Dropped Pages: On the Night of the Flood of Ghosts

Dropped Pages is a series of poems that were originally dropped from my books and chapbooks. I have reclaimed them here.

Dropped from Her Red Book

On the Night of the Flood of Ghosts

He says we’re those kind of friends
some day
one of us will be at the other’s funeral
she pulls the death card    scythe and burning vardo

in Texas flooding takes their friend’s home away
and homes in Russia and the streets of Prague
as Nigerian women sit
on the dock at Texaco     and threaten
to remove their clothing

she says     the further we get
from the heartache
the more we
can love the ghost of it
recalling the decree of separation
that left her the Toyota Corolla darkroom
equipment piano and one cat named Quincy

They revisit old loves
who now have new loves they get
lost in the tarot deck     seek advice from kettles
and feathers and stones     she says
over his breaking heart
We’ll move to the woods
let everything around us grow wild

~ ~ ~

Time to ride The TRAIN

13 Comments

  1. Linda Jacobs
    Mar 23, 2009

    I like how you compare world-wide events to the personal.

    Some really intriguing lines in here, like “kettles and feathers, and stones.”

  2. openchannel
    Mar 23, 2009

    thanks, Linda. I’m prone to that in my work, as I find that often the daily events to be a microcosm of what’s happening in a larger sense.

  3. Sweet Talking Guy..
    Mar 23, 2009

    Phew, I like the way all the quick thoughts go squashy!!

  4. openchannel
    Mar 23, 2009

    STG – i always love your imaginative comments.

    yes, thoughts going squashy, you’ve nailed it there.

  5. Richard
    Mar 23, 2009

    I feel sorry for the poor guy, his heart is still breaking, and she’s weaving fantasies. Ouch.

  6. the.light.bearer
    Mar 23, 2009

    the further we get
    from the heartache the more we
    can love the ghost of it

    this is very sharp and true. i like this! :D

  7. Tumblewords
    Mar 23, 2009

    Fine work – your line breaks are so original – enjoyed the read…

  8. openchannel
    Mar 23, 2009

    Richard – oh, don’t worry about him. I just spoke with him today, he’s about to get remarried. :-)

    light bearer – thanks, that’s my favourite line. i have no idea where it came from, but it is true.

    thanks, Tumblewords. i’m picky about my line breaks and spacing. although the spacing always gets a bit off in wordpress. I have a soft spot for line breaks that create double meanings or mislead the reader.

  9. julia
    Mar 25, 2009

    ‘she says the further we get
    from the heartache the more we
    can love the ghost of it
    recalling the decree of separation
    that left her the Toyota Corolla darkroom
    equipment piano and one cat named Quincy’

    Wonderful!

  10. david zen-kennedy
    Mar 26, 2009

    I love everything about this poem. . . the heartbreak, the imagery, the separation decree. . . they can so incredibly describe who the people were. . corolla, cat, piano, darkroom. really superb. And the title. . . “. . . the flood of ghosts” is inspired. Excellent. This really moved me.

  11. openchannel
    Mar 26, 2009

    thanks Julia… and David Z-K, so glad it could be of service.

    I want to add that I’m not the one who broke this guy’s heart (I think some assumed that). I was doing a tarot reading for a good friend who had just gotten divorced a year after I had gotten divorced. We were commiserating.

  12. Dave Bonta
    Mar 28, 2009

    I really like this – especially the last stanza. Invites rereading.

  13. S.L. Corsua
    May 1, 2009

    I also loved the lines the.light.bearer quoted above. Those three lines elicit memories, nostalgia. Could be turned into a ballad. ;) Cheers.

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