Abuse, a Poem

What is the Lesson, God?


Have your self a nice little cigarette-

stop the trembling and the tears...

the screaming freezes my mind

every time.

Get home.

pretend to be happy;

have yourself a nice little cigarette..

have yourself a nice little beer

have yourself a nice bunch of pills.


Coward.

The pills, the pillows, drift

toward silence and the face

of God

Keep your mouth shut

Keep your mouthy mouth shut.

No. Can't cry. No.

Why such a betrayal?

turning inside out, like I used to

when Dad got the belt out.

Could hide inside forever.

just hide from the storms.


truncate the sentences,

or only nod.

steadily increase the weight lifting,

handle the impossible,

and hate you for giving me this.


There, there now. Priorities.

Have yourself a nice little poison cigarette

A nice little poison beer

have a nice little calming pill-


Coward.

coward


I won't last long.

Not there,

not here.

the tears are part of me.

I don't want anyone sad .

I'm Grendahl,

crying until the cliff

cracks and shivers

away from me.

even the stones weep for me.

I glare at the Moon, wall-eyed...

The Moon wants some hope

So do I.

But I've mined deep for gold,

searching all my life,

they all married strippers.

At least they know their priorities.

A deep, deep vein of pyrite

Coward.


Comments 20 comments

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

Too sad, too full of despair and pain. Show me a sliver of Hope, a possibility for release from this bondage. The act of writing the poem and the very existence of the poem itself suggest a reaching out, a gesture away from the self and the memories that are consuming the narrator. Perhaps the close could hol d out the poem as a piece of hope? Just a thought.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

Too sad, too full of despair and pain. Show me a sliver of Hope, a possibility for release from this bondage. The act of writing the poem and the very existence of the poem itself suggest a reaching out, a gesture away from the self and the memories that are consuming the narrator. Perhaps the close could hol d out the poem as a piece of hope? Just a thought.


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

Welll, Moon, this is about the client screaming at me-.he has altzeimers, so pleasing him is a moving target, He screamed, if you leave, you'll never work as a PCA again.

You want hope .So do I, but I'm almost resigned to never being married. Abusive Dad, abusive Brothers(still are), abusive clients,

I so longed to Get married! I have a very passionate nature, but for years, I've been alone. I wish I was Gay sometimes- at least then woman would be part of the picture,

I tried to give you some hope-Please, tell me why I should lie? Adding soporifics would be astoundingly false.

If you want me to be hopeful, then give me a Frigging reason why it'll be different that what's been all my life,

By all means, change my mind.

I am not angry at you... love yaz, lily


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

You know how highly I regard your work. I said--waaaaay back (only months, but cyber-time is very fast)---that you could be a voice among the American poets. Nothing in the intervening time has changed my mind. And to the extent any of us can "know" the pperson behind all the words we write, I think you're a kind, generous, and giving person who has risen far above an astounding amount of abuse in your life. Which you have very openly shared. Which is astounding in itself. But, to come back to the poem--we need to remind ourselves of some timely cliches about Art.

Poetry cannot celebrate Evil

A Poemt cannot be Evil

An Evil person cannot produce a Poem

Poetry must show us the way towards the light, never the dark (no matter how "dark" the vision of the poem.

So let all that rest. To explore those questions would take a book. Maybe we just need to remind ourselves of Keats's--"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty/That is all ye know on earth/And all ye need to know". So, if the goal of all poetry, however diverse, is to present Truth, it follows that we should avoid using the "form" of poetry MERELY to record te horrors we have to contend with. Because it will then be a Record, nothing more.What you need is a way PAST the horror of your family and what happened there--and perhaps you might try using the poem as a means to find that way past--because Truth lies THERE, not in the bitter, tangled memories of your past.

Now, quite apart from poetry--have you ever given any thought to leaving Alaska for opportunities elsewhere? Employment in your field there seems sporadic and lack of steady employment seems a major stressor for you. How about putting together that killer resume and seeing if other places could work better for you?

We need to get some consistent sunshine in your life.


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

I thank you.. not enough money to leave, but another company is interested in me. Boy this poem went over like a lead balloon, eh? Love yaz, lily


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

Actually, poetry can record evil, such as massacres, murderers, etc.

What your telling me, basically, is to keep my mouth shut, like a good little girl.

I quit that job today. I have a right as anyone else to merely record these travesties. I think the word that must not be used in great poetry is "I".


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

I cannot possibly have become such an inept writer that you would actually think I was suggesting you keep your mouth shut like a good little girl. Am I that kind of man? Would I give that kind of advice? Do you think I regard you as some kind of simpering little thing?

I did NOT say that poetry could not "record" evil--I said poetry could not "MERELY" record evil. There is a world of difference between the two propositions. Please RE-READ that part

And of course you have as much right as anyone to "Merely record these travesties". Of course you do. "Merely recording" is Listing, maybe Journalism, perhaps "expository essay". It just ain't POETRY. . .yet. And if you're the poet who wrote all the great stuff by Lilyfly, you know it ain't. . .yet.

And "I' can certainly be used in a great poem, as long as the "I" is a PERSONA within the poem, NOT THE POET AS A PERSON.

I think we've both pouted enough for one night, don't you? Perhaps we should pick this up again in private?

Your very good friend,

Moon


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

I was 35 or 36 when "he" stopped abusing me. My mother abandoned me 3 times, yet I paid 100% for her funeral. The rest of her children didn't even buy her flowers.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

HAT -- That's terrible that your own people abused you. . .but noble that, despite that abuse, you stepped up at your Mom's death, and did the right thing. Both of these memories are part of you, and they are NOT going to go away. So no matter how you cut it, it's up to you how you're going to deal with this--strangle your potential with bitter memories to the point where you become dysfunctional--or cultivate the COMPASSION and the CARING and the RESPONSIBILITY which prompted you to pay those funeral expenses. The one road can only lead to emotional stasis, pain, self-pity. The other road leads to whatever destination you want to set for yourself. Good luck.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 3 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Great Scream.... hate the theme...

