Why had she come to me? Who was her red-haired mother? Was she cuddling in a blanket in a cold October night beneath an orange sky? Or was she huddling in a shell amid the algae, amphibiously breathing, at the bottom of an orange sea?
Why had she come to me? I seemed to know a lot about her. I knew she had a talent for calligraphy and couldn’t stand the sound of people chewing. She had an aptitude for algebra: its wyes and exes were alive to her. She laughed
at anything that moved. She had a predilection for ignoble men. She liked to tell you you were right, and then say you were right again. She wasn’t ever sure when to say when. Why had she come to me? Why did I sense her sigh – soft in the orange sky –
or underwater – meant she had come to tell me that she was my daughter? No way, my dear. I’m gay, my dear. Yet still, it seemed, her provenance was clear. My child? Dreams at Halloween: more wistful, strangely mild – than terrible, or wild.
Fragmented, consumed by night, this vision doesn’t come in peace, but pieces – radiating bands of blood and bruising blue compete with – lose against – a flood – immensity – of black; it’s hard to track the pink remains of face, whose eyes – always the eyes! –
might offer symphonies of sense, or even grace – or be so dense and out of place and reach, there’s little you can think to do to breach the distance: his mouth is almost gone: right cheek and jaw lost to whatever creeping law determines an obliteration – whatever
mass of an abyss seems randomly to want to swallow this: yet still you want to follow this: experience the final kiss. Existence is and isn’t, was and wasn’t. Everything persists until it doesn’t. Lah-di-dah-di-dah-di-day. Let tubas, tympani and violins come out to play.
A dream escaped again. Whatever it had just devolved into the mixing and the draining of – whirling bits of algebra, illicit lust and grandma’s withheld love – it seemed, according to its ever-unknown scheme,
to have achieved whatever it decided it should do – quick-slipped and slicked right out of you back to wherever dreams go on.
One wonders if they also undergo the dusk, deep night and dawn they make us voyage through. Perhaps they are a cosmic psychical contagion passing through: infecting us
with blurry hope and rue. Perhaps they are a kind of glue. Perhaps without them we’d evaporate from view. Rather like they do.
She ministers to shimmering unlikelihoods, persuading them to congregate and conjugate and play – she gathers all-but-slaughtered colors so abused by notions of il faut they’d long ago forgotten where to go – she gives the great grand quantity of the ejected
some experience, not of the stodgy condescension of respect, but of the gladder gallantry of no-holds-barred affection – baking in the sexual contextual expression of Imagination’s oven: seducing, just by introducing any rank unpalatability to any other –
to permit another coalesced impossibility a swooning entrance to the coven which, as witch, she rules. She remonstrates against unquestioned tastes and vindicates most fools. She wears embarrassments like jewels. I’d like to let her loose in schools.
All day naughty adjectives come by! Makes me want to cry. “Let me show you how I’d modify – believe me, sweetz, I qualify,” one simpered, aiming each blue-shadowed eye
straight at the spots it knew I craved to satisfy: the swelling blankness that afflicts my bare nouns, naked predicates. “Add an L-Y, honey, and I’ll be an adverb – on the sly.” Eyed my fly. Naughty adjectives aren't shy.
Next time you feel the urge to get up out of bed, turn on the light, and sing, go ahead and do the thing. Behind you, find your secret Uncle Otto, impresario! – hungry for the chance! – song-and-dance-man invoked to stoke you up to boogie down: the clown who cannot wait
to set you prancing through the gate: feel him imploring in back of you, to crack it open, crank it up – kick your doubt and wail it out, whack it – with a wide vibrato. Do it till you’re blotto.
She had alarming predilections: finger-painted walls in fuller lurid tints than even her peculiar skin evinced, with its disturbing range of violets and pinks and blues: she was a grand mélange of coalescing perturbations, swarming hues: visited by strangers,
labeled strumpet, grew her hair into a trumpet into which entire souls divulged their vagrant fears: her hidden ear took in the whole of everything: she was the creature to confess to – to profess to – to lay out the spread, and picnic on it with you until both of you were fed.
Sprouting slowly up in browns, dull greens and blues and purples, stricken by a sudden superfluity of hopelessness, your own dark case – some base experiment your mind had thought to wield upon itself –
from which the whole of you now can’t retreat – odd! – goosed, released into the atmosphere by joy – wherein you had remembered how he’d run across a loud Manhattan street all goofy-limbed and toothy, roaring,
soaring awkwardly when he was probably eleven, ten – a boy: and how this vast deliciousness had proved he’d really lived. And how the memory had severed, sieved from its progenitor, long dead, into the head
of someone – you – who now remembered for him – echoing, vicarious, alone. One brother breathes, another died. Slippery, this silent ride: to languish in this anguish, take its measure. The greatest secret is the pleasure.
I write roughly one poem a day. This blog is a continuation of a series of poem depot websites I'd also had through google, but which seem now to have filled up with my stuff to the point where I can't edit or add another page.
So here I am. Since April 1, 2009 I've been adding drawings, one a day. To see them fuller size left-click on the drawing - and voila.
To get an idea of who I am, google on "Guy Kettelhack."
To see poems I've written previous to the ones in this poem depot, google on Guy Kettelhack + Act 2 (or just Guy Kettelhack + poetry): for kind unsolicited observations about my work by photographer Rick Shupper: google Guy Kettelhack + Holtermann Design LLC. (I'd provide links but they don't seem to stick here.)
thanks for stopping by.