Life events can still create aftershocks. "Moving" poem. Well written and presented.

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  32. Oh, my. Consummate, fulfilling, fully realized...beautiful.

    I loved:

    yet after in the quiet
    my heart was as loud as if
    you’d come back to me.
    No Pope, no Santa’s helpers
    no virgin mother here
    in the dark barrow.


    I sit at your feet, Joy. xxxj

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  33. I love that the universe throws an earthquake at you and you make art. You're a force of nature; Kali's shaking!

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  34. Mm, I like the "dark barrow", the "rubbled slag of the heart", and the stitchery and button images. "Cairn" is so delicious too.

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  35. Oh this is powerful... you could bring out the menace of the winter in the perfect words.. great imagery....

    thanks for sharing...

    Shashi
    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/11/whispers-tears-in-rain.html

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  36. Crazy. Your language is so heaped with intense imagery. Sometimes the sound alone is so strong it is hard for me to focus on content.. (This is me not poem.). Because the content is actually immensely precise.

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  37. well, there's certainly more than a mere earthquake going on here.
    there's a good deal of pain in this poem.
    I like the descriptions of the earthquake & aftershocks; and that Poe quote ties in artfully.
    rabies dripping from her green ear-rings? wow.
    nice write.

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  38. Vivid imagery with language that fits nicely. Great work.

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  39. O the rumble of giants' wheels in this scrumptious meal of dark bites! This is great work, Hedge, the language is phenomenal:

    The rubbled black slag of the heart is
    embroidered by sleet stitchery
    . . .

    Just delectable!

    I think my favorite moment in the poem of many beauties is:
    Another.

    WOW!

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  40. As so many have already said, there are some wonderful, strong, disturbing images throughout this. MMmm. I like it.

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  41. Wow, you brought the earthquake too life. Though frightening, it was definitely good for your muse. So many images here!

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  42. Chilling in a way. Well composed. The third stanza was my favorite, especially all the p sounds.

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  43. *grins* Sanity - no, not that! Thank you Mr. Poe.

    Dark work, as I would expect one to be, when it's set up by old Poe. Multiple visions, it seems, multiple potential realities...which is the true vision? The earthquake of course, but the exploration of it, of different visions weaving about it - nicely done. And "The rubbled black slag of the heart is embroidered by sleet stitchery" is an absolutely delicious line as compositions go, my friend.

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  44. Your writing has such contrast and such movement. I like this fragment:

    "yet after in the quiet
    my heart was as loud as if
    you’d come back to me."

    A small bit of respite squeezed in between the ongoing drama. This too:

    "I draw some comfort
    knowing you are numb as I
    from that killing bite you've
    already received."

    So personal and transparent. I admire this poem a lot.

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  45. You are a master of imagery... so vivid... I am transported, with bated breath and thundering heart... always feel under a spell when I read your poetry... it definitely grabs hold.

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  46. Oh My....I held my breath reading this until I couldn't. The imagery here is so vast and powerful that I felt lassoed up with the words...

    It felt good in the mouth, too, reading this.

    Amazing piece and am glad you are ok.

    Hugs,
    Lady Nyo

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  47. You have created the mythic landscape wonderfully well. The personal intertwined with the cosmic forces always draws me into those mysteries that we should never lose. The poem is filled with enough striking images to make the imagination seek beyond them. There are several points at which the poem verges on an abstract level, in the same way that Picasso my diffract exoerience, for example. I wonder whether you've explored that in other work?

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  48. This write...a most enticing opening with Poe's quote, and the rhythm of wild nature doesn't quit until the bitter end. Actually, that end, your last stanza, complete with Kali, is just amazing....

    her powderwhite face a mask
    for your voice
    skullsmile of Kali
    rabies dripping from
    her green earrings.

    It seems that these surreal events for OK have not shaken, but stirred, your muse. Why not, for I always equate your writing with a trip into the wild, untamed edges of nature. Be safe ~

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  49. "The rubbled black slag of the heart"? Phew! Makes me quake, but perhaps that's MY fault.

    Magickal stuff, 'witch!

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  50. Yowza! Don't even know where to start. The imagery, the sounds, the word choices, the layers of meaning - amazing. I especially loved
    "The rubbled black slag of the heart is
    embroidered by sleet stitchery
    that ornaments as it pierces silver faultlines
    buttonholes where decay will enter
    and all be shaken to dust."

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  51. Earthquakes ... sometimes you think how small we are when we stand in front of mother Nature and her anger ... nothing you can do about! Loved the Kali- line ... Very creatively done!

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  52. very strong and moving words.
    you can survive everything, bless you.

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  53. The alliteration in the last stanza -- the staccato feel to this (I could almost hear it sung in rap) -- wonderful poem.

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  54. you always do a fabulous job.
    poem on.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg