Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Poetry Month - Day 13: Bernadette Mayer (The Return)

I came across this the other day, and not only is it a good poem, but the date fits.


a clear cold sunny day, beautiful to some,
horrible to others. we're making maple
syrup again, smoke is rising from the evaporator,
it's hearty, everytime i begin to do something
something else intervenes, i wouldn't even think this
if i weren't in the mood to have the thought.
bernadette mayer, in a rush to put down her
weird thoughts, like everybody tells her to,
writes down too much, only a fraction of which is
even ever read because she is so disorganized,
plus she has had a brain hemorrhage, rendering her
even more mixed up in her constant thinking,
and she has lost the fine motor coordination
in her right hand - she can't handwrite, she has
to cook the chicken liver while phil is not in
the kitchen. at the moment her left knee is
so fucked she can barely walk, making the long
bushwhacking walks in the country that were able
to salvage her sanity, impossible. she tries
to do what others suggest but now she just plods on.
it's the last straw, hobbling from room to room,
hoping for change. she is lost but has no choice
she can't attempt suicide again for fear of failing.
she will cook the liver. she also cooks two pierogi,
eats them & sits in the sun

from Scarlet Tanager (New Directions, 2005)

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