Storyteller

NYC balconies. Photo: author

Photo: author

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Storyteller

Some tales tell themselves

In the punctuation and paragraphs

Of our lives

.

They shy on our tongues

And in the shinings and closings

Of our eyes

.

They float on our breath

They’re the residue our tears

Leave behind

.

From decibels of voice

Foot-pounds of fist power

Bents and twists of lust and gluttony

They wright a new DNA

Scrawled on sheets and walls

And furniture

And toys

.

Each strand a mystery

Which in only our inky blood

Is solved

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©2013 Jason Anderson

Twister

Storm over Providence, RI, 2008

Severe storm over Providence, RI, 2008 (author)

Twister

There are people who have never met a tornado, who don’t or won’t

believe tornadoes exist — though they’ve seen a wall turn shrapnel

windows break and bannisters contort themselves

homes of decades suddenly vanish to the last nail

when the ceiling turns sky they see no

variation in shades of green and black

the sky today, the sky yesterday —

our mattress is in the closet

how’d it get there

just move it back

I guess we’ll

never

know

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©2013 Jason Anderson

Rookie Mistakes

Pawtucket Red Sox against Buffalo, 2010

Photo: author

It’s a night off from poetry, and in its place something almost unheard of from me: a post about my life.

As background, over the past six months just about every area of my life turned inside out, upside down or was otherwise upset. It’s mind-boggling how thorough the upheaval has been. That’s mainly part of another story, a Long Story, which I’ve all but promised to tell soon. Yeah, I’m cagey like that. Sorry. Suffice it to say I’m tired, I’m a little panicky and I might be prone to making highly visible rookie mistakes in the exact places I most shouldn’t.

Today, as part my Upheaval Response Plan, I applied for a job for the first time in seven years. It’s a great fit for my skills and background, it’s just up the road, and I know several people who are very happily employed by this organization. They say it’s a great place to work.

Like I said, my background and skills are a perfect match, and I whipped up a flawless letter to cover my solid resume. As I clicked that button that sent my application whooshing magically to the hiring manager’s desktop, I was feeling pretty good. Four minutes later I wasn’t feeling so hot anymore.

I spelled the company’s name wrong.

Not somewhere inconspicuous, either — I did it right out front, in the address section of the cover letter. Yeah, there.

Did I mention the job involves ensuring printed materials adhere to corporate standards? Proofreading, too.

I can only hope it goes unnoticed until the hiring manager has read the letter, my resume and the application, because they really are pretty good. I used to screen and interview candidates for similar work, and honestly if I had a nice healthy stack of applications on my desk, and one of the applicants did what I just did, I wouldn’t read any further. That was essentially company policy. And maybe it disqualifies some terrific candidates who just made a stupid mistake in highly visible real estate (moi), but for Pete’s sake. It’s the name. of. the. company.

I’d love to interview for this job, but if that’s meant to be, it’ll be. At least one thing is certain: I’ll always triple check the name of the company I’m applying to from now on. I might get my name wrong, but not theirs!

And I have faith deep in my heart that this and everything else is and will be ok, however it all decides to work out. I just wish I could convince my brain.

Crossroads

Father and son fishermen, Fort Adams, Newport RI

Photo: author (2003)

I’ve been dealing with some personal issues the last day or so, so I’m throwing an older poem into the mix. I wrote this ten years ago according to the date in the notebook (October, 2003), which means it was one of the first I ever attempted. Coincidentally, I also took the accompanying photo in October, 2003.

.

Crossroads

What’s left now

The deeds all done?

I could redo them

One by one

.

Or turn away

And think again

Before tomorrow

Turns into then

.

And begin to feel

Accept the sorrow

And the rage

I fight to swallow

.

Dim the lights on

Revenge’s stage

And step beyond

That costly play

.

Into a world

Where love surrounds

The faults of men

And grace abounds

.

Abandon hate

And precious shame

To win my soul

Back again

.

Write not of bitterness—

Leave untold

Any base story

That creates me unwhole

.

And look within

To the morning

Of the heart’s

Incomparable glory

.

Let time’s spring

Thaw nature’s art

And simple peace

Rejoin apart.

.

©2013 Jason Anderson

Laureate

Leighton | Icarus and Daedalus | 1869

Leighton | Icarus and Daedalus | 1869

Since the last poem was itty-bitty, and I missed a day or two posting (if it’s three please don’t tell me), here’s one more for tonight. This one actually rhymes! It’s dedicated to the man outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan in December, 2001, who informed me I’d missed my calling as a poet and helped re-start my journey in writing. I forgive you, sir. 😉

.

Laureate

Have you seen this poet write?

It’s a ghastly, tortuous sight

If poets are made of ashes and sweat

Already he should be a laureate

He devours the endless words of masters

Those fond of black, and blue and alabaster

Fingertips as calloused painfully

As his heart rends itself not to be

A collector of candle stubs

And pencil nubs; late at night he rubs

His eyes until they’re red and bleary

He’s seldom rested, often weary

And like some solitary animal nested

Introspective and invested

In what is real inside his mind

(What he makes he thinks he finds)

Like Icarus he soars too high

Comes crashing down the sky

Onto his bed for hours prone

A heap of flesh, sinew and bone

Human again, but before long

Nothing can drown out the siren song

That must again puppet his limbs

And compel from him inspired hymns

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©2013 Jason Anderson

Sirius

Position_Alpha_Cma

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Sirius

This dusky half-life of the soul

Creeps again across my sky

And there is but a solitary star

To keep company

The whole of the night.

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©2013 Jason Anderson

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Death March

There’s something I’ve been dealing with lately about which I can think of one hundred reasons to keep my mouth shut, and only two to speak up: because I need to, and because someone, somewhere might need me too. I’m amazed how difficult it is sometimes to honor those two reasons, even though often when I take the risk someone responds: “me too.”

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Death March

Me too.

When I confide, finally

With great trepidation –

What will he think?

That I’m broken?

Damaged goods?

Will she think I’m tainted?

Marked?

Will they stay or go? –

So often comes the answer

I’m least expecting:

Me too.

Me too.

My God, who are all these people

Beating us,

Raping us

Leaving us by the roadside

Of silent death

Listening to the passing footfalls

Of comrades

Lovers

Brothers and sisters

Mortal enemies

And friends?

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©2013 Jason Anderson