Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Too Much of the Dead

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Too much of the dead—their chipped knick-
knacks in boxes, drawers full of
promises to clog the heart. Closets keep their smell.
They come in dreams with partial messages,
words I waking can't quite decipher but

they color daylight. Petroglyphs, leather volumes
in languages I no longer understand—
extinct, irrelevant. Old letters naming aunts
I never heard of, or wasn't paying attention. They
keep accumulating headstones, historical

markers. Last night my dead mother stepped out of
the moon. “I'm more alive than you
this world y cant imagine. The whiskits are making
ruuhm”—no, of course I got that wrong
waking. And her strange accent, “Ur feet tu hevvy,

arms full of broke things. Brokn children.”
Lugging my earth its cupboards of grandmother
china. Standing on shore while
storm-winds unfurl their scarves and sail.
My breath gets in the way.


So. Here I sit, translated to Diamond Springs, surrounded by boxes. This move, I've winnowed out much of the Dead Relatives (is that a rock group?), selling off their china and tossing what was chipped, but it still seems like 'way too much to be lugging around. How in the hell did I ever acquire all these books???

But thanks for your patience, and we'll gradually get back on track this week. Write to me about Dead Relatives, or Katy's blackbird, or whatever suits your pen. And our Form to Fiddle With is Free Verse. Yes, it's a form. Does it have rules? You bet your Dead Relative... (Check out Poets.org's Free Verse Project at www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/541.)