lundi 13 avril 2009

Beneath the Surface II: Mal au monde

Easter, 2009

I'm drowning under the

weight of the whole
world out there
spinning, shouting
hooplahing and counting on
each one of us to carry his
or her own weightlessness, and I
underneath it, unfit, a pittance
a solid knock of nothingness on
hard wood, or rather on mud
on the bottom of the pond, and not
I alone, but everyone with
mal au monde, that waterborne
disease and loneliness in the
bones of these aching women in
their homes, with worms: skin flints
brigands and frauds, or whatever
they call us, the lost souls of
somatic illness, mental, psychic
call it what you will, with
no physical cause apparent in
telescopes or x-ray vision
diseases spread through
whoredom, thievery, or
just plain old bad luck, spread
like butter on warm toast and
none of us dead, no, none of
us baked or fatted up for lent
but all of us just grumbling broads
behind closed doors with no one
left to blame, no facades, no
charades, just fantasies, like light
flashes across red mountains
sleeplessness in the morning, bad
attitudes toward lost lovers and
lousy mothers but gone our
rapists and murderers, all
gone to dogs, and we at the
bottom of this waste water pond
mouthing "help" but meaning "get out"
i shudder in the frozen "o"
i cascade down whirlpools
and lie here in madness below zero
absalom absalom, but daughter
forgotten heroine of my own
swimming, invention caught
again in my throat and taking
in water like a leaking boat
as all the saints rise from the
opening earth and pass over
oceans and unite in one long
deafening cry of
loneliness and hope
we are not drowned yet
we may be forgotten but
we will not forget, and
it must be said at last that
you will not understand, for
you must lie beneath
the surface for many days
and pray for it all to go away
before the real death comes
and sweeps us from the bottom
of this sickening pond

16 commentaires:

Pisces Iscariot a dit…

This one made me grin - there's some very dark humour oozing out from between the cracks.
"none of us baked or fatted up for lent
but all of us just grumbling broads
behind closed doors with no one
left to blame"
Perhaps a reflection on my twisted outlook :)

Pris a dit… said it so well. Love this!

Stirling Davenport a dit…

God, I love this. Wow. What can I say but thank you? The oozing drip of life's experience coalescing into a pool too shallow to drown in ... this is what I would call a perfect poem. I know you probably hate that - now what will you do to follow it? But I don't care. I love it.

enudelman a dit…

Great sweeping, somber and power-laden poem, Laura, filled with unique imagery where the central theme of being buried (or oppressed) by the weight of suffering in this life, at a temporal level, is counterbalanced by the offer of release in another realm. I really like this, Laura

John Walter a dit…

Above all Laura I like your mastery of the long breath shamanic poem as jeremiad, as trojan women of the cosmos incantation, as one amongst the many, the forgotten cipher who can yet speak with the mighty bardic voice.

This is a tough act to assume, there are plenty of wannabe Ginsbergs out there, but you have not only the lungs but the eloquence to strive for power, glory and then some. I concur with both Pisces Iscariot and Edward, there´s a striking balance between the mordant cosmic humor of the oppressed who know´s she´s righteously screwed, and the solemnity of one who has the poetical historical consciousness (the riff on the Falkner title, the bukowski ´grumbling broads allusion) and firepower to back up their extravagant claims of drowning in the zeitgeist´s ¨sickening pond.´

Tour de force in an aquatic metaphorical slalom ride of absurd farce. It doesn´t get any better for a reader like myself, who likes the high dudgeon hurled from the lowest place!

¡Bravo, guapa! JFW

Anonyme a dit…

Cherie, c'était fabuleux! I love the descriptions, especially "waterborne illness," and so many others; I love the call "Absalom, Absalom..." I don't see the bleak humor, as another reader did, but I felt the deep humanity, the call from the soul, which I did not feel was a rant, but truly, a well-reasoned plea, a cry for the deserving humanity of the woman, of other women like her, to wash the polluted water from the sickening pool, and to be cleansed. A baptism of sorts, although you may not have seen it that way. I do see hope here, for there is always hope in the fight. As long as there is breath, there is a fight.
One of your best, darling! I send love --
yr. a

Moineau En France a dit…

thank you to everyone. frankly, i wasn't certain of a positive response to this poem. why? well, for one, i initially wrote it with so much bitterness. i started on friday, ending with "you will not understand", angry and unsatisfactory. i came back on sunday, inspired by pisces "easter" message, and rewrote the final third of the poem and, in retropect, several images.

so i think i found redemption, that hope you felt; but not hope in another place but hope in the "here and now" because "we will not forget": there are just too many of us "grumbling broads" breaking out of our solitary prisons. Justice, absolution, acceptance might just be for the taking. ainsi soit il.

