Winning entry from the Wild Poet's Forum Creativity Challenge 3/29-4/11. I'm very happy to have won and impressed with the caliber of entries I beat. My strongest work seems to be centered around my crazed family of origin and my ongoing struggles to make sense of my upbringing. I think it informs my writing and painting. When my parents were not very, very bad they were very, very good and so much fun. I think the crazy part was figuring out which people you were going to get on any given day. I'm hoping to complete an entire book about what love is and is not, "Knot Love" has been under construction for a long time now but I'm getting there. Here is the piece ffrom the It's Not About Challenge for your delectation.
It's Not About Escape
This poem is not about my parents
creaking, fighting, beating the actuarial tables
at ninety years each.
it’s not about how much I love them or hate them
or how I can’t rise above the pain handed out on platters
so heavy I finally had to let go and slouch away.
It’s not about my brother and sister
two broken puzzles scrambled in tatty cardboard boxes,
both still echoing red leftovers of parental fear fifty years on.
My trajectory was always up, away from sizzling lightbulb love,
the kind that burns off wings and drops you crawling.
No, this is not about how I cannot save them
flightless and scarred, still looking for that toxic molasses high.
I can't deny the pull, I listen to them all,
an endless buzzing loop of tears and repercussions.
This poem is not about how I got to be the family archangel
when all I want to do with this flaming sword
is cut a hole in the sky, spread white wings
and fly forever into the quiet blue,
just me, the sun and the wind.