Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Vivid Memory from when I ran away.

Leaning on the window of a moving bus, so many times I remember  waiting for night, and waiting to leave the city and the station. I travelled east and west for days without a plan and without a single opinion, letting strangers carve out the hollowness I would later feel in the evening silhouette of mountains and evergreens, letting that hollowness become me, and it is still with me. Those peoples' eccentricities forced on me like I had just joined a club the rest of humanity had for so long bitterly been a part of. Their conversations and inquiries, scents, and destinations taught me that everyone is alone when they're not children anymore.  We are only each others' broken mirrors. I remember that vibrating cool glass against my cheek and cross-country landscapes lulling me to sleep. I dreamt of nothing and always woke up to a dream state.  What was I doing? Where was I going? Who were these impersonal faces?      

The Seventeen Year Old Poet Who Died

About a year ago, I found a little book of poetry in the bookstore at the Mead Public Library. It was the kind you know is a copy of about a hundred or two-hundred. Castle Mount, by Matt Deeley. I opened to a random page to see if it sounded like a middle-aged woman ranting, but instead I found words I could relate to, but never yet had. True poetry. I flipped back to the introduction, written by Matt's freshman English teacher. The first line read, "What can you say about a 17-year-old poet who dies?" A summary of his life followed, describing Matt as quiet, dark, frantic, etc. What a task it must have been to describe a person who so dazzlingly presented himself through his own poetry. Apparently he died back in the seventies, and after searching through many newspaper archives and trying to look up his old English teacher, I learned that Matt had died from an overdose of anti-depressants. It's amazing how easily one life can disappear, despite how devoted it was to creating lasting art. There is still no trace of Castle Mount on the web, nor of anything regarding Matt Deeley's life in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. I'd like to post some of his poetry here. I hope that one day it will spread and get the recognition it deserves.

Here are three favorites:


Evergreen icicles melt on my tongue
i caress the chairs i sit in
i burn like silence in the night
and silent nights destroy me just as they destroy the day
i disappear into the dog-eared pages of my mind
buried in memory i die each dawn
to be reborn each sunset

sitting by dream seas
i sing to emptiness
and emptiness sings back to me
i talk to vagabonds and kings
no one else can see

buried in memory i die
to be reborn

god bless my portrait
and my poems.

Hymn to Sacrilegious Beauty

loveliness drips from your face as you sit
     bent up in your most poetic pose on cloud nine
in the seventh heaven
(god visits the land of love)

my dear steaming beauty
has suddenly emptied out
and sprawled upon the floor
the jewels of her eyes are roaming
and suddenly i fear
her not being here

she sits in her most poetic pose consuming the room
laying waste to the wasteland of depression
and i say
i see you in the night
a breeze-a gasping light
whispering  singing

she sits in her most poetic pose on cloud nine beside me
because of her i miss the symphony

(my room shines with your light even in the dark
with a ribbon round my head
i will turn off the lamp and read a book)


how wonderful! you fear for my life
but you should know
        life is death
             and death is life
and the mysteries
of the unknown empires of quietus
offer more
than life can hold in its hand

I'll be posting a pdf of the entire book soon.