Jan Hersh a dit…

Apre tous, la terre aura l'aube demain et une autre possibilite pour
une lumiere plus claire.
Bien ecrit. Je sens la peine entre les mots.

Moineau En France a dit…

jan, l'aude de rimbaud... elle a figuré recemment dans mon poème "house on fire"... je comprends, jan, au moins j'espère de comprendre. ce weekend était difficile, tant de douleur qui m'a fait torbillonner en descent, le vortex de la dépression. mais j'ai trouvé une graine de quelque chose, comme toujours, grace aux dieux, qq'chose de l'action. écrire un poème, ça c'est mon aube, mon espoir.

ce soir sur tv5monde (dans 30 minutes), il joueront "les enfants terribles" (1950) de cocteau. il y a toujours un film, n'est-ce pas? :>>)) je t'aime, jan.

Hazel Quinn a dit…

Goddam brilliant!! Savign and keeping this. My soul is ravaged reading it. Need to look at it a lot though....
BTW, I had a dream about you this week. You inherited money. You and Ron bought an apartment in France. I lived nearby and you were dancing madly and playing a strange organ-like instrument!{sigh}

Moineau En France a dit…

hazeyq, would that it be so. you and i know this one all too well. one day all of us rising from our beds and taking back the future! perhaps that's the first prayer... everything else is wishful thinking!

thank you for the link on your blog. and anyone who wants to know even more... well, here is haze's brilliant blog.

haze's brilliant blog

Anonyme a dit…

I feel this is written so truthfully, Laura, in your one-of-a-kind style. And I tend to agree with Andrea's comment.


moigo a dit…

Laura, this is powerful. You are a “heroine of your own swimming,” left to your own devices by a medical system that punishes docs who think out of the box. The poem captures what it is to be ghastly ill yet invisible even to those who would help, what it is to be stereotyped/character-assassinated and left without the means of defense in part due to the convenient notion that there is no research out there or the unwillingness of docs to read what is (I love your sarcasm - "no physical cause apparent in telescopes or x-ray vision"), what it is to be isolated and depressed ("sleeplessness in the morning"), what it is to be trapped in one's head with tortured memories (“bad attitudes…“) and a few life-sustaining fantasies. Coldness well depicts the ensuing state ("in madness below zero“).

I understand the desire to escape the body and the circumstance, can relate to "get out", as opposed to "help". After a point we give up on “help“ especially when seeking it can bring abuse or deep disappointment, somewhat like the invisible unemployed person, the person not included in government stats who is "not looking."

Thank you for the Easter note with a twist, the "saints" that "rise from the opening earth and pass over oceans [international struggle for justice] and unite in one long deafening cry of loneliness and hope." It brings to mind the 85th Psalm:

Truth springs up from the earth and justice looks down from heaven.


Moineau En France a dit…

brilliant critique, dear maureen, everything on the money, but how could it be otherwise? you know this illness well and it has opened your eyes to the plight of the many against the few and the ignoramuses who think they are part of that power elite. i hope others will have a chance to read this, and thank you more than i can say for taking the time to write it! it's an important critique. love to you. xoxoxox ~laura

Anonyme a dit…

I agree with John's comment regarding the "long form" that you use here and in your other works here. The verse transforms from verbs into shapes and sensations more like a sculpture created for the blind and best engaged by the sense of touch.
The frustration of somatic illness is heightened by societal prejudice and ignorance.

Thank you so much for sharing it with the world.

Moineau En France a dit…

"a sculpture created for the blind"––have i achieved that? if even beginning to approach it, the dream of this poet, i am inspired to keep striving by your comment! thank you so much. "sharing it" is my middle name. :>>)) xoxoxo