Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anne Sexton: The Inventory Of Goodbye


I have a pack of letters.
I have a pack of memories.
I could cut out the eyes of both.
I could wear them like a patchwork apron.
I could stick them in the washer, the drier,
and maybe some of the pain would float off like dirt?
Perhaps down the disposal I could grind up the loss.
Besides-what a bargain-no expensive phone calls.
No lengthy trips on planes in the fog.
No manicky laughter or blessings from an odd-lot priest.
That priest is probably still floating on a fog pillow.
Blessing us. Blessing us.

Am I to bless the lost you,
sitting here with my clumsy soul?
Propaganda time is over.
I sit here on the spike of truth.
No one to hate except the slim fish of memory
that slides in and out of my brain.
No one to hate except the acute feel of my nightgown
brushing my body like a light that has gone out.
It recalls the kiss we invented, tongues like poems,
meeting, returning, inviting, causing a river of need.
Laughter, maps, cassettes, touch singing its path-
all to be broken and laid away in the tight strongbox.
The monotonous dead clog me up and there is only
black done in black that oozes from the strongbox.
I must disembowel it and set the heart, the legs,
of two who were one on a large woodpile
and ignite, as I was once ignited, and let it whirl
into flame, searching the sky
making it dangerous with its red.

This wasn't really a very light hearted poem for April Fool's Day-to say the least! I need to let go of a relationship and this has been hard for me to contemplate-much less do. "The Inventory Of Goodbye" reminded me of the detritus-both emotional and physical that surrounds all of these partings. My emotional mood has been going from not-so-good to depressed as hell when I think of the inevitability of this parting. However, great kindness was sent to me today in the post and I was once again reminded of the very goodhearted and kind people in my life-I am not a very strong person-but I will make it. OK-break out Gloria Gaynor now[~ ;-)

11 comments:

X. Dell said...

I'm sorry to hear that. From what I gathered, the relationship was kinda difficult, but real.

Look on the bright side. Guys are a dime-a-dozen. Maybe it's time to upgrade?

Mike and Julie said...

Devin, you have lots of good friends here and we are two of them. Many of us have been there with relationship breakups and are feeling your pain. But as the song goes, "I will survive", you will. Hang in there. Lovely poem.
Julie

Anadæ Effro said...

Hmn. Interesting, Devin. Ihope that you don't relate to this melancholic paean by the poetess Anne Sexton bekawz of, "No one to hate except the acute feel of my nightgown brushing my body like a light that has gone out." You never struck me as the kind of bloke who traipses around wearing nightgowns. JK! Cheer up, bro! Better times are ahead.

I well remember what you'd once theorised about the appearance of a "love interest" & how his arrival could've mayhaps been likened to the materialisation of a tulpa. Is this severing of a relationship the same dude?

I my(s)elf had had a drawn-out relationship with a lover (just your type, too, Hispanic) whose live-in status wore out its faded demise long before our eventual parting. That seems like eons past. I lived the solarity eXistenZ of a monk for many years thereafter.

Then, what with the advent of the sprawling emotional vacuousness of the net, I met & wuzz nearly done in by a sociopath I stoopitly became involved in against my better intuition. Live & learn!

Now, a spry 51 & happily married to a man whose heart I'm beyond fortunate enough to have won, I encourage you to persist in finding that one gem. As Calvin Coolidge said so long ago, "Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

Much Love & Light to you,
Anadæ Effro (+;-)}

Aggie said...

Great thoughts. I'm sure you are stronger than you think. Take courage and heart and be kind to yourself.

Autumnforest said...

I think that every bad situation has an unexpectedly beneficial outcome. It's a weird thing, but when my father died when I was 16, I thought my life was over. I would never ever ever ever be happy again (I didn't like my mother in the least), but in the weird quirk of fate, a week after father died, we got a letter that he was accepted for an important position in London. We would have moved. My life would have been quite different. Because we stayed, I looked up an old friend who had lost his mom when he was young (since my friends couldn't relate to my loss) and because I looked him up, we started dating, fell in love, and have been married 25 years. Had my father not died, I would not have ended up with him and consequently had the happiest times in my life, like my marriage and birth of my son. I never thought I'd ever be happy again and I wasn't looking for happy--I was just looking for normal and I got the extraordinary. When I lose someone (I've lost so many in my life), I say to myself "now I get to meet a new me" and I'm reinvented again. A little wiser, a little more appreciative of the moments as they happen... Hope that helps. Take care.

Devin said...

Hiya X-yes it is either time for an upgrade or an oath of celibacy;-) thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! all the best!!

Julie -thanks so much for your thoughts here also -really appreciate them and your encouragement!!

Great thoughts as always Anadae-hehe -no I've done many a strange thing in my life-but so far cross dressing hasn't been among them-it is interesting that you mentioned the psycho -it seems that everyone I know has been chased down at one time or another by someone who just wouldn't give up-to the point they were scared -luckily -knock on wood I havent had this happen to me -knock on wood!! best as always and thanks for the encouragement!!

Aggie thanks also for your encouragement -I hope you are feeling better!! all the best!!


Autumnforest -that does indeed help-I just want to let you know how much i appreciate you -and others in different posts over the time i have blogged-really sharing so many things that must be in some ways very hard to talk about!! Your personal history is somewhat similar to another lady net friend I have. I had no clue you had been married 25 years-congratulations and I wish you many many more happy years of married life. It sounds like you have indeed lost a lot of people in your life and I am very sorry to hear this -especially about losing your dad at such a young age. best as always to you!!

foam said...

it's always hard to sever an emotional bond ..
i don't know you very well yet, but it seems as if it might be better for you...
best of luck to you and may you eventually find your gem .. :)

Nina said...

I ended a 13 year relationship/marriage 12 years ago. It took me THREE YEARS to get up the gumption to say "i am done". I was unemployed/housebound agoraphobic/had no clue how I was going to pull it off, but I did. In some ways life was more difficult, in other ways, oh so much more wonderful and freeing! Of course no one gets through things like this alone so lean on anyone who extends a hand. And as you know, animals are great comforters. They let you cry and vent w/o judgment.

I believe we're all stronger than we think. It's easy to not believe in that when we're hurting, though. It sounds as though you've been struggling w/this relationship for awhile now. The pain lessens. You'll be ok. You'll survive. And hey, if you have the CD, pop it in and play it loud, sing it loud. I'm here for you!

Devin said...

foam and Nina thanks so much for your thoughts and encouragement!! I really appreciate all of you-this has been on its way for some time now just hard to sever the final cord -but I agree with the sentiments expressed here that it is time to move on and maybe even a chance to do better in some way -best to both of you and thanks so much for stopping by!!

Ricardo said...

These situations are tricky because it's nice to have someone around but also damaging at the same time if the relationship is on the skids. And then there's taking that next big leap into the unknown by yourself but really, in the long run it will be best for you if it's not going well.

Devin said...

I couldn't agree with you more Ricardo!! and I am so glad I caught your comment! I need to get offline now-but hope to be back tonight or tomorrow-especially since there are several blogs (like yours:-) I need to visit-thanks so much for stopping by and I really appreciate your comment-best as always!!