And men who are abusive ARE NOT men...

They predictable and avoidable...

And You... raise your sights... respect your own rights..

You have the right to be.... happy!

Take care Lily... alone is sometimes the only way to know oneself and one's spirit... until you do, you will always allow anger to be a part of your life and who you are! You just don't know that yet... you need to see you from our side... then you will know... :)


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

Well, this is peachy. I tell you all I wanted was to get my feelings out, Moon didn't like what i wrote. Hatter tells me(and it sounds very true)

that his life was worse. Now Pearl want's me to see me how you see me.

I don't shout or yell, or curse in public. I am notso angry as that, and the reason is because I let out my anger in poems.

I know right well it's not a great poem. Itr is therapy in itself, not a cry for sympathy,

I quit the job where the man was screaming at me. I think that's a pretty healthy step.

You realize not one woman weighed in on this, Pearl, I'm laughing, but honestly- I need to see things for your side?Excuse me while I cool down after meeting another awful man... Geez, you guys act as if I hate YOU. Far from it, I find you all gentlemanly.. love yaz, lily


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 3 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

You need to appreciate two things... it doesn't matter though if you only write to 'vent'....

1/ We (as readers and poets) read your work to enjoy watching your TALENT grow.... NOT your anger or 'venting' being displayed! (Consider: we must therefore 'see' something in you.. that you obviously don't... if you feel the need to only write just to nut off!) (I can visit a local drunk's pub to gain the distasteful 'pleasure' of watching someone meltdown... so I'm hardly reading you to gain some strange buzz from anger! Think deeper in regards to the words I used)...

2/I know that you appreciate a wide spectrum of emotive writing.. you show in your poems that depth of your character (in it's positive sense) or (in its negative sense) your own maturity's ability to be so cynical that it appears you 'self loathe' perhaps due to what could be perceived as being a vulnerability! (I'm not trying to analyze anyone from a few words on a page... I respect myself and others too much for that... but you, are the 'poet' and as such, I am qualified in critiquing what 'I' know to be + or - emotion, purpose and context of a poem written by you.... just as I consider 'you' to be able to be equally subjective with my work...

As a friend... I give 'my' time and what I consider to be my honest appraisal to any friend who respects the value of the honesty... it doesn't matter if it is rejected... it is the product of a genuine person, unafraid to be 'real' or free of 'hangups'.... you know like the unicorns once were! Understand my accent, so you understand my words... they are words that only 'I' can create! I read you for words that only 'you' can create.... not for anger and attitude... but for a talent, you refuse to 'own!' .... be well my friend, be wise... PD


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi lily, I read your poem, then the comments then went back for a proper perspective on the whole thing. What did I see? I saw a women having a 'kick the cat' half hour, and something we all do. if someone pisses us off then we rant, so be it. if we don't then it just festers and then pees us off more! good for you for leaving the job, I would have too, yes I know he had altzeimers, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with crap. good luck in your next job, and maybe you may just meet that guy there! take care, and hugs nell


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 3 years ago from Canada

lily, I'm weighing in a bit late, have had the privilege of reading 'Abuse' and the amazing comments, so in response I just want to tell you Ms lilyfly, that I look forward to everything you write, I am a devoted fan. So you just keep 'em coming! Regards, snakeslane


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

Nell, Snakes! How I adore you! You GET IT! Thank you thank you thank you! Oh, big, huge hugs to you, and Merry Merry Christmas! Love yaz, lily


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

Pearl. I read your comment. I mean the second one. I do very much respect and admire you, and your work. Thank you for your input.

Nevertheless, I will tell you, that one can not be "a little" free. One is either free, or one is not.

If you dislike my angry offerings, as one free soul to another, I ask you to turn the page. As for me, I have told many very accomplished writers,that I would rather die, than change a word, or phrase, simply to save someone's finer feelings. My words stand, and, I will tell furthermore, when I say I would rather die, I know that I will actually in truth, die for it, but, what a glorious death, to die for truth, With much love, lily


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 3 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Christmas/festive season is the most 'classless' time for dying Lily! I am struggling with this... I would never ask you to change your words, nor did I... I referred to your talent and class as a poet who writes the words.. Not the anger! You seem to be missing my point, just as I seem to be missing the ability to float that boat! Be as angry as you like mate... but it takes a very sad level of anger to have it fit the true beauty of poetry... as I said... you are an excellent poet... but you are trying to be an angry one and there lies the point I tried to make... I'm trying to suggest you being the poet who can beautifully describe the worse swear words, in great effect... rather than the one who just swears! You know what I mean.... contrary one! Have a great holiday period and hahaha... swear better.. take care.. PD


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I was stirred by the honesty of this poetry, Lily. It shows passion and heat and anger and despair at the unfairness of what feels like destiny. I vacillate between feeling this way and rising above it due to what seems like the hope of something changing, only to often be brought down again. And, I do see hope in this piece...if not, why would you question? I love the freedom of your flow of passion and words that ring the truth of your feelings, your questions, and yes, the hope of change with a better tomorrow. It is full of the reality of life.


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

Hee hee Amy, you get it! Thank you! If one's alive, and able to scream, then there is indeed, hope. Pearl, you can get off the bus anytime.Just ring the bell sir! Best wishes to both of you! Love yaz, lily


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska Author

I'm going to try to write a poem off all the comments on this one... as if I needed one more poem to catalog... sigh.... love all of you.... lily

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