poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In these moments that are my heart

“…And love’s the burning boy.”

-Elizabeth Bishop

We’re so focused on prolonging life
I think it’s creepy, I mean
people aren't supposed to live this long.

Well, I for one enjoy being alive.

Oh, I wasn't talking about you and me. I guess
I was more talking about people in comas.
They shouldn’t be living long lives, in comas.

My father was a doctor and said that everyone in a coma
was struggling to stay alive. They seem dead, but they really want to live.

Yeah. How could he tell?

He says we are all hanging on to life,
we don’t let go, that’s not how it happens.

What do you mean?

Death is just abandonment. It’s when life misplaces you,
your spirit is forgotten and you become more dream then real.

I wrote a little poem on an index card for you and then lost it.
I will try to remember it now
but it’s too late—I have already packed your envelope
up with chocolate chip cookies and honey sticks
and a copy of my novella and a card.
I think this is how the poem went,
but the original words were better, I spent

a few hours on about twenty words for you and now I have lost them.
This is what I can remember: Firewater seems impossible,
because fire and water hate each other. But we have seen it,
the happy hazard drunks parading

down the streets in small towns. Love’s
the burning boy, and our friendship is firewater
below deck on the burning ship
singing stupid made-up birthday songs

it doesn’t matter if the blaze
bursts, right now it’s a wicked glow
just a shine, a radiant guest, an admirer
and we are the admired. Yes. We are luminous,
laughing and kissing the inferno on the lips.

I lost another poem last night.
I saw it in my head, just before I went to sleep, the whole poem
title and all, typed up on the inside of my eyelids
(which is how a laptopbrain sees)
and then my dream took it.

I try to write it down now, but I can't,
all I get is this:

iron meaning

worthless meaning

instead of meaning

meaning? missing? iron? eye?

And it had such a perfect last line, too.
a line full of joy, that turned into a little stream
and lead me out to the ocean,
to a dream where white and black whales
swam with me and I touched one, on the tail.

That must have been the exchange,
one poem that turned into five whales and they swam to me
in the ocean that is all of my dreams, where the poem
might wash up on the shore someday

and I will pick it up with my whaletouch hands,
dry it off and bring it back, maybe it will keep
if I cling to it somehow, cut through the skin of my dreams with the poem
still in my hands, still read-able
to type on the computer, awake and real,
real hands that will never touch a whale.


DS said...

wow I was really taken by this. really incredible. i can't wait to get your novella in the mail, it's on the way! heart, Dave

Marisa said...

i hope that the point of writing is just to make you feel better and by you I mean me, because, at the moment, I feel confused, locationally speaking i think, i need heartier center. your poems and adam's poems are so different, but both simple and very good for my heart when i read them. oh! somehow thinking of you brings me right back to the bones.

marc said...

this one would make a cool animation, methinks

Rena J. Mosteirin said...

Thanks for the comments! It makes me happy when people leave comments, especially comments as nice as these, from people as wonderful as yourselves.

Marisa said...

i am leaving another comment, its that it is mid december and I want more poems pleeeeaaasssse!