Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Joseph Lisowski writes



I am ill beyond means.
It is hard to accept
that I should go on.
I have no resolve.
I believe she lives
in the light of God's love, but oh,
I am so bereft.

If I could only forget myself,
or eliminate the sting . . . .
But time is a tireless curse,
and weakness is what it brings.


I am weak, superfluous,
like an oleander leaf
too long in drought.
I am beaten by longing,
limp by neglect,
yet still hang on.
A leaf that knows no fall.

This Caribbean desert endures.
Occasional roaming bands
of cold wind maraud
and shake its stem.
Rain comes quick, heavy,
at times swelling the soil,
stiffening the branch.
There's promise for a while,
a strutting of vibrant color.

What a delusion it is
that time lasts forever. 
What a lie we mouth
when it doesn't.


It is not this
I need to say
but something that will burn
off the page, that will flame
spontaneous, final:
a daughter dead,
a family gone.

Voice is one betrayal,
all mischief but worse:
what I say denies,
gives lie to how I lived,
how I see, feel
others lie. It's all
one necessity.

So, it's not this
I want to say.
No word can resurrect
a child that's dead.
No word can cure
a curse no words have made.


A good night's sleep at last.
First Florazepam then Prozac.
What does this have to do
with uncovering truth, curing grief?
It's hard now to care but I still know
something is on the other side.
Every cell falls limp, floats behind my skin.
I slowly walk from room to room,
take more pills and sleep again.


Something is being left out,
something denied.
I lose the edge
that sharpens words.
No strong feeling demands
attention. All seems even,
a life in lotus eater land.

I am ashamed
it has come to this.


This morning my psychiatrist seemed
distracted, unfocused.  He drifted
in and out of my revelations.

The drugs he prescribed for me,
I suspect, are ones he's long been taking.


With medication
thoughts become bent nails.
Nothing drives through,
makes a bind.
Hammer only glances,
bends them more.
The mind nods.
It's like wax dripping
on a finger.  First
a warm caress, then a cooling--
stiff, immobile, set to crack.

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