Saturday, April 4, 2020

Killer





Killer


Why do you come 
to stand in the dark kitchen, eyes
dull as shrapnel, dangling
your .22 from your hand
like a femur, no silver on you,
charity-thin?

You were the one
who wouldn't quit what killed you.
You were the one
who knew everything first.
Why do you hold
the rifle so tightly? 

I tried to save
all I could of you,
worried at the
pain when it came
with twelve
teeth of morphine, but

you screamed  
yourself away in
that minute I forgot.

I see
you still watch me
like a tilted tombstone,
staring flat-eyed, eternal
as a ghost lion's
hunger. 

Don't
drop the gun to 
hold out your hand.
 



April 2020


















a  bit of surreal dream for earthweal's









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Images, both Untitled, © Zdzislaw Beksinki    Fair Use


15 comments:

  1. Your poem is so dark! Lines that grabbed me by the throat are:
    ‘worried at the
    pain when it came
    with twelve
    teeth of morphine…’
    and
    ‘you still watch me
    like a tilted tombstone’.

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    1. Thank you Kim. Check your spam folder for my comment on your excellent poem.

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  2. Well, first, this is terrifying. The ending is gutting, and lays the situation bare in the starkest of light. It is one thing to be haunted by a little bit of chain-rattling somewhere in the attic, but this is right there, in your space, challenging, flat of affect, and grim and disturbing enough to send a jackhammer shiver up the spine.

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  3. Wow, Joy, the pain. The lines that grabbed me hardest: the watching "like a tilted tombstone", and "eternal as a ghost-lion's hunger." I gather a dream that carries underlying messages, as dreams do. Your writing constantly amazes me. You and Shay are in a class by yourself.

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  4. Bang! I think poems hung precipitously between dreams and life are the most terrifying, as this on is. The dreamer sits at a table to observe all these wobbling ... guts, all of 'em poison, pointed, powpowdery. I get this fella is a guise of some other again, jazzman crossed by a treble devil and packing heat from hell. Maybe its the intimacy of address, the familiarity with this ghoul, a serial killer who knocks at the same door at 3 am. The last line kicks it into place and suddenly we know he's just coming home. Well done Hedge. - Brendan

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    Replies
    1. Thanks B. No jazzman here, only the recently dead.

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    2. That's even more terrifying. Who's got time for pandemic nightmares? -b

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    3. I don't understand this comment at all.

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  5. Your poetry brings out huge emotional responses in me. This, no different. It made me cry.

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  6. charity-thin is the most American thing of all... ~

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  7. This knocked me off my feet, Joy. When we have close encounters of this kind in our lives, we are never left quite whole, yet still clinging to our own love of life. A very sobering narrative for our times.

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  8. The ending was powerful as to shake another hand might actually kill you today. I see this battle of nights playing out in the day.

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  9. A bony, sinewy poem, Joy. Has the atmosphere of a Lucinda Williams song.
    " dangling
    your .22 from your hand
    like a femur,"
    is brilliant. Addiction is a terrible thing and yes, as Truedessa pointed out, the ending is powerful. JIM

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  10. you screamed
    yourself away in
    that minute I forgot.

    These lines remind me that fear is suicidal thinking.

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"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats