MERCURY STUCK ON HIGH

Poems or fiction are not always strictly autobiographical. They are not videos of one’s life caught on the corner surveillance cameras from all available angles. They often more resemble mosaics that you may need to struggle a bit to make out just what the image is. Those who put them together more likely collect pieces of themselves, what they go/have gone through, but also things they’ve experienced vicariously, or dreamed about (with eyes open or closed), or wished or snatched from thin air.

For example, I’m big on picking out a word or line from some song I’m hearing, or from the news, and twisting it and weaving it with stuff from my own consciousness and what surrounds me…and it’s fun to take a ‘building block’ like this and make it the keystone of something, trying to get it to all stand up as something ‘eye-catching’ and memorable, and not fall over. With poems it’s often more about the ‘mood’ that you want to create, how the words will flow and what the rhythm will be, and striving to get things to come together like they never have just quite like this before by anyone else. I always read them aloud myself, to see what kind of life it has off the page, and will make adjustments as a result of these ‘test drives’.

In this case, I’d been hearing all the hurricane chatter all over the news and have remembered movies showing the sticky, temper provoking effects of high heat and humidity. Rather than the smashing that comes from high winds on the open shores…it concentrates on the swirling emotions in an enclosed space. Not quite a Seattle poem, even though it was written here and has threads of my existence winding through it.

This is as best as I can explain the mysterious process. As I’ve said before, there is some sweating that goes on, some scratching of the head, some breathing a sigh of relief and smiling with satisfaction, some sense of wonder, some hammering and whittling away at it, some frustration and leaving it and coming back several times, some holding it up to the light and turning it every which way. And it can happen at any time so I need to have radar up and the proverbial door propped wide open. Even with a hurricane coming.

MERCURY STUCK ON HIGH
It is that season
When we are not getting along at all
This comes and goes
Despite the beauty of the woods
And all they hide
just a stone’s throw away
from this spot
Always reminding us of Eden
And my childhood bliss
from listening to fables
Maybe the mercury rising makes it worse
The sun is barbed and unforgiving
And how the neighbors only annoy
And lack any redeeming characteristics
whatsoever
Which is unfortunate and no exaggeration
and there’s no way out of this
That alone keeps it tense
Our clothes stick to us too
and insects are on the warpath
While we are banging things here and there
would-be evidence of just how busy we are
but accomplishing nothing
to keep from facing the problem
The elephant lurking
in the room
that’s impossible to ignore or shoo away
But we keep trying anyway
There is a giant silence between us
The air is still
like the eye of a hurricane about which they keep
either waxing poetic or provoking dread
on the TV that raised us
and gives off even more heat
within this tight space
We know the calm won’t last long
and we so fear what destruction
is bearing down on all we are.

9.2.19

2 comments

  1. Just watched Twilight Zone episode , 1961’s “The Midnight Sun”, written by Rod Serling. Always one of my favorites and a quite intense 30 minutes . And a story for right now.

    Like

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