Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zombie


Zombie



Excerpts from the Journal

 July 2, 1995

...but telegrams from ghosts are unnerving...hard to somehow extract the essence [of the past] without ever wanting it back..

I shed bitter tears for ____ at the funeral Friday, went back to work, came home to crash, woke to screaming nightmares of his corpse pulling me up by the hair ...

mourning for the flame that burned so fitfully but so pure; I go in fear of the black hand that extinguished it….

After I ran away I dreamed
and dreamed of you dead
and now you are
buried in your overalls
laughing brown eyes blanks, rolled up in your head
ivory as  unnumbered dice
the way the whiskey always made them
so dead for you is just another high... 


July 5, 1995

Nearly a year on my new job. Slept too much. Crazy dreams. 

of ______ once again, this time wearing another’s body, but retaining his own insane unfocused brown eyes, ranting at me, holding me by the shirt and shaking me, starting with 

soft words, words that my new lover says to me, 

[‘It will be better, it will all be better soon’]

but always that mad look increasing as I start to know, finally screaming at me;

what, I can’t tell, 

because I too am screaming...denials, guttural cries of child's terror...is it his unforgiving ghost, coming to me in dreams, to finally show what was bleeding and real under the plastic wedding cake cover...

or guilt's last hidden gasp.

...the old dreams from when I left him, that I must fight his corpse--fattened in the otherworld, malignant and mad with unholy life...

now I dream it all again, the headstone so uneasy on the man I knew, careless kind, silly, ineffective, weak and

 [full of the ability to destroy.]


what I feel I deserved to receive / 
or what I actually / behind the masks / received…
 
it’s all too far gone from me now... 
it's always sleeping beside me now
where I'm afraid I'll have to look at it,
don't make me touch it
turning turning in a winding sheet of
strangling nights
blind afraid 
to look and see that those empty eyes 
[there in the dark]
 are staring back and I'm caught again
as of course they always are, and I always am….


Journal entries from 1995, revised and extensively messed with, March 2012




Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub

Poet Stu McPherson is running the show at the pub today, and his prompt is to explore the nightmare edge of our dreams. This is a bit of a departure for me, more prose than poetry, and taken from life ( or more accurately, death.) I've redacted names




July 5 1995






Images © joy ann jones


36 comments:

  1. holy crap hedge...this is masterful in delivery...kinda blair witch feel of first person as we live through the journal entries...ivory as unnumbered dice
    the way the whiskey always made them
    so dead for you is just another high...

    wow, craziness...ugh that last bit of verse about sleeping next to it and touching it made my stomach gurgle a bit...

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  2. For one who squeezes blue lightning out of more protean (er, "embryonic") dreams -- the language is wild enough there to raise the hairs of a dead man -- going into the hard country of nightmare I think requires a looser grip, else the dreamer -- and we -- drown. This nightmare figure, half seeped in history, half-flooded in mystery, is both succubus and animus, shadow of the paramour, powerful as hell and with a larger spleen, I think (more Ahab than Beezebub) -- tragic, always, and very nearly fatal. A poet camps close to the abysm of dream anyway, and peering out and down into this shows how terrifying intimacy with the dead and dying can be. Getting it down on paper -- in whatever form -- I daresay is physic for that "winding sheet / of strangling nights." That, and tea, and time. - Brendan

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    1. Yes, very nearly fatal, but sometimes running like a craven coward works. Tea, and time and life's kinder faces make this only a nightmare now, though. Thanks, B.

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  3. Wow- this is unbelievable. I'm sure you're glad you recorded your thoughts as you were going through it. Hopefully it lost power of your mind. I can see those eyes...

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  4. The things we face sometimes should never have to be faced nor have to be conquered. But, thankfully you have and it's a good thing to write it all down as a kind of exorcism, really.
    Powerful, even more so, for it's truth.

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  5. Terribly chilling. You took the prompt to the full! I love (not quite right idea) of fighting with corpse fattened in another world. Guilt's last hidden gasp.

    Most terrifying line for me --what I feel I deserved to receive.... then did.

    k.

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  6. Wow- this is definately a different style from you! But I absolutely love it - the poems buried within the journal entries to make this an absolute journey into reality. This spoke to me- as having recently lost my father- I have been having some very vivid dreams about him- some very angry dreams- about unanswered questions and so on. This poem very much reminde me of that- it raised questions- talked about things that could have been, of guilt, and the fact that once someone has passed, there is no going back t change or rectify the situation. The delivery of this was quite simply superb...every time I read something of yours you just step it up ! This is one of my faves today that's for sure

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    1. Yes, the dead come back to dialog with us until they're through with us--though I suppose it's really the other way around. I also dreamed about my grandmother after she died, but those were not not nightmares, just a terrible grief. Thanks, Stu, and I'm glad if it helps even an atom in working through your own loss.

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  7. An amazing write that truly deserves a "Wow"!

    "laughing brown eyes blanks, rolled up in your head
    ivory as unnumbered dice
    the way the whiskey always made them
    so dead for you is just another high..."

    Brilliant lines.

    I do hope the nightmares no longer problem you.

