Poor Mojo's Almanac(k) Classics (2000-2011)
| HOME | FICTION | POETRY | SQUID | RANTS | archive | masthead |
Poetry #178
(published May 20, 2004)
A Document In Madness
by Cara Jeanne Spindler

(Laertes, Hamlet, IV,v)

One: the Netherworld Dream

Hear from you       you doubt that
minutes no more       more but so
none else near       I shall the
said to you       his own reed

said to you       (my memory locked)
up the truth       key of it
you call them       touching Lord his
affection to me
                I should think
to dream perchance
                in honorable fashion
vows of heaven
it was chemicals            in your head
           or rain-spring            sadness because you
               never quite reached


Two: the Time Blind Stage

      I keep wondering      when we start
forget how this       at the end
      I remembered everything       this piece lived
                lived it backwards—

been so afrightened            I dreamed you
           day before you       in this town
           there were farmhouses       void of inhabitants
machinery and fences            and always night-travel
           across wet emptiness            dark to break—

into life from
           another's dream I
                never told you
           how do you
                in my sleep—

I saw you       left behind, swelling
      or in love       all words stolen
from two singularly       what if she
           was or wasn't
                doesn't it matter—
                comes before me
           do fear it
               light on me
           madness is it
access to me.


Three: Sleep

The truth it            should it think
Do you believe            in fate, I
wish it may

                    There are holes
many a day
in my head       waiting to be            how receive them
like my grandmother       "where is he?"
there my lord
"last year he—"            and each time

(o my lord)       it was new       until she forgot
                     he was gone

means your lordship
maybe he wasn't            more truthful this:
than with honesty
me believe so
I saw him       grab his heart
reach out, fall

the more deceived       I was asleep
home, my lord       the same farmhouse
except for he
           your sweet heavens
was already gone
           powers, restore him
I was asleep       then they told
I thought please
what I see
           be a dream.


Four: Paint a black hole on the floor

When we start to forget, at the end
of our time. Don't cry, pet: if I remember
everything, I will live over, maybe
a little backwards, again.

that the patients will not pass
because infinite, bottomless, forever
like cows, their eyes slide past

the seal on her chest, she wore it
for him, and the calendar is now somewhere
down to their wedding day running

away tomorrow night, his scratch
her window is open the way a tooth
that's missing will gape where a soul

has located itself on the floor, in front
of her door through which enters
her grandson, strained with weight lifting,

calcium, a neurotic avoidance of aluminum
pots and pans, on the night's breeze
like two wedding dress sleeves, chiffon

the curtains call to her the nurse forgets
to shut the window she was planning to
tonight, or was it last night if she waits

he will come, will he come through the door
again the way that he can step
over the abyss, the sucking trap

in front of all the exits, she has seen him
step right over it his shoulders broad like a god
broader than ever, a mark to save her

from wandering alone if only
mad, fierce burning anger because he is late
from work and the morning's remainders

have been sitting here all day, where has his
soul located itself in this world, that he looks
so young, who is that woman he brings,

laughing mouth open crimson like a reminder
when she cut her hair, long beautiful hair
was it last week, holds palm up to chin reassured

short and they say, "his chair" and every
forgotten birthday comes to mind, these days
when left alone for eclipses, eons between

as wide as the ocean, atlantic, a train ride to
jersey where one day he promised
a vacation, so that she will take care of herself

the peonies are blooming but wasn't it her birthday
yesterday all these cards, they can't help
and the calendar, always wrong, too many

occasions, titles too many, when they change
decorations but lights are always up, like
christmas and all those touchstones, gone.


Five: The kind of man my father is

Three: attached towel to shoulders, flew bike
off porch. Tried it twice.

Eighteen: went to prom with the same girl
that he would marry.

Thirty-three: buried father, dead of heart attack.

Thirty-eight: told ten year-old daughter and nine year-old
If I ever get like her, I don't want to live like that. I'll go out
      into the back woods and shoot myself.

Share on Facebook
Tweet about this Piece

see other pieces by this author

Poor Mojo's Tip Jar:

The Next Poetry piece (from Issue #179):

When My Friends Come Around
(a song)

by Matt Schneider

The Last few Poetry pieces (from Issues #177 thru #173):

(a song)

by Matt Schneider

Here's To The Gash That Never Heals
(a PMjA Uncovered Classic)

by Emily Dickinson

While I Was Fearing It, It Came
by Emily Dickinson

The Lilies
by Jonathan Hayes

My Buddy or First Night Out
by Greg Rutter

Poetry Archives

Contact Us

Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson

More Copyright Info