Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I was going to write about anxiety today. But I have a headache and while that's not pleasant it keeps me from feeling particularly anxious. And when i'm not feeling it, it's hard to describe. Hard to take myself seriously when I'm trying to talk about the absolute certainty that the angry villagers with torches are going to show up any minute to drag me out of my house and tar and feather me in the town square. Because that's what it feels like a lot of the time.

Or hard to describe the feeling of terror as I walk downtown and SEE PEOPLE. Some of them say hello to me. my mind tells me this is perfectly innocent. My other self wonders what they want, why are they talking to me, how long before they start throwing things or laughing behind me back. A car can drive by and have people laughing in it and I KNOW they're laughing at me.


Anyway, I remembered that once while I was out walking I started having an anxiety attack and started composing a poem about it. I never finished the poem--I rarely do once the feeling has worn off, not much of a poet anymore though I used to be considered quite a good one. But here's the bit anyway:


Anything can start it
Strange pain, unexpected sensation
Unfamiliar situation
Any stress, however momentary small,
However likely to pass unnoticed

There’s a jolt like I’m sitting
In the electric chair and someone I can’t see has just
Pulled the switch. It tingles
Through my chest first, reaches my limbs, suffuses
The extreme tips of my fingers and I am
Unstuck. Part of me leaps
Across some indefinable gap into somewhere else.

This is not a safe place.
This is the place where my other body lives
The one that knows the things I cannot know and feels
The things I cannot feel: all those experiences stored up
Like snapshots in a box to be sorted
In a later time that never comes.

So then I started looking through more files of old unfinished poetry and I thought I'd share some more. Here are a couple:

The Fossil Record


Underneath this ocean
Far beneath this blue ocean
Beneath this calm, blue ocean where the halcyon nests
Laying her eggs on its smooth, solstice surface where they rock
Unborn infants cradled by grandfather’s rolling waves:
Beneath this ocean where checkered corals coin
Calcium cities, where winged fish leap, flashing
Flighted jewels sparkling through spray,
Where laughing dolphins make sport of holiday ships
And wise whales turn head-downward, singing many-throated,
Mapping mysterious global journeys for unseen cousins:
Beneath this ocean lies
A world of darkness.

Here be dragons. Here lie
All those things that thrive without light
Without breath.

And another:

(in that place)

they taught you words for what you feel but what you feel
is not a word. What you feel
cannot be described in any language. The best you can do
is to come close: step softly around its outside edge, sending out
feelers like a snail’s, fleshy and formless,
ready to draw back at the first touch
of that solid knot at your core,
that thing at your center that defines you
though it has no name.

Even this cannot describe it.

What cannot be described cannot be realised;
What cannot be realised cannot be experienced;
What cannot be experienced cannot be lived through
What cannot be lived through cannot be over.

Hope you enjoyed these fragments.



alejandra said...

Kele, I haven't had the chance to read your book yet, but these unfinished poems show what a talented writer you are. Also, even though we have never met, I know you're a wonderful human being. Don't let people's pettiness mess with your head.

Much love - alex

~Desert_Rose~ said...

I loved The Fossil Record. Such vivid imagery it evoked within me. Keep up the great work, Kele.

~*Bobbie Jo*~