    Anna :o]

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  8. Powerful prose with poetic flairs to light the impenetrable dark, the vision of decay mixed with the rising of the ghoul, a revival of living terror. This was mind-numbing Joy. It scared me.

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  9. knowing the deceased is wearing another's body unnerves me, even if in a dream. that's the chilling line for me. it does indeed have a blair witch quality. dreams are compelling when they ring true and this certainly rings true.

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  10. Chills and hair rising Hedge ~ I am afraid to sleep in the dark now ~

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  11. wow, wow, and wow. 'death for you another high' I really liked. method of delivery very cool.

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  12. Joy...I don't think I need to mimic the readers who have left in awe before me. Love this...felt this...and there's now two of us who will be weaving words into the wee hours...I know I won't be closing my eyes anytime soon!

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  13. Fantastic writing! This is gripping and tense throughout. Great work!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/blood-on-the-moon-3/

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  14. It is an honor to read you; you are so generous with truth and what matters in defining our humanity. Thank you.

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  15. sorry - got cut off and posted before I was done ... was going finish by saying "brilliant stuff" - truly - very cool

    http://aleapingelephant.blogspot.ca/2012/03/taste-of-copper.html

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  16. The journal format is a beautiful experiment in terror, with its disjointed entries, its mounting tenseness - and even the silences between verses and entries becomes tinged with meaning, as the reader's imagination fills in the blanks.

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  17. Hedge, you have written some seriously creepy stuff, but this is the kicker. The rawness, the immediacy . . . the feels personal, and it's all the more terrifying for it. Wicked craft!

    Watching Game of Thrones tomorrow?

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  18. Super intense! I love the transitions of going back and forth between prose and poetry,Hedge.

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  19. You scared me - this is brilliant ... the journal device is stunningly effective

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  20. Written with enviable descriptive power. Raw and yet intelligently refined. Brave of you to share this deeply personal experience.
    Massively accomplished as usual.

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  21. What I like most about this, even more than the immediacy of the terror mixed with personal connection, is the form, which is completely different from your usual. It works.

    The unnumbered dice eyes just blew me away, and from that kick ass beginning, you kept on with the eyes, weaving them in and out and making them the focus of the familiar horror that haunts the speaker.

    This is weird and disturbing and gooooood.

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    1. The journal entry has been around awhile--the poem was written for the piece--it was an interesting approach to combine them--but I never have felt I really got the intensity of this dream down--it was the kind that wake you in a cold sweat. Thanks, Shay, for your own forays into the world of nightmare which are classic examples of how to pass the terror along.

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  22. This has so much truth in it that it terrifies me into realization how much of our life is often left gasping without air. Do dreams pull us into their world or are they harbingers of what will terrorize us always with the possibilities that never realized themselves, haunting us in their palpable unreality.

    What a terrifying image of having a former lover appear and share the bed next to you. This is horrifying and you make it so real that my mind reels away in disgust at the thought, horror at the possibility. I believe dreams create bonds of trust and community. Even when they terrorize us in this way, I think we can heal the wounds that life leaves on our souls and its remembrance still in our psychic warfare.

    Community comes from trials shared and overcome, even those that come from the dream world, which we must also believe is real since so much occurs beyond our control and where promises themselves appear real though not seen in everyday life.

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    1. I agree Charles. I think the dream world is another arena where we watch our lives played out for us, immune from the interruptions of an imposed logic--where the counters are all those of psyche, thrown down in a board game we have to master without knowing the rules. The last passage here gives the impression the dream is ongoing; that was a poetic device--I dreamed this dream about three times in various forms, and then its message was delivered. Those eyes only open in poetry now. Thanks so much for your insightful comment.

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  23. just love it hedge...the journal entry style makes it all the more powerful and vivid...very tangible pictures and it's like you let us glimpse into your brain..into these places that try to understand and sort...loved every line..

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  24. To see your tormentor dead must bring some sort of relief - at least the thought that they can't terrorise you anymore. But to imagine them coming back from the grave in their own body or, worse, in someone else's is a truly terrifying thought. This is a hauntingly powerful piece of writing Hedge.

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  25. Oh those eyes, "ivory as unnumbered dice", the winding sheet, the whole terror of seeing the dead, feeling the dead, nearly being the dead. I love the way you wove the poetry into your journal entries, each expanding the other. Gorgeous write. I hope it did exorcise your demon...

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  26. Hedge, the minute I read the prompt, I knew you'd have something special to offer. No disappointments, none at all. Love the journal layout, and the note at the end is a great touch, extensively messed with-love that. The dream language/vision you illustrate here is fantastic, love the way you were able to harness that feeling in here. Again, fantastic piece. Thanks

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  27. Freaked out!! So good and intense...had my attention from the first line. Incredible write!!

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  28. The journal style is a clincher, Hedge! It makes it all the more a reality. How those who preceded us can appear around, amazing! Great write!

    Hank

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  29. unholy fragments, shrill, threading months and years.... this is very moving, extremely well crafted..and raw.

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  30. buried in overalls is a nightmare in and of itself

    semantic feeling

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