Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuesday Poem--Forecast by Melissa Green


Raw, Dark, Dank, & Fog. Surely, the names of lawyers or Tyburn executioners
Dickens might have invented. Let’s say, Whipstone Raw. Pinchbeck Dark.

Frogspittle Dank. Cuffington Fogg. This giddy fever makes me laugh out loud.
Whoever they are, they louring over my bedposts now, one knotting rope

for a noose, another shaking open the hood, the third hammering the last
of the scaffold, the fourth assaulting the trap-door with his worn out boots.

In my dreamy state, I don’t seem to mind. It’ll be no more than I deserve
for all my transgressions. They drag me by my muddy shift toward daylight.

I blink in the sun. But when I step barefoot onto the warm splintery wood,
I suddenly pity my poor body, which instigated no trouble in this world,

my innocent foot walking toward its death at the hinge. Somehow worse
than dying is what will certainly follow, and here I sink to my knees:

the autopsy--carving and cracking open my ribs by technicians inured
to human fluids, organs, stringy tendons, fat. I’ll float above the chilled

aluminum table. There’ll be no celestial light beckoning home my soul,
only the swinging shade like a censer over their scalps, the kind of lamp

my father kept low like a tent on a corrugated fence of baby chicks, once
holding me up under it to hear one feathery heart. I won’t be warm again.


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  2. i dont much like the prospect of forevermore cold myself, but it's the sterility that really creeps me out. that chilled aluminum. nope; i'll take Door #2, instead, please.

  3. I believe Cuffington Fogg represented me at the Social Security hearing. Worth every cent and more. We write, at times, of our moments, though they occupy much more space in our chambers than "moment" might indicate. Our thoughts, our processes, take us on dark journeys. To be allowed to ride along with your vivid, sensory telling, is a gift. Yes, darkness; for the instant, absence of hope. Instants pass. What matters is to have seen into them and returned with language that leaves no one confused. You have done a beautiful piece of work with your FORECAST. xo

  4. Dear John, there are all kinds of darknesses in us, as you well know; some are present in our characters and some are imposed from the outside. It didn't seem a far-fetched leap, though a terrifying one, to go from death to after-death. I suppose I was thinking about my poor Maud, who went to her God 'unhouseled,' unblessed, and that these technicians are a kind of anti-blessing squad instead of priests, as I don't believe in Maud's or any other Heaven. I fear you think I have over-indulged myself and just let 'er rip; the only levity in the poem is my own laughter, but that is during a fever, when everything can be a nightmare.

  5. Susan, yes, I'd rather opt for Door No. 2. Or even No. 3. xo

  6. Dear Marylinn, I feel sometimes like one of those cars that carries shrieking children into the Fun House, the dark tunnels where the creaking monsters pop up and howl over the cab and everyone screams, only to go further on in palpitating silence until the next Boogie Man roars into view. Yes, there are darknesses, they are moments, they pass, they return. It is devastating to be without hope, even for a moment. Thanks for coming along for the scary ride.

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  9. John, I'll be out back, stropping the scalpels. Thanks.

  10. I laughed at the beginning of this poem -- the Dickensian references and outlandish forecast name-game. And then I saw it unfold and felt the cold seeping through... and I sank into the dark. I particularly like this:

    my innocent foot walking toward its death at the hinge.

    Because for me the rest hinges on that, and from there the poem moves away from its earlier suppositions to what is real. Real ain't pretty; it's cold, dark and metallic.

    Call me strange. I like it.

  11. Yes, I felt as Michelle, the twist this poem took was sharp, a plunge into the murk, but oh, I went right along with it. There was really nowhere else to go! Wonderful, Melissa. :)

  12. Dear Michelle, no, real ain't pretty. It's terrifying. It's almost impossible to look into the darkest corners of life, and really look. But we have to, don't we? I'm so glad you're here, and thank you for becoming a Follower. I signed up for your email subscription.

    1. Really good to have these conversations, Melissa. Looking forward to more.

  13. Dear Jayne, thank you for coming along for the ride, no matter the plunges it takes. It makes it easier for me to know you'll come, no matter where I go. xo

  14. Dear Micelle, I'm delighted as well.

  15. Hi Melissa, is dark yes but it flows (to me) in a very natural manner. The speaker has great presence and an almost loving acceptance, whoever she is. I don't want to try and interpret it. To me it has many layers whether they be metaphorical or real or imagined they are just as valid. Wonderful language.Thankyou :-)

  16. Dear Helen, yes, it is dark. I'm glad you weren't afraid to come on the journey with me.Very glad to see you here.