Saturday, November 14, 2009

Words No Longer Fail

I have just finished Slamming Open The Door.

It is an incredibly thin book of staggering power. The thinnest blade to slice open your heart.

It touches on things that I only knew in my heart. Things that I could never properly verbalize. Things that I didn't always realize I felt. (I've written the poem titles in parentheses.)

The notion of violently getting you heart ripped out while everything around you goes on as normal (Tea Time). The paralyzing disgust at a defense attorney (Defense Attorney), the warmth toward an investigating police officer (Homicide Detective) , all the many things that people can say wrong (What Not To Say), or do right (William). It even touches on the fact that no amount of punishment will ever feel like enough (Life in Prison).

It's similar to visiting the Art of Recovery exhibit.

Without hyperbole, with the simplest of words, it encapsulates an emotion that few would feel comfortable saying and even fewer would be comfortable in hearing.

How can I explain that for eight months or so, I would go to bed at night and wish that I wouldn't wake up in the morning? I couldn't tell my friend that, they would have freaked out. They won't have understood that I wasn't saying that I was going to do anything about it. That would have actually entailed the mental ability to contemplate something other than putting one foot in front of the other. That would have taken up too much energy.

But I have found the words to wrap around the nakedness of that time.

I'll only quote the end of the poem "Kidney Stone".

After finding out her daughter was murdered, the author has a kidney stone attack and has to go in for surgery:

But first, afraid, on the litter,
I say to my sister,
What if I don't wake up
from the anesthesia?
and she presses my hand
and says, No, no,
don't even think that way-
you are not that lucky.

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