Tag Archives: memories

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College 101

Categories: Poems, Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

holdosi / Pixabay

College 101

Modern Dance, bodies in rhythm to Van Morrison, Enigma.
Great in History. Strongly encouraged to publish all the
spilling words, heartaches, confusions, anger, dreams, worries.
A magic wand in a pen. Alleviate destruction. The destructive.

Nursing an infant while writing essays, studying dates & names
& practicing steps in the apartment hallway. Be somebody, be
somebody, be somebody, hear the beats, not beatings.

Assistant manager, tired eyes, how to get away quicker. Forget
Teaching, MFA hopes. 2 year program ought to do it. Dance, dance,
Keep dancing. Forget the yelling. The handed-over paychecks. Crazy, unrepentant eyes.

Perfect score on Case Brief. Great comments. Mock trial won. Who’s
Mocking you now? Only Him, Time. You’re pressing & pressing against it, that red clock on the wall. Mother given 2 years, won’t take meds. Elmo keeps smiling & Pampers keep piling. Storybooks & tears. Night terrors. Gotta leave, gotta go, can’t stay.

An artist paints you. You run into his arms on a rain-washed night.
So, this is what being made love to is. You think he must be unreal.
After some time, you deliver yourself instead to demons. Grandmother scolds you for leaving, running, learning LOVE. No one is glad for HAPPY.
Except your mother who says Yes, Him. Say Yes to him. You watch him drive away, miles upon miles out of your life. Things collapse. You see
an old college friend, beautiful, smiling, working for some firm. You

Imagine she will marry a lawyer, or become one. You keep thinking poetry, da-dum da-dum da-dum. Drumbeats & heartbeats & fuck the world is always spinning too fast or too slow.

Years pass. Plans unraveled. Maybe a 1 year this time. Appreciate Art, Appreciate Music, your son singing Sinatra with you, how you read from Shakespeare together, whom he calls Shakesbeard. Then you homeschool. He chooses Sylvia Plath from the bookshelf, finds a copy of Anne Sexton’s Collected Poems and brings it home to you, so proud to hand it over. He learns about those women- says “Mama, you won’t ever kill yourself, will you?”

Medicine. Boring. No poetry there, but you make the Dean’s List. You hang your certificate like a rag doll on a coat rack. Everything feels out of place. Hours & hours of studying terminology. All you remember now is Sarco means “flesh.” You stare at your arms & think about it. This makes you remember your RX is due for a refill, as is your life.

-Heather Lenz
March 17, 2016

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Souvenir

Categories: Poems, Tags: , , , , , ,

PicsArt_02-21-08.58.53

Souvenir

This old favorite shirt,
sits in a box somewhere.

I remember wearing it for you,
always curling my hair, cleaning
your house, giving you my body
on nights we danced together,
& then again at dawn, before

you’d leave for work. You were
supposed to be the better one–

the one who knew tenderness,
the one who didn’t hurl insults.
Definitely the one who didn’t
stain this shirt with my blood

or have me in stitches at some
local ER.

Your jealous Tequila rage
is what I remember most now.
The shirt, a souvenir that reminds me
of all I can no longer endure, from
anyone.

I was too fragile for your angry,
calloused palms. You crushed me
in your fist, & my heart just
fell away…

-Heather Lenz

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Team Uncle

Categories: Poems, Tags: , , , , ,

Hug

Team Uncle

You with your Florida tan
set against blue eyes of secrets.
& your smile, the warmth of your hug,
your kiss on my pale cheek.

I could see so many things
you could not say to those
around you, how you listened

quietly & sometimes shook your head
at the way we all become or think or
revel in our own lost ways.

& I remember when we played
the bean-bag toss that summer day,
how your knees ached & I could see
your difficulty.

I bent down & picked them up for
you…

You said “thank you, darlin” each time &
who knew that would be our first & final
games together.

The last time I saw you was on
your birthday, basking in the sun &
content it wasn’t raining in Seattle.

I leaned down to hug you,
wish you a Happy one.
A kiss on my neck like a sweet

Florida orange. A finality I did not
yet know.

& I heard about those
hurricanes that demolished your
childhood. How angry my inward

fits have been, (knowing all too well
how cradles can fall at various speeds).

I guess I’m just writing this
to tell you, that wherever you
are now…

I’m still on your team.

-Heather Lenz
February 16, 2016

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reinen Wein einschenken (in wine there is truth)

Categories: Poems, Tags: , , ,

Happy New Year!

It is because the hem of her skirt
stays below the knee now;
Because the lips of her mouth
twist toward shadows at dusk-

Pull down the weight of memory
like people at night who
pull down the blinds.

Some days she thinks it is simple;
that everyone she sees
is a thin wisp of smoke.

That their voices, narrow and stark
as grey hallways, must be the reason
she turns away.

The glass of Merlot becomes
lost friends and lovers,
makes her less afraid
of strangers in subways-

the disheveling of
old sweaters and dreams.

~Heather Lenz

(for my grandmother)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Note

Categories: Poems, Tags: , , ,

VaniaRaposo / Pixabay

Note

I want to tell you this-
That on days when memories
Almost burned me to death,
Your eyes were like wings
Sweeping through the heart of me,

With just a smile or word
Or brilliant kiss.

I rose in your presence
Like a sad Pheonix; nested in the soul of you-
Found love dashing against my weariness.

Tenderly I leave all my gifts with you-
Secretly I leave you my heart
For the days or nights
That may get hard as stone.

Though this fooled world
Left me to despise- always
I have adored you, known you
In any corner of light
That ever lived in me.

~Heather Lenz

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