Remembering how I used to exchange poems with strangers. This is from a college student, November 1994.
mark, haven't seen you around in awhile :( i'm hoping that sometime you will send me another poem or a story or something, i really liked the first one. here is something i wrote about a year or so ago. I stand alone and you're in a crowd laughing, laughing and dancing with the flowers that scent the wind I mourn in the mist in my circle of black candles burning, stars collapsing over my head My green eyes glow from this surrounding gray, piercing your soul, emerald pools swirling with meaning as they go liquid on me once again Standing on a cliff, the waves crashing an eternity below all frothy I contemplate the beauty and aching wrenching power of the ocean which cares not a wit for us- petty symbolic rulers of the earth And you remain on the beach picnicking with the friends, glancing up every now and then to see if I'm still here- which I always am Seeing the sunradiate around you as a god your blond soft hair glowing before my eyes Standing by the kitchen sink I listen to you and the boys screaming as the Giants score another touchdown, and I wonder vaguely how they are giants when they are nothing The shabbiness of this place forces itself on my senses, ambushing me without preparation- peeling wallpaper, stained linoleum, the stale smell of old beer Every detail of this moment is branded into the soft tissues of my brain steady hum of the refrigerator the blaring of the TV from the front room I hear you holler for more drinks so i bring you a 6-pack and hope the game will be over soon I return to the kitchen and pick up the knife with which I've been peeling the carrots Its glinging silver, caught in the drab sunlight filtered by grungy curtains, catches my attention, and I hold and caress it In all this ugliness and barreness, the knife is clean, and beautiful Slowly I look up at the black & white photograph hanging on the wall from a nail and some wire The beautiful young face stares back at me with all the hope of innocence and I shudder at what she has become, suffering a painful gradual death My attention falls again on the knife clutched in my clenched fingers I turn it over in my hand, fondling it And I draw it gently over the back of my hand, staring at the narrow line that magically appears I turn my hand over and stare at the blue veins beneath mottled skin, and Casually, I care a shallow groove across my wrist, and watch the red well up to fill it a river Then again, deeper, and the red flows out of my arm cascading to the broken linoleum beneath my feet -and it is beautiful- So I do the same to the other wrist, and I press my hands together, and think-- Now I am my own blood sister... hallelujah.