The pipe burst, showering
the bathroom with scalding water.
Forcing me to flee naked into the cold.
I quickly grabbed a bathrobe,
and an old dim flashlight,
to scurry under the house,
and turn off the main valve.
Covered in mud in the dark,
I found myself looking at stars,
the blueness of the sky,
and the violet hue of sunrise,
silhouetting the mountain range.
The smell of coffee wafted outside,
as a pan faced barn owl swept by.
Tag Archives: poems
The pipe burst, showering
(This article is a work in progress. Over the next couple days I will add to this posting.)
A poem by Adrienne Rich, from her collection “The School Among the Ruins”.
To Have Written the Truth
To have spent hours stalking the whine of an insect
have smashed its body in blood on a door
then lain sleepless with rage
To have played in the ship’s orchestra crossing
the triangle route
dissonant arpeggios under cocktail clatter
to have written the truth in a lightning flash
then crushed those words in your hand
balled-up and smoking
easygoing pal of youth
leans in the doorframe
Kid, you always
took yourself so hard!
by Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich often wrote about death and the human condition. Shortly after her divorce, her husband committed suicide. During this time in her life, Rich became an outspoken feminist and anti-war activist. Yet, when I read her poems, I also feel like Rich is in someway acting like a psychologist trying to work out human pathologies.
In 2005 I was among one hundred fans crammed into a tiny bookstore in Marin, California, to listen to the 76-year-old poet rail against the “War on Terrorism” and the U.S. Government in general. In between her sharp criticism, she would read a poem or two, and then go back into her outrage with U.S. policies, covering a wide rage of issues. Yet, throughout the lecture and reading, Rich maintained a stillness and confidence which made her passionate performance not one of anger, but one of a combination of stirring intellect, honestly, and raw emotion. It was amazing how a 76-year-old woman can awaken an audience of all ages, simply with her words.
According to Poets.com:
“In 1997, she refused the National Medal of Arts, stating that “I could not accept such an award from President Clinton or this White House because the very meaning of art, as I understand it, is incompatible with the cynical politics of this administration.” She went on to say: “[Art] means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage.”"
Adrienne was the best example of a poet that lived her life believing, and proving, she could say and do anything and no one was going to hold her back. Rich was an activist, poet, and inspiration to many. RIP, Master Poet Adrienne Rich.
a heap of debris stacked
nearly five feet high.
trimmed hedges, brown leaves,
even a few pulled up weeds.
The ruins of our yard.
The clippings of old growth
sheared off love.
a little gasoline would help.
And next we knew,
Fire, Fire, Fire, Roaring
up toward the sun.
Rippling waves of heat.
Forcing us to step back
and watch our garden
turn to ash.
Ishtar was enslaved
in the fires of the underworld.
Yet the waters of life
were sprinkled upon her head
as she danced with bells
past the seven veils.
was filled with precious stones.
the apple tree blooms,
while the rose buds open,
and honey bees pirouette.
In the instrumental breeze,
in the harmony of spring,
tiny sprouts of wild grass
pop out of the ash.
And so too,
even I must ask,
Will this love outlast
I’m tattooing my body because I want to be cool.
I want to be recognized, I want to be in.
I need to connect with everyone else.
I need to identify, and find an identity.
Because I don’t know who I am,
But I know everyone that tattoos their body,
Seems to be in on the game that I’m not playing.
So, I’m spending $450 bucks to spell out,
In a nearly illegible and highly stylized,
Hoodland font, the name of my dead daughter.
Twelve years old, she died of cancer. I’m tattooing,
My face because I’m lonely and need attention.