>more numbers


I’ve been thinking about the turtles all the way down in the last post. There is a sort of faith or trust in the turtle underneath you. Whatever that turtle might actually be. And I suppose that some would say “whomever that turtle might be”.
Beyond the naming of the turtle, though, lies the sensation of infinity. What might that feel like? When the experience is a postive one, wow (I mean to say dang!) what a glow, you suppose? But what if that experience of infinity is not positive? What if something so dark and toxic were to come into your life and you cannot shake it off?
Do we have to name what that toxic event or experience before another person could feel the infinite despair? This is a poem of mine that was first published in Fifth Wednesday Journal.  It’s a print journal so the poem cannot be read on the internet, but still, you might want to check out this link because *blush* it seems to me they publish some stirring work.

On Naming Her Twelve Hundred Months

For example, she gets August and Tuesday mixed up
and she’d like to name the next month Caesar. Julius
after that. I sense that she prefers infinity, avoiding
things that go around and come back again- which is why
her father asked my mother to tell me the least I could do

is write to her, maybe apply for a visitor’s pass.
I show her the piano in the day room with white keys named
one through eighty-eight. Octaves don’t exist. She skips
the scales we learned as kids but plays killer
ragtime blues. Speaking of music and Tuesday,
my puppy stops barking when I say things
like Excuse me, or Ruby Tuesday, or when I sing the blue

shoe song she likes. Layla is the Irish Setter I rescued
from the pound. Her previous owner gave her up
because she’s afraid of a rifle going off, bullets
in a barrel, the click from a trigger’s pull, the sounds
of hunting season, the sound September makes.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

4 responses to “>more numbers

  1. >I really admire how you've allowed mystery to remain in this. Yet there is a story, the story I bring, that's as clear as day. And others will have their own narrative to fill in. In that way we join you on the page. Isn't that where art resides, in that engagement? It's really a kind of co-creation–and no, you don't have to name it.

  2. >thanks mike! i like what you had to say about art residing where we join each other on the page. in this sort of co-creation, the poem is able to take on its own life. the poem is no longer mine. probably it never was mine to claim. reminds me of my "ireland" book that i've been reading on/off, about the storyteller who roams ireland with ancient stories to tell. each time the story is told, it takes on new life. and when each person who hears the story receives and gives what might be given or received, the story remains organic, so to speak.

  3. >I swore I would not join another blog, but I fear I must break my resolve. This is good. You are unique. I don't have time to admire any more poets, but you talked me into it (got here via Sarah Sloat).

  4. >kass- i am so pleased. this particular poem is near and dear. i wondered at the time if it might be too obscure, but really how can any of us live too far into life without knowing what something like this feels like. and sarah sloat- that straw piece she posted the other day had me in awe. when the snowglobe inside her shakes, i want to be nearby to read what happens.

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