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“Robin” – Painting by Melanie Sinclair, 2002

 

Well, it wasn’t entirely a covert poetry operation. I posted these over the course of April on Twitter @spiritrockssexy.  These micropoems represent my first real foray into approaching the grief poems and songs I’ve held inside me for way too long. I have been allowing myself to feel quietly torn apart over the last several weeks, and that is mostly a good and healing thing.

Some of the poetic tweets I wrote this month will never make it beyond scribbles in my journal.  Here are a few I feel like sharing.

 

If I sit far from the antique aqua phone stand- taut, alert, and newsless-
would that cordless messenger still declare you gone?

 

He’d promised his sex elsewhere.
I pressed into the riverside, coke bottle shard curses flying –
a Zen garden traced, then erased

 

gruff face jumps at mirror
eyes still rise to clever, round frames, oh god I am startled
you are dead
Why do I wear this T-shirt?

 

Fingertip kiss, back of my neck one brush, not captured.
I am deep inside the broken notes.
Somewhere you remember, but not here.

 

dreaming dark chocolate summer, first baby breath wakes-
easy to forget lives not lived, just tongue on tongue
on heartbeat sweat

 

What remains:

the OCD suitcase
black briefs
that burned out aqua vibrator
one remorseful voicemail
and a few rocking tales of woe

 

C’mon, Shame. Decade-old vomit wants out –
with the bean burrito mash and the failure to thrive.
Make your nauseous warmth count.

 

The first no, first fracture, lover’s glow’s first dimming,
lips kiss back to task and pattern,
now we clutch desperate, unmasked

Warren Zevon

I’ve known this for a very long time.  I’ve even told a few people, but it didn’t really prompt me to take much action on it.  To my credit, it’s hard to know where to start on a grieving project, which is what I feel like I have in front of me.  So I suppose I put it on my Virgo to-do list, as if it is something I can tackle like organizing the basement (I’ve been notoriously slow on that, too).

Anyway, here’s the thing: I never really fully grieved when Warren Zevon died.  Yes, I cried.  Yes, I talked about it, and still do in comfortable contexts.  I’ve written about it a little.  But I also compartmentalized it – put it away in some corner of my brain where I could access it nominally and even feel sadness, without having to really walk through the fire.  This has done a lot to block my movement through the other huge losses over the past decade.  I believe it’s done damage to my ability and desire to write.  I don’t know how deeply it’s worked to obscure my ability to be effective in life overall.  I wonder what it’s done to my accessibility as an authentic, flesh and blood friend and lover and seeker of Spirit.  I’ve got to write through tremendous grief build-up to get to the other side of Emotional Rehab Mountain.

It has been exactly 10 years today that I received the call from my dear friend Nancey:

“He passed.”

Those were the only words she needed to say for me to understand immediately.  I’m glad I heard it from her, one who really, really got the essence of this man & his music.  Last night, she was the one to remind me of the anniversary.  Earlier this year, I’d thought a lot about the looming date, but filed that away too, leaving it to wait in line with the process of grieving itself.

I had the amazing luck or karma or whatever to grow up to actually get to know this intense and brilliant man whom I idolized since I was 12.  There is just as much rich life-stuff in knowing and understanding and learning from the letting go.  It’s just not the easy part.

Back when I was allowing myself to remember the date, I gave some thought to what to do about this 10th anniversary.  I tried to push myself to write some major article or even a book with stories of WZ as a major factor.  One of the things he encouraged me to do is to journal daily.  I’ve hardly lived up to that.  The best way I can pay respects today is to start to remedy the reasons why.  Ready or not, it’s finally happening.

http://www.robinrenee.com

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