Friday, June 5, 2015


How to talk about it.  Grief.
How to share, or not.
How to complain, fear,
want to live or die,
go on or not.

Jesus was deeply moved when he saw them grieve Lazarus.
He wept.  He came.  He was no stranger.
Even Job had advisers, albeit bad ones, to wail to.

Someone wrote this.  I think it applies in a way.

With unshaven face half concealed in the collar
of some deceased porcine philanthropist's
black cashmere rag of a coat,
I knew that I looked like a suicide
returning an overdue book to the library.
Almost everyone else did as well,
but I found no particular solace in this;
at best, the fact awakened some diverting speculations
on the comparative benefits
of waiting in front of a ditch to be shot
alone or in the company
of others, and then whether one would prefer
these last hypothetical others
to be friends, family, enemies, total
or relative strangers. Would you hold hands?
Or would you rather like a good Homo sapiens
monster employ them
to cover your genitals?
What percentage would lose bowel control?
And given time restrictions —
and assuming some still had the ability to move —
would ostracism result? Anyway,
I knew the rules on this bus.
No eye contact: the eyes of the terrified
terrify. Look
like you know where you're going,
possess ample change to get there,
and don't move your lips when you talk
to yourself: the destroyed
and sick, the poor, the hungry
and the disturbed estrange.
The badly dressed estrange, even,
and that is uncalled for. The degree
of one's power to estrange will increase
in direct proportion to the depth
of need for others. Do not cry.
This can only bring about, on the one hand,
an instant condition of banishment
from the sole available companionship or,
on the other, a near-
fatal beating (one more disappointment).
Just follow the simple instruction
if you ever come here.
It's easy to remember — any idiot can do it.
Don't cry,
the world has abandoned us.
~ Franz Wright


Kathie Sutherland said...

This is very power poetry. My heart hurts when I read it. Is this empathy, recognition, speaking to me clearly in the way poetry does. Thank you.

Brigitte said...

How do you speak about the unspeakable? It can be attempted, but surely I will cry.