Sunday, July 25, 2010

Olive Senior Saturday
for D.B.A.

i.
earrings,
gift I've given her
hanging in-
swinging from her ears

I way over here
will I ever get near her

back to back, belly to belly
will we ever be like that


ii.
my only life I'm giving up
I'm giving away
am I throwing it away
throwing me away

how does she decide
what of me to hunger for
or to crave, what to resist
or to reject

what to push and what to pull
to pull in and to push out

on her feet to be
apart from me, to stand apart
heart beating there
my heart here, beating

her mood, my mood
this waste, distaste, this taste
in my mouth, my bowls

ache I ache, made more severe
by antipathy

need to hold herself apart
on her feet at the back of the room
while Olive Senior spreads the gospel

troubled because she is
why this is, this disconnection
this separation

recall Telford Georges telling me
what age woman
I can expect to couple with, to marry

if I recall correctly,
he went as low as 26

I asked, what of 20 or 18
“No! No! No!” he said, “it couldn't work!”

I am unable to recall, why he said this was

fallen into this relationship
my girl 18, going on 19
and what silliness to deal with

don't think I deserve mistrust
mistreatment she deals like cards
dislike when I lose
don't like what I get back

she likes what I give
accepts without accepting me

is she on her feet
at the back of the room
to inspire me
to weep this poem out
tears when I should be
tearing this page

rant and rave, rage inside
I should externalize

is she aiding creativity, fueling it
with bile she releases in my blood

is this my just reward
for these drops of life
like blood I squeeze out
like Seymour
into that plant's mouth

iii.
it is poetry ultimately
that I'm in love with, isn't it

she's caught up in it
like a fish in a net
or like an insect in a spider's web

God it troubles me
apart from her as we are now
she on her feet, I in this seat

on the phone until 3 a.m.
or until whatever time
or for however long

intimate then, phone to my ear
attentive, patient

reaction, insult to me
to pure intentions

she needs it seems
to keep me out, to push me out
to puke me up

it seems she knows not
what of me to spit out
what of me to swallow

ups and downs, upheaval
resulting in stomach ache, upset
in sea sickness

worst than or as bad as
once when those ships
crossed the middle passage

iv.
as if she had or were crucifying me
my palms burn, I blow upon the hurt

society we're in
does not permit the couple we are
nor does she, except on the phone

except when she has use for me
when she doesn't there is distance

wants nothing to do with me
pretends she has nothing to do with me

hurt so severe
hurts me when I'm left like this

abandoned, mis- or unjustly treated
art takes over, poetry emerges


v.
just want to give her so freely
whatever comes to my heart
or hand or head

that she responds to me
as she does, does not seem to me
to be the right response

just want to give her freely
any and everything

is she discouraging this
is she discouraging me

with her own response
with negative upon negative

ice cream heaped up
negative as well on top of that

what should I do, what should I be

what negative things she has to say
discouraging remarks

a heart could turn bitter, sour
resentful, resentment
of what once was such
a positive peach to bite


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2010
Written on Saturday, July 24
between 1:04 p.m. and 9:40 p.m.

4 Comments:

Anonymous OJEB said...

Good Day Mr. Smith, I attended the Olive Senior talk on Saturday night as well. It was truly an important experience in my life. I sat not too far from you and wondered what you were writing on that piece of paper. Now I see, I must say this poem is amazing. I am a young writer myself, and hope to read more of your work.

Monday, July 26, 2010 3:56:00 PM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

I am flattered, OJEB, by your words first of all. In addition, I am touched by your curiosity and by interest shown - by time taken to find my work on line and to read as much as you have. I am ever so grateful for your very kind remarks, OJEB. Best wishes and every possible blessing with your own writing. Writing though is one long glorious sacrifice. Work for it and it will, if you never give up, begin to work for you in ways that would astound you. You must commit though to sacrifice. For us, says T.S. Eliot, there is only the trying. The rest, he says, is not our business. Commit therefore to the trying and to the trial, the rewards will take care of themselves, OJEB. Work and wait and you will see.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 1:13:00 AM  
Anonymous d.a. said...

Hmmm OJEB is not the only one I am sure is/was curious about your intense writing that night. That indeed was a little drama right dere you and your pen and your poem.

Thursday, August 05, 2010 7:26:00 PM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

I do not like this posture or yours one bit D'Anthea, love - cool detachment and in addition, your seeming to be smiling about it - when you were directly responsible for my being so hot and so bothered - so troubled and so busy scribbling away to get away, as swiftly as possible, from where I was - the state I was in - get away to find release and relief.

Friday, August 06, 2010 3:19:00 AM  

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