Thursday, January 26, 2017

Backdraft

Oh no, not the dark wood again.
I thought the last time was the last time--
two marriages, two divorces, and the big one,
the heart-stopper, anyone walking by knowing
how we'd love like never before,  
cocooned for more than a year,
my son saying I was the happiest he'd ever seen.
Yet somehow it was fucked all to hell.
Then another year of searing grief,
till finally only embers of anguish
watching all of us become old or dead,
writing, painting, letting my hair blaze white.
And then, god-damn-son-of-a-bitch,
again the dark wood.
Guardian of the Abyss hovering above
like a gold flame to incinerate what's left of my life, 
showing me a burning hell with skulls of men
who counted and countless men who didn't count.
That path's a hot zone.
The two ghosts on the right? Parents. 
And that sulfurous puddle beneath them?
I've tried to melt those ghouls with every pitch
in the Therapists' Unique & Wonderful Catalog of Cures,
but so far I've only disappeared
my mother up to her knees,
my father to his you-know-what,
their arms still tight across their chests
in the universal posture of NO.
On the left, what remains
of the family tree. Kind of bare.
But there's water and blue sky
where I'm headed,
so no bail-out, here I go
with my firefighting apparatus
to control the burn,
find the opening cones,
disperse seeds, restore the trees.
And fuck yeah, I'm crazy enough
to bump back again.     


Oh hell, here's that dark wood again, by Mary Bast

(Ekphrastic poem inspired by my ekphrastic painting above, which was inspired by Kim Addonizio's poem Divine)


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