Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It was always a box

I was the box back then.
That was before the door
Opened and the box blew up
And the present began
Running like a river without
Gentle bends past groves of
Apple trees in late summer
When the fruit bulged
In wind singing branches.
Thereafter sagging, the fruit
Grew oversweet and browning
Fell in soft plops on brittle
Dry grass above rocky banks.

Little bare feet that ran so
Harmlessly, that shot the sky
With fingered guns and
Laughed among the place between
Dung and dirt and bird filled skies,
That carried the triumphs and sorrows
Of the smallest things
Without knowing any largeness

Or the Emperor’s strange need
For bright swimming fishes or
Dark heart weaning from mother’s
Milk before the portent toothing
Of inflamed gums in moist
Motion of thunder clouds
Imminent of the richly deserved
To him who would get it
Like everything else
In much different ways
Then those thing are usually
No matter how inevitable.

Those things which fly out
From the box so fast
They can’t be caught
And spread themselves around so
That they will not be gathered,
Cannot be separated from the
Rest of everything, some which
Is normal and some which is not,
But can’t be told immediately
From the things they otherwise
Look like because everything
Looks pretty much the same
From the outside.

Do you hear me
At the certain age of a child
The child is no longer a child.
Does the time tell you lies
About the present?
And merry Christmas may
It wrap you with gaudy glint
And whisper absurdly
Get back Loretta
Glad ribbon lessons in
Delayed possession
Which is the nature of history
Which is where I am at.

Beyond the box
I am human but not
Like I wanted, I am
History but not the kind
I want to read or write.
My imagination is not
What I imagined and
I continually must redefine
What happiness is by
Looking at my own
Surprising happiness
Made up of dreams
So strange they must have
Belonged to someone else.

Where did today come from?
It is as if my tomorrow
And somebody’s else got
Mixed up and our
Lunchboxes got switched
And I was expecting a
Sandwich and I opened it up
To find what I am eating
Is not what I packed.

Do you want to know where
My father is? My mom
Can’t remember and thinks
It is because she has forgotten
The moment her box blew up
And life slipped past
Childhood dreams that
Kept us from being sleepless
Although they never allowed us
To fully be awake.
Now my dreams are like
My lunch (somebody else’s)
And I can’t guess what kind
Of me would have possibly
Wanted to dream them
Just like one day when
My father turned out to be
Somebody else.

Oh brave new world
That has such creatures in it.


Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Brave you for daring to be what you didn't want to be, but learning to like yourself anyway, after all anyone elses lunch looks better than your own it is just ownership that makes you pick at it. If someone else arrived with that same lunch, with that same you you would be telling them how wonderful it was in a trice.

Happy new year Russel

Russell Ragsdale said...

Growing up, it seems to me, is all about discovering we are not really mom and dad's sweet dreams but more corectly Pandora's box. As you so aptly observed, that is when we can make the decision about how we feel about Naked Lunch. If you read The Lives of the Twelve Ceasars (Suetonius) you find out about the perverted things Tiberius did with children. One would expect they would be damaged for life. Although Suetonius latter tells us that one of them managed to overcome his experiences to actually become an Emperor himself in adult life. Outside of the extreme examples from Tiberius' pedophilia, we can look at the more normal process of ourselves and our parents and see that there was a whole lot of illusion going on there. After knowing that, we can start making decisions based on more accurate information. Still, I find a lot of mystery and illusion here which is why I come back to this subject often.

NicoleBraganza said...

There is a definite realism about this piece. It's certainly well written and it has a sort of a nice flow when read aloud.

Cocaine Jesus said...

Happy New Year Russell.

Into epic poems now are we. Nice feel to this one. Like a river running. Brave of you to chose such an akward subject to write about.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Nicole! Great to get a visit from you and some nice words too! This kind of poetry always and only hopes to succeds when it has that flowing rhythm, it seems.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks CJ! Happy New Year to you too! I get in this kind of a poetic mood every now and again. It usually takes at least a couple of weeks to sort out one of these behemoths to the point where one might read it. You are right about this being an akward subject but I think it represents something real in the minds of mature folks.

Shubhodeep said...

An enchanting piece!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Shubhodeep! Enchantment is a big word for magic and magic means sometihing unusual happened when you read this. Therefore I'm glad you did. (It doesn't matter to me that I am out of range with the immaterial issues of the various definitons of something unusual.)

Amit Gaur said...

My favourite lines -
Looking at my own
Surprising happiness
Made up of dreams
So strange they must have
Belonged to someone else.
gr8 going ...

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks amit gaur! Glad you droped by for a read and found some favorites here!

oXana said...

Happy New Year, dear Russell!

I'm happy to see your Muse stays with you... as well - old and new friends/fans of your poetry.

Wish you many blessings in 2006.


Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks oXana! Great to see you again and Happy New Year to you too, my sweet. May you have blessings beyond count!