Tuesday, April 17, 2007


In the naked moments
After lovemaking my husband sees
His grandmother
The one he never knew

She leaves the wood-framed
Black and white portrait
Breathes her spirit
Against my skin

I am the woman
Traveling to Marquette
Pleading with the prison warden
Release my man

She is the woman
Making love to my husband
Pressing her breasts hard
Against his skin

I hate having to explain myself; it is a sure sign that the poem hasn’t succeeded. But there you have it. This poem probably is nowhere close to done, but still I wanted to post it in the aftermath of the shooting events of yesterday. Now you’re really confused. What the heck does anything in this poem have to do with shootings? Well, I’m going to tell you. It has to do with our connections with other people. We reach across generations and decades and find the same desires and needs. After 9/11 some of us started focusing on our differences in very negative ways. Some said, circle the wagons. (Am I ever going to get to the shootings/shooter? Yes. Be patient.) I believe that circling the wagons is ridiculous. You’re raising your eyebrows. You know I live inside a small community, I have a tight family. Everyone around me knows all my missteps (otherwise referred to as sins.) I have safety nets surrounding me. (Too many sometimes.) I don’t need to circle any wagons, they’re already there. Yes. Yes. But still, a shooter, disconnected from my circle, could come. How can we stop this? By circling the wagons tighter? No. We can only stop the craziness by connecting the potential shooters to the community, by finding the connections between us, by healing the disconnects. This is something that can’t happen while we remain inside our circles. We have to go outside and rub up against other people and find our connections in larger spheres. No, the poem doesn’t say all that. And really, I don’t want it to. I just want it to point to the connections.


Talia said...

Interesting, Charmi, about the connections. Chrisitianity is all about connections. As the news is beginnging to reveal information on the victims killed, one has to think about connections. The story, involving 33+ people is full of webs of connections.

Your poem is very intersting. I think you should go deeper, give us some more of this. Also, I noticed you tend to keep your lines really short. Reading it, I sort of want to make them a bit longer.

Oh and by the way, I think my tulips are gonna make it after all. We went for a stroll after dinner and I saw all the neighbors' tulips and I have hope for mine, which may open up here any day now. "Oh ye of little faith."

Charmi said...

Well, connections fascinate me. I like the idea of a web. Mostly my ideas in the realm of tragedy and how we should live through it come from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian during the Nazi era. In fact, most of my ideals about living and loving others come from Bonhoeffer. I always fall short, but it's nice to have a goal. How are you enjoying (or not) Dallas Willard?

About the poem's short lines, it's true. I have a hard time stretching things out. I enjoy the workshop setting when I get to hear what everyone says what they understand a poem to mean. Then I know if I have communicated well or not. All on my own, it's so hard to know. Stories are so much easier. I can use so many words. I suppose I shouldn't be so concerned about how many words I use, but I don't want to lose the music of the whole thing.

I'm glad your tulips are going to make it. They're pretty tough. The tulip I posted a pic of the other day is opened now, sprawlingly so.